Helping my teen understand that God is good

I’m not sure I have the right place to ask this, but please let me know if you can suggest good resources to help teens understand that God is good. It sounds so basic, but I have a teen-age son, who is very deep-thinking, and he is very cynical about God. He thinks that if people love God and truly try to serve Him, that they are persecuted and often die awful deaths.

I’ve read biographies to my children about Catholic saints and protestant people who loved God very much: The Little Flower, Eric Liddle, Saint Vincent de Paul, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, St. Bernadette, The Cure of Ars, Corrie ten Boom . . . I wanted them to learn about people who led lives of heroic virtue,and it seems that my son has taken the lesson from this that if you serve God with vigor, that you will come to a miserable end - so God must not really be good.

I’ve mentioned that those who die awful deaths often die singing or praising God, but I think he wonders if it will be worth it to dedicate his life to God, knowing that persecution awaits him. Like I said, he is very deep thinking, and extremely intelligent - so the resources could be advanced.

Please pray for us, and mention any resources you think will help us. Thanks in advance for your help.

the actions and words you and your family say and do will also help teach your teen that God is good. Backed up with the Gospel. I don’t mean quoting it each time. Just living the Gospel. Your teen will see that then that God is good rather than just in books…:slight_smile:

Not everyone is called to die a martyrs death; most of us are called to pick up our cross and follow Jesus in the day to day ways that we die to ourselves.

However, those who are called to die a martyrs death are now in the Presence of our Loving God for all eternity, and would not want to come back here if they could own the whole world! (Just the same as all those who die and are with the Lord forever.)

The Lord gave us Himself, the Sacraments, and prayer to overcome any difficulty. Life is short and we have many opportunities to joyfully fulfill our love for the Lord.

Those who suffered and offered it up to the Lord were peaceful and joyful as well. Many of the saints said that if we knew the power of suffering we would accept it and not shirk it.

I forget which psalm it is where the psalmist sort of complains to God about those who are sleek and enjoy “happy” lives while the good suffer. Towards the end of the psalm he changes his tune.

God is infinitely good, and all things work unto good for those who love Him!

Kudos to you for exposing your son to all that good literature about the saints.

Prayers for him that he is not tempted to misunderstand.

This is a common misunderstanding with kids: If we only stress our martyred saints and those who died young, it would be easy for our children to jump to those conclusions, Study the saints who died older-those who were married and had children, those who were wealthy like St Nicholas. Martyrs are important to understand when learning about heroism and faith and suffering, voluntary or not, but there is so much more. Talk about St Joseph, St Patrick, Louis de Montfort, Teresa of Avila…Gianna de Mola… But even more, tell him that not all saints are listed here on earth; the ones who are canonized are those who led extraordinary lives within the view of a bishop, abbott, mother superior who noted their actions. Some extraordinary lives are quieter and more anonymous. I do believe that many mothers and fathers go straight to heaven for their hard, long-suffering work.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit