This is an insightful article on why some children stay in the church and some do not. My own experiences have shed some light on this subject as well. I was not brought up in the church and my “conversion experience” wasn’t the lighting bolt, fireworks flood of experiences that mainstream “Christian Media‘ often portray them as. In fact, as an aside, I think profound conversion experiences are suspect and any valid ones are the exception not the rule.
In an ironic twist I have come to the conclusion that children brought up in the church often times have a more difficult time in truly becoming a follower of Christ. My reasons for this are as follows: A child who attends church and church related functions frequently learns not only some basic bible truths, but also the attitudes, habits and traditions of those in the “churched” culture. Additionally there is a tremendous amount of peer pressure to conform to the culture in order to be accepted as “Christian”. The problem is many times, ( and I am pointing fingers here), as the children grow up in this culture real demonstrations of someone developing a deep and intimate bond with Jesus are a rarity among their peers as well as with their parents and other authority figures. This hypocrisy often alienates and indeed at times creates a disdain for authority.
I was guilty of this in my own life because I often didn’t demonstrate with any consistency the habits of prayer, meditation and Scripture reading. These were personal things to me and I did them in private in front of no one… if I did them at all. I also had this sub-conscious idea that my children would love and seek God simply because that is what we did. Children do not become followers of Christ by proxy, each person is a unique individual and each one needs to do their own due diligence when deciding whom they shall follow. As parents working out our own faith with fear and trembling we of course want our children to find the same mercy and unconditional love that we have… realizing we can no more force this on them than God does, tests our own faith and stretches our emotions like nothing else does.
Whether you believe in God or not, how have you seen your children or the children of someone close to you impacted by their peers?
After reading this article, please tell me what effect if any it might have on your thinking?