This is a continual question that many brethren ask. It seems like so often we have lots of small kids and as they grow older, the number becomes less and less. Suddenly we look around and we have just a handful of teens and young adults.
Who is to blame? Almost universally the church is blamed. Some say, “If the church had only had a good youth involvement my kids would be faithful today.” Although good involvement for our children is necessary, the church does not have a responsibil- ity to provide entertainment for our kids, neither does it have a responsibility to raise them.
Let’s put the responsibility squarely where it belongs. Parents are responsible for teaching and training their children (Ephesians 6:4). The church cannot serve as a sur- rogate parent for parents too busy with everything to do their jobs as parents. We all know the pressures of modern living, but the time invested in our kids will reap huge benefits. Here are some suggestions for parents with children:
- Put the Lord first in your life. We cannot expect our kids to grow up to become faithful Christians when they see their parents treating the church as if it were an- other activity.
- Try to live as a Christian 24 hours a day. Children will not tolerate blatant hypocrisy. Many leave the faith because of hypocrisy.
- Spend time with your kids. You may be great at granting them physical wants, but nothing will take the place of time spent with your children.
- Treat church services as more important than school activities. Many parents are just great at making sure that their kids are involved in every single activity except the most important: serving God.
Let’s stop blaming the church, or children’s friends, other family members, or society at large for our shortcomings. While all of these elements play a part in the problem, the primary responsibility still lies with us. Take your responsibilities seriously. Your children will be eternally grateful.
Grady L. Scott