We read bible stories and use felt boards with our children when they are young. They learn of the Heroes of the Faith in Sunday School for years and years. We may even teach them how to share the gospel. But do we do theology with our children?
What is theology and why is it important?
Theology means the study of God. It is a rigorous and academic discipline of the Christian faith. So why in the world am I talking about it in regards to children?
Simple: if we don’t teach our children how to study and learn the theology of God and the Christian faith, we are not fully preparing them to enter the adult world. Oh they may be academically ready to step into college classes, but are they equipped to stand firm on the Word of God without wavering? Are they firm in their faith and do they know why they believe what they believe? Do they understand the doctrines of the faith? Are they able to argue points of biblical interpretation?
So often our children are sent out into the world ill-prepared for rigorous theological discussions. When they come across strong debaters in academic arenas, they are often swayed because they are only filled with children’s stories.
How do we train our children in theology? Where would we start?
- As much as possible, discuss biblical questions with your children, being willing to ask questions and not be afraid of the word theology!
- Don’t focus on setting up a series of boundaries or restrictions, focus on really understanding the questions. Theology is more about seeking the biblical truth from the questions than it is about setting up the Dos and Don’ts of Christian belief.
- There are numerous books on systematic theology that may or may not be helpful for your family.
- Studying church history together to see what questions believers had throughout the generations is an excellent place to go.
- Right now we are reading The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee and discussing the theological concepts mentioned and the passages they come from.
So look at the full discipleship and equipping you are doing in your family and consider adding some training in theology with your children.