Here are the five greatest reasons parents “lose” their children from Christianity:
1) Falling into the temptation of using religion to control their children through guilt and shame. — “Jesus is watching you!” Even the best parents can find themselves wanting some divine backup in a conflict with their children. However, using God for intimidation in a conflict with children has two major issues. First, it means children are associating God as “against them.” Second, it means that the parent is not building a personal relationship of trust with the child.
2) The parents seem to be afraid of the world, instead of empowered to live in it. — Christians see themselves as “apart from the world,” but that is so we can help the world, not be afraid of it. Christian parents who constantly talk about the world as an evil, malevolent, and dangerous place which must be avoid as much as possible, it paints a grim view of the future for young adults wanting to find their own place in life. If a parent lives in fear of the world, the children will pick up on that and will naturally seek alternative beliefs.
3) The children do not see the parents drawing any joy from their faith. — If a parent’s religion is maintained out of guilt and obligation, their children will pick-up on that burden.
4) The children are discouraged from finding answers to their questions. — Each generation of young Christians are going to challenge their parents with new questions about Christianity in the modern world. It is impossible for parents to prepare for or know all the answers for these questions. The only way to address this need is for parents to ask these questions with their children. Parents who ignore, suppress, brush off, or give trite simplistic answers to their children’s questions are at risk of greatly frustrating them.
5) The children believe they have nothing to offer the Christian community. — If children feel like Christianity is just following other people, it will not be relevant to them as they grow. Christianity needs to be understood as something we all work together to build.
I am going to leave these words stand on their own…….