We all have been there. Sunday mornings as a kid, being dragged to church despite or cries to go play outside instead. We might not have understood why our parents kept bringing us to Sunday School, but as we grew up we began to learn more and more about Jesus, the Christian faith, and spiritual journey we would be going on.
However your parents, despite their best intentions, many have made some choices that caused you to be confused and disconnected to the church. Maybe as a teen you started questioning why God would allow a tragedy to happen and your parents didn’t know how to answer. Maybe your parents actions didn’t always align with how you interpreted the Bible, but they didn’t have answers for that either. You might have hated the church your family raised you in, but couldn’t make any changes to the situation. Whatever it was, doubt crept into your mind.
Recent statistics have suggested that 60 to 70 percent of kids raised in Christian homes leave the faith in college years. It’s not necessarily surprising. Parents tend to get in the habit of strapping their kids into the pew seats for eighteen years and expect their teens to just arrive at a mature faith. Parents think that they set enough of a Christian foundation in their children to where they never have to worry, however that almost never is the case.
Did your parents show you that God was more than just rules and church attendance? Did you feel like they just handed you over to the youth leaders and expect them to teach you about the faith? Did they ever show you their own person faith struggles? These are just some of the reasons your parents faith didn’t “stick” to you like they may have expected.
Parents think that there child should be at whatever arbitrary milestone that they created in their head, and when the child isn’t quite there yet with Christ they panic. When teens begin to rebel against the faith, parents will try hard to push the Christian faith back on their children. This almost always backfires and leaves the child feeling more against the faith than ever.
What parents need to understand is that their personal faith isn’t always going to match their children’s. What kids need to understand is that their own personal faith journey doesn’t have to match their parents.
We all are going to go through very personal faith journeys. You might be someone that frequently questions God and aren’t ready to fully except Him into your heart yet, despite that your mother is a high ranking church official. On the flip side, you might be someone that believes you should read the Bible and pray daily, while your family doesn’t do the same. All of this is OK, because God loves you just the same. God already has a plan for you and your journey, and it might bring you to places your parents never discovered.
Your faith journey is yours and yours only. It’s a relationship that is built between just you and God. He knows where you stand in life, the struggles and doubts you may be going through, and the spiritual path you are ready to begin taking. It might lead you to a church that is different to the one your parents go to, or lead you to a period where you don’t listen for God at all. Life has its ups and downs, and your faith journey will reflect that.
It’s important to remember that no matter what your parents think, as long as you are happy with where you currently stand with God that’s all that matters. Your mom may have found salvation and accepted Jesus into her heart at 14, while you might never do so until your 65. You should always worship and praise God because you want to. Not because you think it will please your parents.
God wants you to be the true version of yourself and no one else. While your parents were able to bless you by giving you a place to begin your faith, what you choose to do after that is entirely up to you and the Lord.