Why you shouldn’t let your kids figure out faith on their own

Photo credit cehofstra1.hubspot.com

by J.C. Thompson via http://www.churchleaders.com

You will often hear nonbelievers say that parents should let their own children decide what they believe. They say this, while the school, the media and the nonbelieving people are indeed telling our children what to believe. J. C. Thompson makes the case for why we need to teach our children the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Here’s J. C. Thompson:

Kids owning their faith is the goal, right? Why is it that we think that “allowing” kids to figure it out on their own is the solution?

One of the things that I begin to see happen in the dynamic between students and their parents is that students begin to fight against faith practices. Parents usually approach it in one of two ways: they fight it creatively or they step back and let kids “figure it out”.

As a youth pastor it’s a frustrating thing, because figuring it out sometimes really means the family stops practicing faith altogether. I don’t know if it’s because parents were just keeping faith practices happening because of the kids or it’s so frustrating and painful that they stop because it’s too hard to keep pushing their students to grow in their faith.

A couple of insights into young teens when it comes to faith:

1. This is the first time that students begin to see their sin as real. It’s so important that they know what to do with it. Unfortunately, a lot of the times, they hide, seek to comfort themselves, or run. All of these we see played out in the story of Scripture. They must understand, hear, see, how to properly deal with sin. Sometimes their pushback is because they are trying to hide rather than they “hate” going to church.

2. Their questions go unanswered. Young Teens or preteens ask why more than any other question. It’s the most important question to answer as a family. Why church? Why Jesus? Why the Bible? Our faith is based on the gospel. Bring them back to that. God made us beautiful. We became evil. Jesus died. He came back. No one can prove He didn’t even though it’s the most important question in the world.

3. Friends. They influence everything. Find good ones for your kids and invest in them. Do the most fun things with those friends. Constantly invite them places. You are responsible for helping your student make connections. Find them. Show up to their youth group and find good friends for your student.

Then Thompson gives 3 reasons why you should not let them figure it out on their own:

  1. You didn’t figure out faith on your own. Neither did anyone else in Scripture.
  2. Preteens and young teens are hormone-enraged emotional crazy people.
  3. Wisdom = Truth + Experience

Read the entire article here http://www.churchleaders.com

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