Here’s a scenario I hear way too often…
My daughter doesn’t like to come to church. I’ve tried to talk her into it but I just can’t seem to get her excited about it. And I don’t want to force her to come, I want her to want to come. What should I do?
That question always makes me think, “I have an answer but you’re probably not gonna like it.”
The answer is: Parents are responsible to make sure their children are immersed in healthy environments.
The church is not responsible… The youth minister is not responsible… The elders are not responsible… Mom and dad are.
Parents are responsible to…
- Build margin into their kids’ schedules so there’s time for spiritual formation.
- Commit their kids to spiritual growth opportunities.
- Model spiritual growth in their family.
If your teenager doesn’t want to go to church, don’t spend time wondering why and trying to figure out ways to trick them into liking it like they’re a toddler who needs potty-trained. Just pack them in the car and drive them to church. They will probably pout, maybe even yell. They will sulk and act like you’re the worst parent in the world. And they still might decide to run from the church and from God as soon as they graduate high school.
But at least they’ll have a choice…
On the other hand, if you allow your teenager to sit at home while you’re at church and to skip youth group because they just don’t want to go, you’re setting them up to fail. You’re effectively eliminating the possibility that they’ll click and surrender to a lifetime of folllowing Jesus. And you’re ensuring that eventually you’ll have a conversation about how you can get them back into church.
Trust me, it’s easier to build a solid foundation early on than it is to fix shoddy work later on.
Parents, embrace your PRIMARY responsibility… Build spiritual health into the core of your kids’ hearts.