The One Most Under-Appreciated Way Moms Can Make a Difference in Their Kids’ Spiritual Lives

"Roar like a mother!" says this practical and wise guide for moms.

By Tom Gilson Published on June 11, 2019

They call it “Mama Bear Apologetics.” It’s all about protecting, guiding, directing the “cubs” — something moms have always done, thank God. Except there’s a part of the job that moms haven’t always given much thought to: the spiritual protection, guidance and direction that come from giving their kids confidence in their Christian faith.

Apologetics (from the Greek word for “answer” or “reason” in 1 Peter 3:15) is the study of reasons for that kind of confidence. Not all believers have heard of it. Among those who have, many think it’s a specialty area for intellectuals and geeks. Hillary Morgan Ferrer, general editor of the new book Mama Bear Apologetics, says it’s really about “empowering your kids to challenge cultural lies” — which is also the book’s subtitle.

Kids Growing Up to Disbelieve

Too many young people, raised in great families and great churches, are deciding Jesus is “just like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy,” as Ferrer relates in the preface. It’s the story of a mom, Jody, who “was freaking out,” after her son told her this. She was “shocked that the church had not prepared her (or her son) for culture’s antagonism toward Christianity.”

It’s an increasingly common story. The best statistics I’ve seen say that about two-thirds of young people raised in solid Christian homes and churches walk away from the faith when they grow up. What Christian parent wants that to happen to their kids?

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Every young animal in the woods learns how to protect itself from common dangers. Young people in the church, though? Entering a world filled with anti-Christian hostility and confusing atheist “answers”? Few parents know how to protect their kids from that. Few even realize it’s part of their job.

Questions That Are Sure to Come

It’s both a mom’s job and a dad’s, and with Father’s Day coming I’ll soon share something about the dad’s part. For the mom’s part, though, it’s hard to imagine anyone covering it better than this book does. It’s a compilation of work by seven women who know what it means to have to tell their children, “No, we do not put wise men in the toilet!” (an actual quote). So they get it, in ways I as a reviewer here — and a dad — never will.

Moms can do it. Mama Bear Apologetics shows how. It’s readable, realistic, truth-filled and very, very practical.

And they’ve also heard, “Mom, did those miracles really happen?” — another actual quote, following a reading from Exodus. It’s a great question, and according to these moms, it’s coming at parents younger and younger these days. How would you answer it? How about questions about “tolerance,” self-help, the claim that “there is no truth,” morality is “what you make it,” or “I’m not religious, I’m just spiritual”? What about, “There really isn’t much evidence for Christianity. It’s just an ancient belief we can set aside in this scientific age”?

These things sound so good to children’s ears. And why not? Our culture is highly skilled at making them sound good. Every one of them is confused about reality, but kids don’t know that. They’re exposed, vulnerable; ready to be picked off, spiritually speaking. Someone has to tell them the truth. That’s a Mama Bear’s job: to “Roar Like a Mother,” as the book says in every chapter

Practical, Realistic, Helpful

And moms can do it. Mama Bear Apologetics shows how. It’s readable, realistic, truth-filled and very, very practical.

My wife — the mom of my two adult children — knew pretty well what she was doing as we raised our kids. We were both blessed to have good teaching and training along the way. Still, I wish she’d had a resource like this to rely on. I’d have snuck it away to read it myself, and it would have done me good, too!


For further reading: the Mama Bear Apologetics website.

Tom Gilson (@TomGilsonAuthor) is a senior editor with The Stream, and the author of A Christian Mind: Thoughts on Life and Truth in Jesus Christ and Critical Conversations: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens, and the lead editor of True Reason: Confronting the Irrationality of the New Atheism.

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