Several years ago my husband and I went rafting in Washington state. The water, which came from melted glacier ice, was emerald green and sparkled brightly. Pine trees hugged the shorelines on both sides, and the scene proved absolutely breathtaking. In the raft were myself and my husband, his mom and dad, and his sister and her husband. We six Texans were ready for a grand adventure on a gorgeous river!
I even wore my new wool socks bought specifically for this trip because I read they keep you warm when wet. What else could I do to prepare for this excursion? In my mind, the right outfit meant the right level of preparedness.
Yet I hadn’t anticipated such strong rapids. The calm, glistening river on which our journey began soon transformed into rushing white waters shaped and jarred by boulders below. What happened to our scenic tour? Nobody told us we were going to have to work.
Suddenly, the river’s force tipped our raft sideways and knocked my sister in-law and me overboard. She managed to hold onto a rope on the side of the raft and was working her way back in when my 60-year-old mother-in-law leapt with the force of a thousand stunt devils, grabbed her full-grown daughter by the waist, and hoisted her back into the raft.
It was an amazing sight to behold—one of those moments of motherly adrenaline you typically only hear about. It was even more amazing to witness such prowess from my vantage point in the river, sloshing amongst the rushing rapids, trying not to let them fully sweep me under the boat (after all, my mama wasn’t there).
My mother in-law’s impromptu heroism perfectly depicts a Mama Bear—she is instinctual, prepared, and strong. She doesn’t need time to make a decision in a moment of crisis; the decision to ferociously protect her young was made the first time she held her child. She will do anything to save her cub.
Moms do whatever it takes, no matter how hard, and no matter how gross. While this kind of dedication is important for our children’s physical development, it is especially imperative when it comes to our children’s spiritual development.
We may not want to jump into the deep end of theology and apologetics, but we will, lest we see our kids dragged down by the rushing rapids of bad ideas. We’re Mama Bears. That’s what we do! A Mama Bear does whatever it takes, even if that means studying apologetics.
While Papa Bears undoubtedly play an integral role in their children’s faith, more often than not it’s Mom who spends the majority of the time with the kids. When spiritual questions are asked, they are likely being fielded by mom. For that reason, moms will end up doing apologetics the most!
You are your family’s front-line defense, Mama Bear! Moms can have a profound influence on their children’s spiritual development. Learning and teaching apologetics is one of the best things we can do in that role.
Tips to Become a Mama Bear Apologist
- Know Your Bible—We minister to our families first, and in order to do that well, we have to practice what we preach. We need to remain in God’s Word and in regular prayer to Him. After all, we can’t defend Scripture if we don’t know it.
- Gather Resources—We need to model a thirst for learning if we want our kids to do the same, but we don’t need to know everything at once. Great apologetics materials abound both in print and online.
- Carve Out Regular Family Time to Study—After you have gathered resources, create time and space with your family for regular discussion. Intentionally ask your children difficult questions about Christianity. We aren’t merely teaching them to know the answers; we are also teaching them how to find answers.
- Find Like-Minded Mamas—As Mama Bears, we can share our excitement and confidence in defending the truths of Christianity by starting apologetics book clubs in our churches, incorporating more apologetics into Sunday school classes for all ages, and participating in online discussion groups.
- Practice, Practice, Practice—Finally, take what you are learning and practice having conversations, even if it is with strangers. I know this sounds scary, but this is where we Mama Bears must exercise courage.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer is the author of Mama Bear Apologetics and the founder of the ministry of the same name. Hillary has a burden for providing accessible apologetics resources for busy moms. Get your copy of Mama Bear Apolgetics for 50% off as part of Christianbook.com’s Anniversary Sale. This offer ends tomorrow, so don’t miss out!
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