If you’re like us, the sermon this Sunday was on freedom. Christian freedom, the freedom to be a Christian in this country, and the amazing men and women that fight to keep us free.
One aspect of freedom my older kids want is the freedom to abstain from going to church. I’m talking young adults really – 18 and 20. They both feel that church isn’t for them, and they shouldn’t be made to go.
The house rule has always been – if you’re home, you’re going to church. I’ve allowed for the fact that not every church fits our family’s personality. My husband and my youngest son attend a church that the hubby has been going to his whole life. Their youth group is small and we never fit in, so my older three wanted a different venue. We’ve tried three or four churches now – we’re still searching. I’m OK with searching. I’m not OK with quitting.
So… What to do? I’ve always believed the argument that you wouldn’t let your kids say they don’t want to go to school - education is too important. Isn’t spirituality even more so? So, church shouldn’t be optional either. However, I have to wonder. What am I accomplishing dragging them to church? I hope we’re modeling the fact that God is center in our lives and we can devote time to Him. However, am I making them resent church? Religion?
Of course, if they didn’t have to go, the trickledown theory would then work its way to my 13 and 11 year olds as well. I don’t want them waiting for the time they get to choose and not go to church. I realize their issues aren’t with God – it’s about a human institution. They don’t like the ceremony, the sermon or the early hours. But, doesn’t God call on us to commune with Christians?
Clearly, I wish we had a strong church relationship that all the kids enjoyed, and maybe that is in our future. But – what to do now?
Do you have older teens that don’t want to attend church? How do you handle it?