When your children dont want to follow God

Posted: August 19, 2010 in Christian Living
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When children decide that they dont want to follow God is one of the saddest thing that a parent can hear. In this post, I mentioned that the relationship between me and my teenage daughter was strained (and still is, if not worst) and in my post about the pursuit of happyness, I mentioned

As a father who does not live with his children but lives for his children, the film struck a chord with me and made me realise how my kids are my world. I understand that my ultimate goal for them is to point them to Christ so that they can receive salvation. I am still grateful for the parenting course that I attended at my church. However I realise that that no matter how good a parent you are, there is still no guarantee that your children will turn out to be angels because of their sinful nature. I mean who is the best ‘parent’ around? Isnt it God and look how we are, disobedient and rebellious. So parents, don’t always keep beating yourself up if your children go off the rails even though you have trained them up in the ways of the Lord.

Our sin does not have any bearing on God’s character and therefore we should not automatically think that the sins of our children is a direct result of bad parenting on our part (even though its hard not to think that sometimes). One thing I have noticed in church is that there seems to be an exodus of young people who have been bought up in church, going to all the Christian youth events, concerts etc but when they reach a certain age, normally their teens, they decide that they have had enough of this ‘God stuff’ and I often wonder where the church (and myself) have gone wrong. My friend S.O, made me aware of this article which touches on this subject.

I have always said that after a certain time, I did not want to force my children to come to church because I didn’t want their view of God to be distorted and viewed as their parents dragging them to church against their will. But at the same time you don’t want to leave them to fend for themselves so finding that balance is a hard one.

If I honest, sometimes I feel like a failure as a parent when it comes to investing spiritually into my children. The thoughts that come to my head is did I not pray with them enough? Did I not talk to them about God enough? You look at other parents in church and their kids are raising their hands in the church service in adoration, worship and praise to God and are active in the church, not because they have to but because they want to and you think “I wish my children loved God like that”.

I once heard Paul Washer preach a sermon where he said that,when it comes to children, the church has put the emphasis in the wrong area. Instead of putting the emphasis on Sunday schools and childrens ministries (not saying that there is anything wrong with these in and of themselves), the church should be putting the emphasis on the parents, especially the fathers because they are supposed to be the leaders in the home because this is where the bible puts the emphasis. This is an interesting thought and one I have to concede does make biblical sense.

Any person can tell you that being a parent is the hardest job in the world. It is a BIG responsibility. To raise a child and mould them into a responsible adult who loves God is not easy by any means. Mistakes WILL be made along the way but, as stated before, every Christian parents long term goal should be to point them to Christ and to make Jesus their treasure.

Remember, they need salvation too.

If you were brought up in church but have now left. Please can you leave a comment and tell me your reasons why as I really would be interested to know. If you would like to remain anonymous and give a fake name, that’s fine. Thankyou

  1. Tony says:

    I’d like to offer some thoughts based on my own personal experiences from my youth, which wasn’t that long ago. I became a christian at the age of 13 and this brought me a whole new set of young friends from church, and I got to know many of their parents. I remain in contact with many of these to this day. I have to say that a good number of christian parents did not provide good role models of the christian life – in particular they seemed to have very little joy. I was not surprised that some of their kids lost their faith. Also the environment in our church was not good – it was a cultural timewarp, and there was lots of petty squabbling which eventually resulted in two splits. Again, this doesn’t reflect well on God. Today, I additionally see the huge extent to which false teaching has infiltrated many parts of the church. I’m particularly thinking of the prosperity gospel and hyper-charismaticism. If either of these were in my church, I’d want to leave pretty sharpish, and they do cause people to lose their faith. Finally, we have to realise that some kids will always rebel against their upbringing, even if it was perfect.

    Alan, please don’t take anything I’ve said as critical of you – I have no children, and I’m in no position to comment on the parenting abilities of others.

  2. Tony says:

    Thanks, Alan, just another thought – it is worth remembering that children can have false conversions just like adults. To try to analyse this in detail is difficult and certainly not possible in a blog comment, but we need to keep it in mind. There will always be some who fall away because they were never there to start with. However, in my experience, such cases are not common.

  3. rocksonmama says:

    people who leave church- i was a member but when my marraige fell apart i never saw a single sole at my door from that church id served in. thats where the rubber hits the road…it may have really helped me feel not so isolated and saved me from about 17 years of losing the plot.
    i am responsible for my life – i get that-but im saying that the love from a sister or brother at that time might have made a world of difference.
    i did reach out to them ,just in case youre wondering why i didnt take responsibility…but the fact i wasnt with my husband (for reasons no-one bothered to ask) was the reason i was also alienated…my point being this, people leave the church for the same reason they leave any thing…church ,business ,relationship…because people dont care .
    were just human…ok, but we have the Lords spirit …so that should help us in our conviction that people just want others to give a damn.
    i love my saviour..but havent found a church family where i live now…
    but im looking and when i do find one ,i will try not to do to someone else what happened to me.
    this may just keep them in the church ,with their christian brothers and sisters where they can …exhale… : )

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