A few months ago, my 10-year-old son accepted Jesus as his Savior. He’s not in the least afraid to share his faith with friends and school mates (anyone really, which is a lot more than I can say for myself). Lately he’s been asking me some incredibly deep questions to help him defend his faith. I didn’t think we were going to be in this place so soon. The world is snatching our kids faster and faster, earlier and earlier. We must teach our children to defend the faith and openly answer any questions they might have about why we believe. In this post I’m going to share just a few proofs we (and then they) can provide for the existence of God using science.
The Statement That Rocked My Mind
The other night as we were reading the Bible, Jax asked me, “Mom, is it ok that I feel really, really sad for this kid child in my class? They said they’re an atheist and don’t believe there is a God. I know they’re going to go to hell if their heart doesn’t change before they’re older. How can I prove to them that God is real? I don’t want them to go to hell.” (I’m removing gender pronouns to protect this child’s identity, there was only one child.) Wow, my baby is contemplating this child going to hell if they don’t change before they reach the age of accountability, and his heart is breaking for that child. I told him of course it was more than ok for him to be sad for them. It’s actually a sign that you are truly saved when you care that others will end up in hell and you want to snatch them out.
He asked me some amazing questions because that child was debating him on the existence of God. Like he’s truly debating them. Going back and forth, with an audience. I didn’t expect this to come so soon, but I quickly realized I need to train him to do this.
The World Will Get In
My son has been raised in church his entire life and is and has always been taught about the Bible and God daily. We read the Bible every night. I’m not tooting my own horn here at all. I’d rather not have to tell you that as the Bible directs us not to brag about anything we do for the Lord. Trust me though, the world will get to your child. That’s why I’m telling you this (plus it’s the basis of how much I tell him in the descriptions you see below). No matter how much you teach them about God, the world is going to try to swing them in the other direction.
Even if you homeschool your child, the world is going to get in. If you try to shield your child from the world completely, you may end up pushing them away from God when they go out into the world. They will not be prepared for the questions, the battering ram against their faith, and they may fold. So many young people are leaving home and going to college or getting a job and then renouncing their faith. It’s heart wrenching, and as a parent of a teen that isn’t sure she believes, I beg God every single day to reveal Himself to her and honor His promise that His Word will not return void (Isaiah 55:11)! You need to start teaching them why we believe God is real from a very young age.
Science & Teaching Children to Defend the Faith
I’m going to give you a few points that you can teach your children in order to help them defend their faith or even to help you explain why you believe. These things they can easily understand, and they can easily use them to teach others.
Germ theory was not even a blip in the minds of people for thousands and thousands of years. It began and developed between the mid 1850’s through the 1920’s. So how is it that it appears in the Old Testament, more than 4000 years before it was even thought of? Well because God knew about bacteria, viruses, and fungi of course! I think that He left out reasons behind much of the Mosaic Law in order to point to Himself later in our time. Where do we find germ theory in the Bible? Let me show you a few places and you can use those to help your child.
Using the Bathroom (Yes, I know it’s gross, but it points to God!)
Before the Israelites were settled in the Promised Land, they had to wander around in the desert for 40 years for their disobedience to God. God, being loving, caring, and generous to them, gave them instructions on how to live in the camp. One of those instructions was how to use the restroom. Seems like pretty basic stuff to us, right? Well, they had no clue that their feces could be extremely dangerous to themselves and others.
We now know that bacteria from fecal matter can cause serious, even deadly diseases. One such disease is C. diff, or Clostridioides difficile. I got it once, either on a cruise ship or when we got off the ship in Mexico. If you’ve been around the blog, you may know that I have a fatal illness that affects my immune system, so this could’ve been a death sentence for me, and we have readily available treatments and medications. Imagine getting something like that 4000 years ago. It would be a miserable, painful death. It’s highly contagious, so it could’ve wiped out hundreds of people or more in one outbreak! That’s just one disease that could’ve been spread by fecal matter!
You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it. And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement.Deuteronomy 23:12-13 ESV
In Deuteronomy 23:12 God instructs His people to leave the main camp and go outside of it to have a bowel movement. (I know it’s gross to talk about, but God put it in there for a reason… to protect them, then point to Himself in the era a science.) They were to bring a shovel type device, dig a hole, then cover up the waste product. They were also not to go near their source of water when doing their business. God was protecting them from diseases that they had no clue existed. How would that just end up in the Bible without an all-knowing God?
How to Teach Children to Defend the Faith with This Point
Like I mentioned before, my kids have been taught everything in the Bible from a young age. All of it. Prophecy, The Law, hell, heaven, rewards, what God expects from His children, the Armor or God. The beautiful and the ugly. You may not agree with that, but I feel like they need to know it all from the beginning. I don’t want anyone to be able to shock my child by showing them something in the Bible and make them think that God is mean or hates women or any of that other mess they try to use to deconstruct teen and young adult’s faith.
Your convo might go like this…
Now how you tell your kids about this depends on their age. For a three-year-old, this argument won’t make sense. However, we’re talking about how to teach your children to defend the faith meaning they already have that bedrock faith. But remember that you can flip this and use it to explain how you know that God is real and why they can believe it too. My conversation on this topic with my son went something like this:
“When you talk to your friend at school that doesn’t believe in God, you can point this out to him. We didn’t learn that germs, like bacteria, viruses, and other things, existed until the 1850’s! They didn’t even learn exactly how the caused sickness and sterilizing things until the 1920’s!
Then tell him that God told His people that they shouldn’t go to the bathroom near where they all lived more than 4000 years ago. Moses, who wrote the instructions from God down could not possibly have known that they could get sick from being around sewage [I thought this might be the best way to put it]. Yet, he wrote it down and taught everyone how they should get rid of it in Deuteronomy 23:12 and 13.”
For Older Kids
You can tell them that thousands of people die every year from illnesses caused from unsanitary bathroom conditions today. That is with modern medicine. God saved millions and millions of lives over the centuries by teaching them about science and medicine even though they had no clue why they should do what He said, they just trusted in Him and followed His commands.
You can tweak this conversation to fit your child’s age and knowledge level. You can add dates, quotes from scientists and exact scriptures, and statistics if your child is deeply debating someone or if they’re older and asking you questions because they’re questioning their own faith.
Quarantining the Sick
Another point that you can make on the germ theory scientific argument to teach children to defend the faith is that God taught the priests to quarantine the sick. Again remember, we had absolutely no clue that germs caused illness until the last 150 years or so. In Leviticus chapter 13 the Mosaic Law teaches the Israelites that they need to quarantine the sick. Wow, that’s amazing right?! God was saving lives by having those that were sick removed from everyone else to keep bacteria and viruses from spreading through the camp, then later in cities and towns, and killing millions over thousands of years.
God, 3500 years before we knew how illnesses were caused, even taught the priests how to examine and diagnose “patients” so that only the truly sick were removed from the population. He knew that as humans, they would fail and, in their fear, they would become terrified of those who might be sick and kick them out of the community even though they were not contagious. They might be tempted to keep themselves away from everyone, lowering their quality of life, to try to keep from becoming sick (sound familiar?). God in His omniscience and loving kindness taught the priests, long before medical schools, how to diagnose leprosy and other skin issues and to know who could spread their disease and who just had something like dandruff or psoriasis that isn’t contagious.
How to Teach Your Children to Defend the Faith Using this Point
Read Leviticus chapter 13 and find points that you would like to discuss with your child, depending on their age. God speaks of leprosy as well as other symptoms that some might have, such as diarrhea, that could come from contagious germs. He tells the priests how to quarantine the people, how and where to do it, and how to look at the person and symptoms in order to diagnose their condition. I’m blown away by this! God placed this in the Bible to save lives, and, again, to show us in this time that He is real, all-knowing, and benevolent.
I told my son, “Did you know that God took the priests to something like medical school thousands of years ago? He taught them about quarantine long before covid, and He probably taught them to do a better job than those in charge have done today [insert our giggles here]! When people got sick, they would go to the priests, and they would examine them. God gave them specific rules about how to check out their symptoms.
If a person had something like a rash break out on their skin, the priests would look for specific things in the eruption. Things like hair colors, the rash spreading, if the skin was flaking off, and more. God told them which people to quarantine, and which just had a rash that wasn’t contagious. He also told them how long they should be separated from others and how to have follow up visits. You know, like when I go back to the doctor after surgeries or after being sick. God taught them how to be that specific, before humans even knew what caused illness. That’s because God already knew what caused people to get sick and how it could spread to others!”
Now this scientific factor that you can teach your children may not be for every parent and every child. Again, I teach my children the whole of scripture. This may not be for girls before they’re older and may not be for young boys. It’s about circumcision.
God promised Abraham that He would give Him the Promised Land and that God would make him into a great nation. He promised Abraham that the number of his descendants would outnumber the stars in the sky. In order to create a covenant with Abraham, in which Abraham would worship and follow God and God would keep His promises to Abraham, God commanded him to circumcise himself, his children, and all of his household. God told him to do this on the 8th day of a baby boy’s life. This was in Genesis 17:10-12 if you’d like to read up on it for yourself. The Israelites would do this as a sign that they believed God and were His people.
Later, God told Moses to add this to the Mosaic Law in Leviticus 12:3. He commanded that a baby boy be circumcised on the 8th day. Why the 8th day? That’s such an oddly specific day, right? Not a week old, not 10 days, not a month old. No one had a clue why for thousands of years, and we didn’t even know why until recently!
When we get a cut, our blood clots to prevent us from bleeding to death. Two things that contribute to our blood clotting are vitamin K and prothrombin. Doctors have now found that Vitamin K is not produced in the body until the fifth to seventh day of life. Prothrombin reaches about 30% of the body’s normal level on the third day of life and continues to rise over the next few days. On the eighth day of life a baby boy’s prothrombin level peaks at 110% before dropping down to the normal level of 100% after that.
How crazy is that?! How would Moses have known about either of those factors as he wrote Genesis and Leviticus? He couldn’t have since we didn’t even know that until the modern age. Had a baby been circumcised before the third day of life with no vitamin K, he would’ve bled to death. Just think about this. A baby boy will have more clotting ability on the eighth day of life than at any other time in his life. God knew this. He made them that way. Thus, He commanded that they be circumcised on that day to keep them safe and healthy. That’s absolutely wild to me! He didn’t choose an arbitrary day; He chose the eighth day to preserve His beloved children. What a mighty God we serve!
Teach Children to Defend the Faith Using This Point
Like I said before, teaching this point may not be for both genders or at a young age. It depends on your comfort level and how much you teach your child about the Bible. This isn’t something I taught my daughter at a young age, but she is a teen (technically an adult) now and knows it because it’s biology and medicine. She will someday have to decide if she’d like to circumcise her son. Not for religious purposes, but for health purposes.
My son knows about circumcision as a Biblical concept and as a procedure he had as a baby. He doesn’t need to know the exact process or see pictures or things like that. I’ve simply told him it’s a procedure that he got as a baby that most boys get to keep them healthy. I’ve explained this is a topic he should not discuss at school or with other children as their parents will tell them when they’re older or they’ll find out in biology courses or some other way. So, this scientific fact that points to God will be something that you teach your children to give them another reason why you believe God is real, not necessarily something that they can use to defend the faith at a young age. They can use it when they’re older, however.
Talking to Your Child
As we read through Genesis, we came to the topic of Abraham circumcising Isaac by God’s command. He asked about it, and I explained it a bit, adding the facts about why God commanded it to be done on the eighth day. Again, this is just an example for you, tweak it to fit your family, gender, and age of your child.
My Convo with My Son
“Well circumcision is a procedure that God had Abraham perform on his son and later Moses put it in the Law that all boys should be circumcised to show that they belonged to God and followed Him. It’s kind of like how we get baptized when we get saved to show the world that we’ve accepted Jesus as our Savior.
They cut a small piece of skin from the penis, and it’s done today as a health benefit. Sometimes boys don’t wash as carefully as they should. You know you boys are stinky! When it’s not cleaned properly, you can get an infection. So, when you were a baby, your dad and I made the decision, and the doctor performed the procedure on you.
However, back 4000 years ago, it was done by the priest. God told them to do it on the eighth day after a boy was born. Do you know why He told them to do it on that day specifically? He knew that on that day a baby boy’s blood would clot faster so that they wouldn’t lose too much blood and they would easily survive it. We know now that on the eighth day a baby boy’s blood is able to clot better than at any other time in his life. Isn’t that amazing?! That God told them that 4000 years ago, and we didn’t know it until the last 40 or 50 years?! How great is God?!”
Teaching Children to Defend the Faith is Essential!
There are many books out there that can help you learn more about apologetics (how to defend your faith and showing why we believe). Many of us grew up in church and got saved but never truly learned how to answer those hard questions. The world today is out to prove us wrong, and most are doing that in bad faith. I recommend you read some, watch podcasts of great apologists (I recommend Sean McDowell, the son of the great Josh McDowell), and do lots of research. It’s critical in this age!
There are books out there that can help you answer your child’s tough questions and some great ones that teach children’s apologetics. I’m not going to recommend any yet, as I haven’t yet read them completely. I’m ordering some, and I will give you my thoughts when I get and read them. There is a cute series of children’s apologetics books made for small children called The Young Defenders Series by Melissa Travis. I watched an interview with her on a podcast and they seem really terrific. Again, I’m not recommending them as I haven’t yet read them.
Thanks for loving your children & others into the Kingdom!
I hope that these three facts that point to God will help you teach your children why we can know for sure God is real and to defend their faith. The world is so quick to steal them from God today. We need to be strong in our own faith and diligent in teaching them why. God loves our children even more than we do. It’s His will that every single person on earth comes to know Jesus as their Savior (2 Peter 2:9). It’s Satan’s will that all should perish and he’s roaming around seeking to devour whoever he can. Don’t let that be your child!
If you would like me to write more posts pointing out some ways to teach your children to defend the faith, let me know. I love this topic, and apologetics is fascinating to me. You can follow me on social media using the links in the sidebar or at the top of the page. At the bottom of the post, you can find the buttons to share it on social media. Please consider doing this. Not for me, but maybe to help someone who’s struggling in this area. Remember to pin it to come back to later!
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