I believe there are two primary reasons:
1. They never “tasted” the Lord.
2. They never wrestled with the hard questions.
Many children just drafted in the wake of their parent’s belief. They went to children’s church, youth group, made a commitment and got baptized without having a relationship of their own with Jesus Christ. The Bible says to, “Taste and know…” Each of us must experience and encounter the Lord instead of warming our hands around the spiritual fires of others.
Other children grew up and never wrestled with some difficult aspects of Christianity. Why do bad things happen to good people? How do I have a relationship with someone I cannot see or touch? What are the differences between Christianity and other religions? They may have raised questions, but were told to have faith, just believe, and not to doubt. They step out of the church environment and into a very questioning world of college and career.
So, if you have children at home, how do you raise them to taste and wrestle?
1. Have your child taste with you. Just like sharing a new appetizer, do relationship together with your child. Pray, listen to the Holy Spirit, and serve the Lord together. They will see tasting modeled and will encounter the Lord for themselves with you and on their own.
2. Share the questions you have had and how you came to a resolve. Share those issues that remain a mystery and why you have chosen to still embrace Jesus Christ. Allow your child to voice questions. You help your child with homework, but a wise parent will not give them all the answers without letting them work at solving the problem. Invite them to dig for answers and guide them towards a solution.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.
I am convinced that children who have tasted the Lord and wrestled with the hard questions will leave your home able to stand firm in their love and commitment to Jesus Christ.
What do you do to help your children taste and wrestle?