Parenting Tips to Hack Fall-away from Faith
We often hear this from parents who are devoted to serving the Lord: my children depart from the ways of God and even the faith community after they enter college. These are statistical facts. According to the 2019 Lifeway Research Study, 66 % of young men and women raised in the church walk away from faith completely in college.
Like many parents, I pray for my girls to walk with God and love God. Despite many mistakes in raising my two daughters, it is a delight to see my 20-year-old daughter growing in maturity. She is not walking away from her faith; instead, she is making an impact by being a Christ-follower in college. She is also using her gifting to serve God.
Proverbs 22:6 says, Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Our innate understanding of ‘train up’ involves discipline, bend, prune, and direct our children to the ways we think are right. ‘Train up’ in Hebrews has another meaning: dedicate and make experienced.
“Dedicate” in Merriam-webster means:
- to devote to the worship of a divine being specifically
- to set apart to a definite use
- to commit to a goal or way of life
As parents, we dedicate our children to the Lord and walk in God’s ways. That includes, devote our children to the worship of God, set apart, commit to a goal or way of life of loving and serving God in the fields that they have an affinity for. We, as parents, have the most influence on their faith journey.
We are not perfect parents. I thank God that my girls have the opportunity of experiencing God for themselves. They not only experience God through answered prayer in daily life but experience His power in healing in mission trips and prayer walks. It made such a deep imprint on both my daughters when my 20-year-old daughter prayed for an 80-year-old lady in a Cambodian village. The old lady was blind and was able to see after her prayer! My girls have such belief in the power of prayer. Even my 10-year-old witnessed healing of back pain after her prayer for leg growth.
Sometimes, we easily equate ‘training up’ children with providing knowledge about God. Providing the opportunity of experiencing God points our children to Him and follows His ways.
I would love to hear from you on partnering with God on parenting.
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