This weekend I had some interaction with a young man who was a part of a church I’ve served in the past. I was troubled as I read things he wrote about Christ, Christianity, God, and Jesus that were full of anger, bitterness, and resentment. At one time he was a friend of one of my children, but oh how he has strayed over the last four years. And my heart breaks… If this young man continues on the path he is currently on, I fear for him on the day he stands before God.
What happened along the way? Were there family factors that contributed? Did something at the church happen? Did he observe people’s conduct that claimed to be Christians turn him from the faith? Those questions cannot be answered… at least in this life. All I know is that this young man, for a number of years, heard the Gospel and for some reason has not only turned his back on Christ… but has become a violent critic of all things Christian.
Recent statistics report that 80% of church kids turn away from the faith upon graduating from high school. EIGHTY PERCENT! I don’t know if that’s true… but at least in this case, my child’s friend seems to be a statistic.
What can be done? I have a few thoughts:
First… Parents are primarily responsible for the discipleship and faith of their children… not Youth Ministers.
Second… If parents don’t model for their children the Christian faith they they can’t blame others for how their children turn out.
Third… When young people are in a time of rebellion, the best thing parents and friends can do is love them unconditionally.
Fourth… When a young person is in rebellion, pray asking God to reveal Himself to the person and restore them to the faith.
Fifth… Be patient. God knows what He is doing. Trust Him… (Pr 3:5-6).
Last… Parents take too much credit, and too much blame, for how their children turn out (Dr. Jeremiah).
As for the young person I’m praying for… if you could lift him up in prayer I would appreciate it. God knows who he is, no names are necessary.