There must be little greater hurt and sorrow than for parents to hear and see their children turning away from God, and not walk in Truth.
3 John 4:4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
When I ponder my weaknesses as a parent, and how I often I fail my children, I fear that I will not train our children properly.
I fail in teaching them the ways of righteousness and to love God with all their heart.
The Bible clearly tells parents that it is their responsibility to train their children, in the way they should go. So when they are old, they shall not turn away from it (Proverbs 22:6).
Will my faults and failures lead our children away from Christ? Will my lack of joy in serving Christ make our children want to have nothing to do with Christianity?
Our children look up to us. The way we do things is all they know when they are very young. We are their heroes.
As we enter into the phase of parenting a ten-year-old boy, I am reminded of how important our influence is.
Recently, I listened to some great messages from a family counselor on things that parents do that turn their children away from their faith.
He met with many couples whose children had forsaken the faith of their parents and were wandering lost in this world.
He found several key characteristics that had happened in all of the families. These I want to share with you here. I found these so significant because I recognized the truth in them.
8 Things That Cause Children To Forsake The Faith of Their Parents
When a parent will teach one thing, and yet do the exact opposite, a child is mixed up.
He mixes these things around in his mind until he comes to a conclusion that fits his fleshly desire. Jesus taught strongly against hypocrites.
If we do not want our children to act a certain way, we can not do that exact same thing ourselves. More is caught than taught.
Even if they know the right thing in their minds, what they have seen portrayed is what they will follow.
I often wonder about generational strongholds. Are they habits that have been passed on from one generation to another?
2. When Parents or Other Leaders in the life of your Child Disagree With Each Other
A lack of unity in a marriage is devastating to a family.
Proverbs 17:1 “Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife.”
Disagreements will always be, but when they are handled with the love of Christ, they will strengthen the family bond, instead of destroying it.
3. When Children Are Allowed to Set The Schedule.
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There is no blessing to the family when children are allowed to run the home. It is not their responsibility, and a home does not run smoothly when children are allowed to run the show. I am 100% guilty of allowing this.
I dislike any strife of any sort, so I tend to try to please everyone.
This never works.
It only causes selfishness, and honestly, probably a lack of security in our children. I pray God gives me the strength to be kind and consistent in setting rules and keeping them.
A child training book (that I absolutely love) with a biblical perspective is What The Bible Says About Child Training.
4. When We Constantly Bail Our Kids Out
Our children want to make their own decisions, from a very young age. Not only do they seek to have control over their lives, but their flesh also doesn’t long to be under authority.
It is wise to allow them to make some of their own choices, as they get older.
A good way to allow them to choose for themselves is to give them two choices, both of which you approve of. However, when they make a choice that they later regret, don’t try to fix it.
Also guilty here.
Let your children face the consequences of their choices. Life is a great teacher.
A thousand words will not teach as much as one good disappointment. I see this happening so much in our community.
The teenagers in the public school in our area are off the charts disrespectful and disobedient. A large number of parents side with their children on every issue. The teachers have no control because they don’t have the parents’ support.
5. If Parents Don’t Follow What The Bible Says
When what the Word says and what we do, doesn’t line up, our children will be much less likely to follow our faith.
If we claim to love God, we will keep His commandments. A lax view of the Holy Bible results in a lukewarm faith.
6.No Daily Teaching of The Word of God
The Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword, and it has the power to encourage and convict the soul.
Daily reading and teaching of God’s Word are vital for children to understand who God is, and grow to love Him.
7. Not Talking About the Burden Of The Lost
May God put on our hearts such a burden for the loss, that we talk about it often. Sharing the gospel with others is everyone’s responsibility, and when we fail to do this, we don’t follow the great commission of Christ.
When we love others as Christ loves them, we will not want them to be lost forever. This will make us much more willing to seek to encourage others, and show them the love of God.
8. When Children Don’t Hear Their Fathers Pray
Fathers have such an important role in their children’s hearts. They need to hear the prayers of their dad, praying for them, as well as for the lost around them.
For the first nine years of our oldest life, he never heard his dad pray. I am so thankful to God for a husband that prays.
We are not our children’s Saviour.
We have to learn to entrust our children’s souls to the Lord, which can often be difficult for those of us that like to control things.
Parents have a responsibility, however. Our life has such a direct influence on the character and minds of our kids. Will we use our influence for their good, or for their evil?
True love will forsake our fleshly and selfish desires for ease and peace and will seek the greater things in life. The great things of God.
To turn our children away from Faith in Jesus through our actions is devastating to think of.
The Bible teaches that those in authority will be accounted for more strongly. This includes us, parents.
May we spend time in prayer daily, so that we might be granted the wisdom and strength to follow God’s will in our life.