A 12-year-old Christian girl confronted at school and a mother in panic
Last week, Maxie P. was so panicky about what happened to her 12-year- old daughter at school that she sent an email to me asking for advice:
I have a 12-year-old daughter who recently came home from school and told me it makes no difference if you believe or not and that not everything in the Bible is true. Obviously, my mother’s “overreaction” mode kicked in, and I felt clueless on how to explain or convince her otherwise.
It seems that a discussion took place at school about whether God is a male or female and how is it possible that God suddenly appeared in Genesis, which led to the point that not everything in the Bible is true.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Sent from my iPad
Here you have my answer to Maxie; I tried to do my best.
I have an 11-year-old son who is very childish, so my approach to him would differ greatly from what you need with a 12-year-old young woman asking herself (although in an indirect way) the more important questions of life.
However, let me tell you the story of a group of grandmothers who asked me for a teaching session on how to answer the same questions to their teenage grandchild. I had four weeks to prepare the session, so I worked on it very hard trying to find the best arguments to help the grandmothers convince their teen granddaughters about the existence of God, about the trueness of the Bible, etc.
But after two weeks of work, the Lord stopped me to let me know that, notwithstanding my effort and good will, I was missing with my intent. I was trying to yield more rational arguments for a discussion which, with some teenagers, could be better approached in a different way.
To make the story short, what I understood from the Lord was to tell the grandmothers to avoid the intellectual confrontation and to tell their granddaughters the story of their personal relationship with the Lord in their life. To provide very explicit examples about the influence of the Lord on their life: inspirations, comforting experiences, praying fruits, suggested ideas, feelings or even words. Not trying to patronise, just to explain the real experiences of God in their life.
I asked the grandmothers to let the time pass, not stressing their grandchild, and some time later, invite them to begin their relationship with the Lord Jesus through prayer. I advised request prayers better than prayers of thanksgiving. We expect no answer of a thanksgiving prayer, do we? But everyone needs the help of the Lord everyday in many things (and teenage girls even more!). Let them knock on the door of the Lord asking for something, for something not very general (like peace in the world) but something particular, specific, which cannot be solved by chance.
After more time had passed, I suggested asking their granddaughters to read the Bible by themselves, with no prejudice at all, with no other guidance than the Lord’s himself, perhaps beginning for the gospels, and let the Word and the Spirit do the work.
After this long and slow process, I suggested the grandmothers to ask the teenagers to answer the same questions your daughter asked at the very beginning of the journey, and to answer those questions without the influence of the school group. After knowing personally the Lord, after reading his Word: “What do you think, What’s your personal answer to the question: ‘Is the Bible true or not?’, is there a difference in your life believing or not?”
Well, I hope it helps. So, calm down, Maxie, take it easy, don’t stress or patronise your daughter; she is just a young woman looking for sense in her life, what a blessing! Begin talking her about your personal love story with the Lord. I’m sure the Lord will bless your daughter and yourself doing so!