MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Diane - posted on 01/29/2011
I don't think it is about whether they remain in the church or not, but more that you are providing them hope and a knowledge that no matter what they face in life, they can turn to God. Most kids will rebel at some point and feel helpless or hopeless or simply that they cannot turn to mom and dad. If you provide them the spiritual background, they will know they can turn to God even when they are not sure where else to turn. Also, as they grow older into adults, they will have despairing moments and some day you will not be there. God will. I think too many kids and adults who feel helpless or hopeless do not have the knowledge or foundation learned through a relationship with God. That is why there is so much violence, pain, and suicide. Provide your child the foundation without worrying so much about his or her future attendance - everyone rebels. Just know your foundation will provide the calling that will lead him or her to listen for God to call them back onto the right path - HIS!
Julie - posted on 01/24/2011
I am a youth coordinator and I have most youth maybe 24 hours a year to teach everything they need to know about the love of Christ. On another note I am also a mother. My daughter is always writing songs and singing about the love of God. She really enjoys going to church and youth and shows a real love for God. I believe that this is because not only is she raised in the church but also because my husband and I have a great love for Christ. We always pray with our children and read different stories that are bible based in various ways. We are sure to watch appropraite faith building movies and shows. We watch the things are children are involved. We take serious the people and things that influence our children. I believe that to keep your children on the right path you have to set the stage through your behavior and the things that you allow in your life because your child is learning the values from what you allow and accept in your life. If you are a committed christian they will most likely be also. Even if they stray they will be 10 times more likely to return to their "roots". Just be sure that your desires match your actions. As a youth coordinator I can tell alot about the parents just by the youth. Children will behave however you show them is acceptable not so much according to what you tell them. Psalms 22:6 says raise your children in the direction that is right and he will never stray. I believe that to be true if we understand that a child will copy his parents and the core people in their lives. Statistics show that 60-80 percentage of college age students are leaving the faith but also 60- 80 percentage parents believe that attending church once a month makes you an active member of a church. So I think that really shows another angle as to why 60-80 percentage of college age students are leaving the church.
Rose - posted on 01/15/2011
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.- Proverbs 22:6
Of course we do not know as parents if our child will stray from God or not, just keep praying she will stay on the right path with the Lord. And make sure your a godly example. Also I feel like we should try not to "forbid" our child of doing something once they are older or they will want to do it even more. Just make sure you have an open relationship with her so she feels she can always talk to you without feeling judged or scared. Just pray about it. You are already doing a wonderful job :)
Cheryl - posted on 02/02/2011
Raise your children in the way they should go, AND WHEN HE IS OLD, he will not turn away. So pray for them, raise them in the way they should go, and pray harder for them when they are on their own. Usually when they start having children, they get it better than when they first tasted freedom.
Alisha - posted on 02/01/2011
God is absolutely the only one who knows! A great resource is How to Bring Your Children to Christ..& Keep Them There by Ray Comfort. You must lead by example in how you live your life and find a good Bible believing church that will help you along the way!
Cyndel - posted on 01/28/2011
It isn't about raising your child up in church. It is about teaching the about Jesus. About living a personal relationship with Jesus in front of them. Reading the bible to them.
Church is for the fellowship and building up of Christians, the home is for teaching the child what it is to be a Christian and to strive to be Christ-like.
In the end only God knows. Because as children everyone borrows faith, either from parents, grandparents, whoever it is around them who is the example of Christ to them, then as they get older, 11-12 sometimes younger sometimes as old as 16 they begin to develope their own relationship with Christ, or turn their backs on him. Only God knows for sure, It is our jobs as parents to do our utmost to live Christ-likeness before them and raise them up according to Christ and the bible, and let God take it from there.
@Madelene-I see it as my son is not an adult until he is 18, you can make him go, but only you know if that would be a good idea, or if it would make him push you and God away more.
Christina - posted on 01/26/2011
I think that if you raise your children in the church you will give them a good foundation. They will have an idea and a sense of the importancy, and a greater likely hood of staying with the church, or going back if they stray. My parents didn't frequent church, but went on Christmas and Easter, and I went to a private Catholic school. I got most of my religious education from school and going to mass as a class. When I got into my late highschool years, I felt drawn back to the church (not that I necessarily strayed, but I had been working on the weekends, and not going to church). Since then I've stayed very close in the church, and the loss of our baby in July has strengthed my need to go to church and feel Gods presence. Right now our five year old is in a private Catholic school, and we go to church every Sunday, and holy days. Someday it will be up to him, but we've given him a good foundation at least.
Sharon - posted on 01/26/2011
All 3 my children (now aged 28, 26 and 20 years of age) grew up in our church. Both my husband and I were and still are involved as were my children at the time. Sadly not one of the 3 feel the need to attend church anymore but I don't give up hope of them returning one day. I pray daily for them and know that in His time they will see the light and return. All that they were taught wont be forgotten and prayer is a powerful tool. Both my eldest son and only daughter are married and have children of their own and praise God neither mind if I take the children (my grandchildren) with me to Sabbath School on Saturday mornings. God only knows the future and it is in His hands.
Lisa - posted on 01/24/2011
Prob. 22: 6 "Train up a child the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." Statistics show that children raised in church generally follow the patterns of their parents when it comes to faithfulness of attendance. My parents raised me in church and now I'm raising my children in church.
Melody - posted on 01/23/2011
Depending on which study you reference, between 59% - 80% of self-proclaimed "born again" Christian college freshman "abandon" their faith by 25. This is staggering.
We must ask ourselves - why?? Although many families regularly attend church, hoping that the nursery/elementary/older student children's ministry can fully disciple their child in a few hours per week, few parents truly work to mentally equip and teach their children to "literally fall in love with Jesus Christ. There is NO greater calling as a parent than to ensure your children see you loving God and striving to be a fully devoted follower of Christ. This does not look like following a set of rules, looking like a Christian, or putting a fish on your car. We are all prodigal's in our own way and at different moments of our walk. Our kiddos are watching. I think Emerson said something like - what you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say. If our children see us as authentic, humble and real.... if they see us admit when we fail to imitate our saviour....then ask forgiveness, they will not feel that pursuit of Christ as something they could never master...or something they don't 'believe' because their true perception of faith is tainted by hypocrisy. I watch my 13 year old daughter's friends. It seems as though they either have no knowledge of the most common of scripture, and they occasionally go to church for social time, or their parents are so absorbed in "appearances" and 'looking like' Christians, that it is a matter of time before their kids are big enough to call them out. If we argue on the way to church, then pull in the parking lot with big smiles and 'how are you sister', never seeking out open and honest community, we are headed for that 60-80%.
I don't want to sound negative....I FULLY believe that our children can love the Lord with all their heart, and begin their discipleship early, and that it can last until they are called home. But the greatest tragedy in America today is the dead church. It is better not to go, and train them up in a small group of authentic believers...than to continue to show-up, shut-up and pay-up in a dead church. For the record, I am so blessed to belong to a wonderful large body of believers in Dallas, TX. There are many places out there that are truly seeking to promote God. The rest will follow. He is mighty to save and promises to never forsake us. But He is just and cannot tolerate lukewarm faith that only peeps its head into our lives on Sunday mornings.
Marianne - posted on 01/21/2011
Iysha~ the point of church attendance in any denomination is to know love and serve our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have worked in Children's ministry for decades and can tell you that today we know that the young years are the ones where solid foundations are laid for faith. If a child reaches preteens without positive input for faith in Jesus Christ, they have already laid foundations that it is not important for life and their peers opinions become what guides them more than parents and grandparents. Parental committment to Jesus is key. Though it is all in God's hands, we must pour ourselves and our living faith in Him in to the lives of our children so that they will have a solid and positive basis for which to make a life and eternal decision. My son will return to church, but what I truly desire and pray for is for him to pursue Jesus Christ and live a life that includes and honors and CoUnTs for His kingdom. That is what God desires for us more than church attendance. BuT church is where we connect with others and build a basis of support with other believers, learn about God and are given opportunities to serve Him within it and should become aware and desirous to serve Him outside of our church. Go for it girl...take that precious baby to church and seek God on your own at home!
Iysha - posted on 01/20/2011
I think it's all up in the air....I know plenty of families that would go to church and as soon as the children were grown, they stopped going. I only know a few that actually continued going and now take their families. I went to church every Sunday with my mom and sister but not my dad. As soon as I did my Confirmation (Catholic) I stopped going....I was almost 17. For a while I did go to a church but it was a Christian church with friends that went there. Now, I dont go to church....the last time I set foot in one was in June '10.
Once I had my daughter, the question of weather to go to church or not did come up often and weather she whould be raised as a Christian or Catholic and if we should baptize her or not, etc. We're still thinking about it...she's only 18 months, so I guess we have some time before make our decision. Initially we did want to start going to church with our daughter but the question of which one is kind of hard to decide on....maybe we'll be lucky and she will just go with Grandma and we dont have to make the decision! lol....Grandma can do that for us.
Diann - posted on 01/20/2011
We raised our children in church. Regetfully once they left home they did not see the need to attend. that is a decision they will have to make for themselves. God gave us free will although we have his word to teach us and we teach our children. Just live a proper life before them and pray for them.
Marianne - posted on 01/19/2011
Although it is worth your whole hearted effort, God is the only one who knows. Some wander away for awhile but return. A lot depends on their experiences with peers and adults in the church. We raised both our son and daughter to love and serve God. They were both very active all the way through high school. When our daughter went to college and when our son went into the army,they let that slide although they both said that they still had their faith in their hearts. Our daughter married and she and her husband have reclaimed their active faith after seeing God's hand of love and help in some tough times they went through. In our son's case, I think a lot of his becoming inactive stems, (we talked about this in his high school years) from the unloving and judgmental things he saw in adults who claimed to be Christians do. After high school he went in to the army and he did get some grief due to his beliefs from superiors in his unit. When he got out of the army, he went to church some. When his hair grew back he died it red (fire engine red) and black. He was attending church at the time and some people took offense at his hair. That was pretty much it for him as far as being active. He does go occassionaly and when he and his fiance' married, they were married by a pastor. We always taught our children that it was your relationship with the Lord that was more important than regular church attendance, although my husband and I have always been active both in worship and service. I regret that we didn't teach them more that people will fail and we shouldn't judge God and the Church by the failures of the fallen people within the church. I would advise you to do that, make sure they know that people within the church will fail from time to time, but that doesn't make the Lord a failure and that there are many sincere people in every church who love the Lord with all their hearts. I regret that our son has given up the worship part of his life.and pray he and his wife will return to being active. I am trying to get him to acknowledge that if the people that have a true heart for the Lord and others all bail because of people that are judgemental and/or hypocritical, who does that leave functioning within the framework of the church. Praying daily he will get back in, he has so much to give others. ---Sorry this answer is so long! I felt I needed to be thourough in my explanation.
Tammy - posted on 01/19/2011
The Bible has an answer to that age old question from kids, "but all my friends are doing/not doing it?" Exodus 23:2a Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil...:)
Statistics show that church nurseries and youth groups are rather full but when you look into the sanctuaries the 18-20 somethings are nowhere to be found. We are losing them to the higher education establishment. Not in the sense that they are moving away and not in their own church, because at least then they'd still be in church "somewhere". But they just aren't going anywhere. When you take a look at what our schools are teaching our children it's a wonder many of them come back at all. Somehow we have decided that it's ok for the world to influence our children more than us. God gave them to US to raise and teach. To teach them about HIM. If it's ok to shelter our children from physical harm why is it not ok to shelter them form spiritual harm? Our job is to train them up and protect them until they are able to protect themselves. Spiritually as well as physically.
No that doesn't mean complete isolation, even though with all the junk going on these days a person may want to. But we are their guides. We are here to guide them ultimately to Christ. Allowing them to "find their own way" is tantamount to dumping them off in the middle of a wilderness with no preparation and saying "good luck, hope to see you at home eventually. We'll leave it in God's hands". God put them into OUR hands and entrusted them to us. While he has taken the rresponsibility of the end result we are responsible for the work he gave us to do.
So while not all kids stay in church and while some do make it back it doesn't mean we have to accept things the way they are. It doesn't mean we take the "what will be will be" approach. It means we do the job God gave us to do to the best of our ability through Him and we train our children in the paths they should go while protecting them with all the ferocity of a mother bear for her cubs.
Jessica - posted on 01/19/2011
As a pastor who has ministered to youth and children for years and helped parents through many crisis, I can tell you honestly, there are no guarantees. We as parents can do everything right and raise our children accordiing to the Word of God, but there is still a world out there and an enemy desiring to steal away the Word that has been planted in their hearts. To serve God is a decision. Once your children get to a certain age, they have to take and make that faith that you've trained them with, their own. They are going to question you, the Word, and God. Don't ever look at that as a failure. You WANT them to ask questions. You don't want your children to grow up thinking only what people tell them. You want them to ask questions and think for themselves. They are probably going to push back against God for a time in their life, just as they will push against natural boundaries that you set as a parent. You continue to love them and pray for them. God will not let go of them. On a side note, after lots of research has been done on the topic, you want to make sure that your children/teens are in a church that they feel connected to. If there is only a "connection" to the children or youth pastor, but there's a segregation from the adults mentality, your child(ren) will never feel a part of the church. Be somewhere that the church and pastor are connecting with the kids too. it will make a huge difference!
Jenny - posted on 01/19/2011
These are all good posts, and I can relate to some. The only thing I could add that might be different, would be to stress the necessity in teaching your children to have their OWN relationship with God. It's more difficult to stray if they're active in service and in their relationship with Him. The only way to do that is set the example. Children learn primarily by example. Be committed and they will be too.
Nancy - posted on 01/18/2011
Sadly, only God knows. if you manage to keep them in church throughout the teen years (in my experience) they tend to stay. The reality is that we are all human and we all tend to go where our friends are - so if you can hook your kids up with good friends in church and if you are blessed to have one or two other families who have kids around same ages as yours, you are a long way to keeping them in the fold. Having said that- at the end of the day it is also about having a personal relationship with jesus and this can be developed anywhere provided one stays in the Word and in fellowship with other Christians somehow.
Rhonda - posted on 01/18/2011
I started going to church when I was 12 and was raised in church till adulthood. I strayed away and did my own thing but God never stops calling you chasing after you. You can run, but you can't hide. I slipped in and out of church for years to come, but what ultimately brought me back to Christ was when I had my baby (out of wedlock) and I knew then that God had blessed me with the most precious gift and I was not only responsible for my own life and soul but that God had now entrusted me with the life and soul of a little girl. I could not raise her in this cruel world without a foundation and guidance. God was going to hold me responsible for what i did and and didn't do. I couldn't live with myself knowing I knew the way and didn't show my child and left her to wander in the dark. God was going to hold me accountable. It was that foundation that was put in me and the love of a child that caused me to come back to church and the love of Christ that keeps me. When life gets hard I think about her and say I have to stay to give her a fighting chance in life so when lifes trials and tribulations come her way she knows exactly who to turn to (not food, drugs, alcohol, a man, etc.) but the Almight God.
Carla - posted on 01/17/2011
@Madelene--Whatever kids were under my roof Sunday morning, went to church. They knew that when they decided to stay over on Sat nite. My biological children went to church with me every Sunday. I made them to go school, I made them eat good food, I made them go to church. Their souls and eternal life are way more important to me than their physical bodies. Just my opinion----
Madelene - posted on 01/17/2011
Sometimes no, but all you can do is pray and believe that your good guidance and GOD will bring them back. My 14 year old now feels hes old enough to decide when he wants to go to church. My friends don't go he says. I tell him remember THE BIBLE says respect your parents. Sometime I let him stay home with my mom. I wonder if this is ok or should I make him go. But he is coming around again even if hes not to happy going he goes. Hope my comment helped u alittle
Sarah - posted on 01/16/2011
God is really the only one that knows each one of our paths. Being raise in the church I think does help give a base. Often times people that are raised in the church and leave return back to it at some point in their life. I was raised in a family where church and faith were VERY important. We attended church every Sunday and sunday school when we were old enough to attend. For me this has encouraged me to continue and raise my family in a simular manner. I have some siblings that also attend church on a regular basis, but I also have some siblings that do not at this time in their life. God gives us free will to make our own choices. I think having that base and learning about Him from early on gives you knowledge of how God wants you to live...then it is up to us to make that choice. Just like many people in the Bible sometimes we go down the wrong path for awhile and turn back to Him later down our road. So to me I think it is better to raise your children in church then it is not, but then we have to allow them to make their own choices.
Candy - posted on 01/16/2011
I was raised in the church and by a fine Christian Mom. I went the wrong way for a while when I got older but the Bible was right I came back to the way I was raised. Raise them the way you see fit and leave the rest to God. That is why we dedicate our children to him so we can lay them down at his feet when we cant go any farther.
Carla - posted on 01/15/2011
There's a scripture in Deuteronomy that says 'train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart.' Now that doesn't mean, as Rose has said, that they will be consistent in their walk. It does mean that IF you train your child, and be the very best role model you can possibly be, even if they walk away and try out the world, they will find out that the world doesn't satisfy our hearts and souls the way Jesus does.
I was raised in church and stayed until I was about 18. I spent the next 30 years fence-sitting and dabbling in the world, but the Lord was always there whispering in my ear 'are you ready to come back yet?' At 50 I finally decided to get serious (due to major critical events in my life) and seek Him with all my heart. I found the peace and love I had been seeking all my life. Men can't give you the love you crave, possessions can't satisfy, only Jesus can. Sometimes I think it takes maturity to figure this out. I'm not saying this is the way of all people, but what I am saying is that Jesus never just lets us wander out in the world without calling to us to come home (I love that about Him!)
All you can do is live a life of honest Godliness, not hypocrisy, and teach them to follow Jesus as Paul taught us. God does the rest.
God bless, honey. Keep praying for your little one, that he will understand the wonderful Gift God holds out to all of us, just wanting our love in return. Pray for a Godly wife for him. It's never too early to start.
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