They Have Questions
Our teens being able to question their faith is part of what makes it real and what helps them to take ownership of what they believe about God, about suffering, about good and evil. These help form a foundation for Biblical Faith. Now, more than ever students have access to so much information and yet, many don't feel the freedom to question what they've been taught their entire lives or they are forced to keep quiet about their doubts. In this article from Lifeway Publishing they help parents understand the type of doubt they are going through in order to be able to best address this important topic. Below we are linking articles from "Desiring God" from authors John Bloom and John Piper who have several very helpful articles.
From Desiring God
Believing what we cannot see is hard. All of us are skeptics to some degree. Some more than others. But there is often more going on inside a skeptic than meets the eye. And, as Thomas’s experience shows that Jesus knows how to reach them.
If you care about people and risk talking to the depressed, the doubting, the skeptical, the confused, and the angry, you will soon run into a person who says to your counsel: I’ve tried that. Whatever you say, they will minimize it and say it doesn’t work. Do not be surprised at this response. This is what it means to be depressed, doubting, skeptical, confused, angry. It means that whatever they hear sounds useless.
Why did Thomas respond this way to friends he knew so well and trusted? The words he spoke tell us of the horror he actually saw.
Satan is very, very deceptive. Our own hearts are very fallen. Indwelling sin is real. And there are low seasons in life that come from physical features, emotional features, and spiritual attack that make you ask the most frightening questions.
Doubt is not synonymous with unbelief in the Bible — at least not complete unbelief. The Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus were full unbelievers. But the man who cried out “I believe; help my unbelief” was not a full unbeliever, but a doubter.
When doubt comes — and come it will — whispering that God isn’t true, the Bible isn’t reliable, and Jesus’s blood isn’t enough, do not make peace with such lies. Do not embrace them. Do not boast about them. Instead, confess them and cling more tightly to the Savior, crying, “I believe; help my unbelief!”
Whether it’s the doubts of a child, coworker, neighbor, fellow church member, or friend, there are both helpful and unhelpful ways to respond. First, here are three ways not to respond.
One cannot read the Bible without wondering (and even feeling) that perhaps it is just a historical document. One cannot pray without it feeling vaguely plausible that one’s prayers are but puffs of wind in a silent cosmos. One can spend years mastering apologetic arguments, going over one’s work, and yet below all of this is a nagging feeling...