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In teaching kids, faith requires critical thinking

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I saw this story in Stand To Reason, and it resonated with me, not only as a parent, but as someone who taught Sunday School for several years.

Kids who grow up in church learn quickly to say the right words. Chances are good, if they answer with any question with raised eyebrows and the word “Jesus,” they’d answer correctly.

We tend to teach kids thinking that they are listening, but then toss softball questions to evaluate what, if anything, do they understand about what is being taught.

“It’s my responsibility to teach my kids how to act. This starts early with a lot of “do’s and don’ts,” Tim Barnett wrote. “But right behavior is not my only goal. I’m also deeply committed to teaching right thinking.

“In other words, it’s not only my responsibility to teach my kids how to act; it’s also my responsibility to teach them how to think,” he added.

Barnett notes that one of the biggest reasons why children abandon their beliefs is because those beliefs were never theirs in the first place.

“They were their parent’s beliefs that the kids were taught to memorize and regurgitate, beliefs the kids were never challenged to think through for themselves,” he explained.

“So, how do we do that? How do we get our kids to think for themselves about Christian truths? Well, it’s not complicated. We need to stop only asking the “what” questions and start asking the “why” questions,” he added.

Barnett offers some examples of ways parents can encourage their children to think critically about their faith. It’s worth the read.

The full story can be found at Stand to Reason.

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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