by Michael Holland
At a church on any given Sunday, you can see the teenage kids taking their seats and playing the part. They have been dragged unwillingly to church, so they put themselves into that dead space between being actively engaged and full-out rebellion. They participate as little as possible, leverage technology as much as they can to be distracted, and count down the minutes until they are released. Theoretically, they are gaining exposure to God and solidifying their belief in Him… but more likely, they are simply learning a habit.
The parents work hard to make sure these teenagers are at church every Sunday, just as they have been for the last 5, 10, or 15 years. After all, that’s what parents of faith are supposed to do, right? Instill the habit of going to church to make sure their kids know what is supposed to happen as they solidify their relationship with God? But when those kids leave home and have freedom of choice, what choices will they make? Maybe they will choose to go to church out of habit… but was a habit all the parents really wanted?
Maybe it is time to stop dragging your kid to church.
Men, we can’t control the future of our kids even though we believe we can. We can make them be compliant for a period of years, and then we can bribe them a bit to appear compliant for a few more years. But soon enough they will be on their own, making all their own choices… and they will continue to do so for the next 50 or so years.
Our role is to help our kids become critical thinkers, good decision makers, and to love others. Our role is not to force a habit of God on our kids. We should aim to intrigue them with why we believe in God and with what draws us to God. If those last two items are stumping you, then maybe you should take some time to figure that out before you drag your teenager to church this Sunday.