Over and over Christian women tell me they do not feel confident in their ability to share their beliefs with the everyday people in their lives.
They want to feel confident. They want to be fearless for the Gospel. They are in church every Sunday, attend mid-week services and study their Bibles. And yet they still don’t feel confident with the people who matter most in their lives.
So what do we do about it?
Christianity Needs Confident Christian Women
In today’s Christianity, regular church attendance is dropping, more Christian women than men are in church regularly and more of our children are religiously unaffiliating themselves at faster rates than previous generations.
Houston, we have a problem.
Our churches and women’s ministries are not doing anything about it. It is rare for pastors to talk about the intersection of faith and reason in their Sunday morning sermons, rare to find churches implementing apologetics curriculum into children’s ministries, and rarer still to find women’s ministries doing that.
Ladies, it’s up to us to do this ourselves.Christianity needs Christian women to feel confident in their faith conversations Click To Tweet
You Can Be More Confident In Your Faith Conversations – Today
We don’t have time waste, here. We have kids to raise, jobs to work, and homes to run. We need real, practical life application so that when our kid asks us at the dinner table how do we know God is real, we can have an actual conversation about it instead of saying,”because the Bible tells me so”.
Here are 4 short, quick tips to keep in mind the next time someone tells you that Christianity isn’t true because “there are older pagan religions that share some elements in common with Christianity.”
You don’t have to have an answer for everything
This is going to a complete shock to some people, but we don’t have to have an answer for every claim made or question asked.
There seems to be this pervasive idea in Christian culture that if anyone says anything slightly in opposition to, or questioning the truthfulness of Christianity, that we must answer it – now.
Instead, I propose you don’t. Do not answer the question. Take a minute to think about the specific words they are using, the specific claim they are making or the specific question they are asking.
Give yourself permission to take a moment to actually think about what the person is saying and asking. And if you aren’t sure, see #2.
Ask questions instead of giving answers
Part of having actual conversations with people is listening to them, and then asking them questions.
We are not here to lecture people, or to pose as the expert authority on all things Christianity. That would be disingenuous, because we actually are not. And we don’t need to appeal to the authority of pastors, theologians or commentators, either.
Your unbelieving mother doesn’t really care what Matthew Henry or any other person thinks. They want to know what you think. They are asking you, not your pastor.
So give yourself a break. Cut yourself a little slack. Ask them why they believe what they are saying is true. Ask them what evidence they have looked at that helped them to reach their conclusion, or how they reached their conclusion.
Asking questions will give you time and understanding so that you can give them the information they are looking for.
The one who has knowledge restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a person of understanding. Proverbs 17:27 (CSB)
Listen more than you speak
James instructs us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. So be quick to listen! Instead of feeling pressure to answer immediately, ask some questions to help you understand better where they are coming from, and listen to the answers.
Then, ask them more questions based on the answers they give you. Apologetics is about giving logical, reasoned answers for why you believe what you believe. You can only give reasoned answers if you take the time to fully understand why they believe what they believe.
When words are many, sin is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise. Proverbs 10:19 (BSB)
Be willing to learn in the areas you fall short
So you’ve put into practice the steps I outlined above. You’re not immediately answering the question or claim. You’ve given yourself permission to take a minute and think about what is being said.
You’ve asked some questions about what they said so that you can understand what they believe to be true and why they believe it. Then, you listened to their answers and asked more questions to help you listen more and speak less.
And you still are not sure how exactly to answer them.
Don’t panic! It’s ok to not be sure. You can even say that. It is perfectly reasonable to say
You have effectively just neutralized what could have turned into an emotional conversation. (Because you were stressed out about giving the “right” answer). You have demonstrated your willingness to listen and allow the other person to be heard. Following these steps demonstrates you actually care about their point of view and are willing to take it into consideration.
You’ve also just shown them you are not interested in being a
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid Proverbs 12:1 (NIV)
Make sure you do give their points thought, and do your research if you’re not sure how to answer them. F
People who promise things that they never give are like clouds and wind that bring no rain. Proverbs 25:14 (GNT)
Christianity is in dire need of us women to be fearless for the Gospel – with our children, spouses and the other important people in our lives. It takes time, study and a willingness to humble ourselves to actually feel confident in our faith conversations, but there are steps we can take today to help us along the way.
The next time you find yourself in a sticky situation with your skeptic co-worker take the time to pause and think about what exactly they are saying, ask them questions to help you understand them better, listen to their answers and ask more questions if necessary and be willing to admit you don’t have all the answers, Be a student, go find out the answers and then follow up with them.
What do YOU Think?
What are the questions you get that stump you the most? How have you handled those situations? Do you feel confident in your faith conversations?
If you have never read this book, then you are missing out! Mary Jo Sharp talks about her personal story and why she started in apologetics.
She details the reasons why women need to be learning how to defend their faith with logic and reason; and why apologetics needs to be taught in women’s ministries.