Recently a friend met me for coffee and poured out her heart! Desperate to figure out where they had gone wrong as parents she confided with me her concern for her college aged daughter. We thought we were doing great because she was attending youth group and church when it fit with her sports and homework schedule. She seemed to be staying out of the party and drug scene. But then after a year at college, she came home and announced, “I’m not sure I believe any of that God stuff anymore.” Ugh!
As parents, it’s tempting to blame ourselves for children’s failure or struggle in any area. It’s easy to start asking, “What if I had? What if I hadn’t?”
The truth is faith isn’t stagnant. Our faith grows and develops based on our age and maturity. Our kids will also go through different stages in their faith. In fact, developmental psychologist James W. Fowler wrote a book titled Stages of Faith. Part of kids’ development in faith will be moving from borrowing the faith of their parents to owning their own faith.
As parents we can begin to share this good news with our kids! Let them know you are excited to see how they pursue their own relationship with God. You can ask them questions to encourage them to think about what they believe today and ways they plan to grow in their faith. Create a safe and open environment in your home where questions about faith are discussed freely.
The fact is God doesn’t have any grandchildren. Instead every individual has an invitation to be a child of God. We can encourage our children in this truth, point them to God, but each one of our children will need to receive Jesus on their own. The good news is we know God is the One pursuing our children. He loves them even more then we do. (This always seems crazy since I love my kids so much, I can’t imagine there is a “more love” category.) Trusting the Lord and His love for my children gives me hope for them to one day own their own faith.
This is how God showed his love among us:
He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
This is love: not that we loved God,
but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4:9-10
By Heather Larson, M.A.
Wife to Peter
Mom of three
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Associate Director of 10 Great Dates
Parenting during the teen years can feel scary or overwhelming. She’s Almost a Teenager: Essential Conversations to Have Now provides developmental research, biblical guidance and plans for shifting responsibility to your daughter as she matures. Check it out!
Meet Heather and attend her workshop at the 2015 HeartCORe Conference at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, MN. Register today!
She’s Almost a Teenager will be available at the HeartCORe Conference.