I was playing golf with a life long friend who has been a faithful believer and has served as a missionary for a number of years. After our game, we sat and talked a bit about the things of God and he brought up an interesting question. He said, “There is a survey that says eighty percent of kids brought up in Christian homes leave the church when they go off to college. Why do you think this is so?”
Good question. It raises a very important issue. Why do so many kids who grow up in Christian families wander away from the church and God when they leave home? What is the problem?
There are many reasons this happens but there is one underlying reason that so many kids leave the faith when they head off to college.
Simply put, they are do not have deep roots in the faith. They are weak spiritually. They are not strong enough spiritually to stand firm in the face of temptation and opposition.
God gives Christian parents (or a Christian parent) specific instructions that will produce the spiritual depth and commitment your child needs to remain faithful in their walk with God through college and beyond.
Proverbs 22:6 AMPL Train up a child in the way he should go [in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it .
God’s instruction is not for you to depend on the church or anyone else to “train up your child in the way he or she should go”. The responsibility falls on parents to train their child with careful consideration to your child’s personality, aptitudes and gifting. In training up your child remember “one size does not fit all”.
When this kind of training is consistently applied to your child, their understanding of God grows and their relationship with Him is solidified.
Your training begins with Bible stories at bed time, and as they grow, appropriately, carefully and consistently discipline them. As they continue to grow, you will find that your life is the most effective tool you have in teaching your child how they are live their life.
As parents, live uprightly, and especially in front of your kids. Kids can smell hypocrisy a mile away.
Your loving and consistent training (which includes discipline) enables your children to have self-control, and when they get to college they will be able to fight off the temptations that are so prevalent, as well as liberal ideology that seeks to undermine and destroy your child’s faith.
Train your children to understand that service to God is a critical part of being a Christian. Take your children with you as you participate in helping those in need in your church as well as in the community.
I used to take my grandkids with me when I went to pray for the sick. This is tangible training that leaves a permanent impression on your children. Allow them to experience the joy of being used by God to help others.
Spare your children from critical remarks about others, especially Christians. Do not openly complain about the pastor or other believers because this teaches your kids that it is OK to be critical of Christians and the church.
As a parent, be responsible. Hold your tongue when you are irritated or angry. Blurting out your true feelings in front of your child will do real harm to all your good work and impacts your credibility.
So, what’s the bottom line? Why do so many kids leave the church when they go off to college?
The truth is that many kids that grow up in Christian families have not been trained in the manner God has given to us, and many kids have seen firsthand the hypocrisy of parents who themselves are not where they should be with the Lord. Sad, but true.
If you are a parent, don’t mess up your kids.
Today is a good day to start fresh in your own life and begin to be the parent your child needs to be prepared for a lifetime of commitment to our Lord and Savior.
It’s up to you.
I love you guys and God bless you all!
If your child is entering the teen years, I suggest that you get a copy of my book, Growing Big In God. Read and study it with them. They will begin to understand the “big picture” of the faith and many of their questions will be answered. This is a wonderful tool for you to guide your child in the right direction.
You can order a book on my website, GrowingBigInGod.com. Thanks, Dick