Growing In The Word… Reaching Our Children

ReachingOurChildren

Reaching my children for Christ… it’s been on my mind a lot lately!  And I mean A LOT! I often wonder if the Holy Spirit himself is badgering me about it.  Articles on the topic keep popping up in my Facebook news feed. Nearly daily I see headlines about millennials leaving the church.  I read about children from “good christian homes” fleeing the faith.  I see articles that blame the church/Sunday School/youth groups that strive to entertain instead of build disciples.  The voices of the web blame parents for not truly living and teaching the faith.  Other voices condemn our schools and culture.

Take a look at just 3… 3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church , 10 Reasons Kids Leave the Church, Youth Are Leaving the Church, Many Never Return, According to Hope College Study.

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, he is the guy who made that huge Creation Museum blames it on a lack of literal interpretation of the Old Testament of the Bible, specifically the story of creation.  He and a fellow researcher wrote a whole book on this issue of loosing the youth called Already Gone!  They argue that we don’t teach our children Apologetics, which wikipedia defines as is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of information.  Therefore when children are saturated with mainstream ideas about science and God their faith crumbles and they fall away.

What a mix of voices.  Who is right?  I mean, we are  talking about the salvation of our children here for all of eternity!  We can’t get this wrong.  Some say seventy percent of youth ages 18 to 22 leave the church and only 50 percent of them return later in life.  Personally I believe it is going to to get worse.

So what do you do as a parent?  Honestly I haven’t a clue.  There are so many families that THINK they are doing it right and then one day they discover their children no longer believe in Christ as their savior.  And even if you DO do things perfectly right (and we don’t even know what perfectly right would actually be) it’s really up to God and your child in the end.  There are no guarantees that no matter what you do your child will hold onto his/her faith.

The purpose of this blog post is to start a discussion.  What are you doing in your home to do everything you can to ensure your children’s salvation?  Why do you do it?  I’d love for you to leave me comments here, on Facebook, or email me directly at crystal@crystal-starr.com.  I intend to continue this conversation weekly and I want to include your thoughts.  So don’t leave me hanging and send me your thoughts!

Comments

  1. Pam Gerardo says:

    Ken Ham is right in saying that some mainstream ideas about science and God can lead kids away from God. However, I think that a literal interpretation of bible can also be damaging. I attended a fundamentalist Baptist school through 3rd grade and then a more normal Christian school for 4th through 6th. After that I went to public school. I remember learning from either school or my parents that Darwin was basically evil. In public high school, a much different picture of Darwinian evolution was presented. This time Christians were presented as sort of stupid for believing in creationism. To be honest evolution and an old earth (billions of years old) made a lot of sense to me and still does today. This caused a crisis of faith for me as a teenager, but I don’t just blame mainstream ideas. If I had been taught a balanced view of creationism and evolution throughout my school career I could have made a decision about what I believed without feeling like I had to choose between believing in God or science. Today I believe that mainstream science and belief in God are NOT contradictory. However, both atheists and Christian fundamentalists like Ken Ham would like to tell me otherwise. Our kids need to know that they have a choice and that they are not being forced to believe what their parents believe. My faith was not my own choice until college. That being said, I have quite a few kids bibles and Christian kids books and I make sure to read to my kids from them every night.

  2. This is something VERY strong on my heart as well. Sometimes it is very scary to think that I am responsible for so much!

    We are fans of Kent Hovind. I know that he is controversial to some people but *most* of information is wonderful. My kids have learned so much from him and it has opened up a lot of questions. I know that ultimately our children will choose what they believe but I strongly believe it is my job to push, shove or any other means (teasing…kind of;)) in the right direction.

    Those statistics are very scary.

    • Miranda,

      It’s important to note that I did not choose to follow Christ on my own (not just b/c my parents told me to) until it was no longer being “shoved” at me. Our kids will eventually find out there are other ways to view the world and their choices are being shaped now. When our kids are young, I think we should keep to the basics like Jesus loves them, died on the cross to take away their sins and wants them to live with him in heaven some day. I don’t want to complicate things for them at a young age by indoctrinating them about young earth creationism and things like that.

  3. We are kind of taking an “all of the above” approach, at least that’s how I’d describe it. I agree with much of what Ken Ham and his colleagues had to say in Already Gone, and I think it’s important that we teach the entire word of God and teach that it is true and is not contradictory to science. (When I was a teen, I had all kinds of doubts about whether the Bible was true and how it could be completely trustworthy when I kept hearing that Darwinian evolution was “proven scientific fact” or that events like the Exodus didn’t really happen. I stuffed my doubts because pastors and teachers couldn’t give me answers, and for many years I didn’t take my faith seriously because of that) I’ve also seen how Sunday Schools and youth groups that offer only shallow teaching and fun activities fail to develop mature faith in young people. For my family, homeschooling has been the single most important thing we’ve done to give our kids the best grounding in their faith. We are discipling them as we educate them; we retain more influence over them in terms of values and living out our faith; and we can choose resources to make sure they have a balanced education and not atheistic and “values neutral” indoctrination.

    Excellent discussion topic!

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