A new study by The Barna Group (Ventura, California) shows that despite strong levels of spiritual activity during the teen years, most twentysomethings disengage from active participate in the Christian faith during their young adult years—and often beyond that. In total, six out of ten twentysomethings were involved in a church during their teen years, but have failed to translate that into active spirituality during their early adulthood.
I completely relate to this information and really don’t find much has changed since my early adulthood. My twentysomething was lived in complete rebellion against the teachings I learned in youth group. I attended church faithfully as a teen. I went to Sunday school. I was active.
Why do our youth abandon their faith in early adulthood? What can we do so our kids won’t make the same mistake?
I was listening to a radio broadcast recently on this very subject. What the speaker said made a ton on sense. First, as parents we can’t rely on the church to instill life-long values into our kids. The church is a partner in our faith transfer but, when the rubber meets the road, it is the parents who make faith real to their children.
I cringe at the thought of moms and dads dropping their kids off at church on a Sunday morning then head to Starbucks. I guess they think it is solely up to the church teach their teens about God. Really, what kind of message does this communicate? Sorry, don’t let me rant. Onward….
It is true our kids need church and we should encourage them to attend as often as we can. However, and especially in a spiritually mismatched home, we must LIVE OUT OUR FAITH daily.
What does this look like?
I have a few suggestions. Because the new school year is right around the corner, I thought I would share some ideas you can implement in a few weeks. I hope you can change your kid’s lives beginning this school year.
1) Model your faith. Pray before meals. This can be challenging in a mismatched home. However, if your kids see you stop before a meal, close your eyes and thank God silently….. these actions speak louder than words. Pray at meals out loud when you can.
2) Get up early. Before your kids. Be prepared to meet your children after you have spent time with God. Read your bible and pray. Ask the Lord to lead you and your children. You have precious little time in the morning before the clan heads off to school. If you are unprepared and sleepy eyed, how can you model the fruits of the spirit to your children?
3) Pray with your kids in the car if you drive them to school or walk them to school. I have found this short prayer time is powerful. My daughter’s entire day can be influenced for good because I prayed for her before she left the car. Don’t be lazy. Don’t car pool. You be the parent who drops your child at the school door each day. You be the parent who waits anxiously to pick up your sons or daughters after an exhausting day at school. The precious conversation time while they are captive in the car is irreplaceable.
Okay, that is enough for today.
How do you pass your faith heritage to your children?
Be Blessed, Lynn