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Where did our kids go? This is a continual question that many parents ask. It seems like we turn around and they are grown and leaving home to make lives for themselves.  Many of them are reared in the church; however, many of them do not remain faithful to God or His church.

Who is to blame? Almost universally the church is blamed. "If the church had only had a good youth program, my kids would be faithful today." Or, "we just don’t do enough for the kids." I am not against having a strong youth program for our teens/pre-teens, provided we keep it on a spiritual level. I am also not against Christian youth getting together to enjoy one another and doing fun things. The church does not have a responsibility to provide entertainment for our kids, neither does it have a responsibility to raise them and make sure they remain faithful. 

Let’s put the responsibility squarely where it belongs. Parents are responsible for teaching and training their children. (Ephesians 6:4)  "And you, fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" also, (Proverbs 22:6),” Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” The church cannot serve as a substitute parent for parents too busy with work, recreation, etc. to do their jobs as parents.

Here are some suggestions for those of us with children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews, whether young or old. It’s not too late for any of us to make an impact on those whom we love. 

  1. Put the Lord first in your life. We cannot expect those whom we love to grow up to become faithful, active Christians when they see us living like the church is just one more activity on our list.  Put the church and it’s assemblies ahead of the other activities that we usually plan. Jesus still says that we are to put him first (Matthew 6:33). 
  2. Try to live as a Christian 24 hours a day. This means that we must seek to put love, kindness, gentleness into our lives at home as well as at the church building. While those whom we love will generally be understanding of our mistakes and shortcomings, especially if we admit them and seek forgiveness, they will not tolerate blatant hypocrisy. They will grow up thinking that the church is just a place for hypocrisy.
  3. Encourage those whom you love to remain faithful to God.  Teach them that our strength comes from God; and how important it is to thank God through prayer for all of His bountiful blessings that He has bestowed upon us.  Remember the cliché of old, “the family that prays together, stays together”.


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