October 23, 2017

iMonk 101: A prayer for Alex- What to do when your child says he doesn’t believe any more.

boy-study-240-j-5252080.jpgThis is an essay from 2005 that I believe has been helpful to a few parents. It was printed in Modern Reformation.

Christian parents are always on my mind and heart. I know it’s difficult parenting children when the thing we most want for them can only come into their lives, ultimately, by the grace of God and their own openness. Many parents will have a season of apparent or actual unbelief before the seeds of faith begin to bear fruit.

If you are finished with the parenting years, this essay may be helpful to some in your church or small group.

READ: A Prayer For Alex: What to do when your child says he doesn’t believe any more.

Comments

  1. I love your blog and read it with great interest. Thanks for this essay on parenting, I’m somewhere on this journey with my children.
    My husband has not gone to church for many years, my youngest has no memories of her dad’s time running half way houses for addicts,homeless soup kitchens etc. His departure from the church was shocking for all who knew us and rocked my older children, it didn’t help that he was/is cynical about many Christians, its a lonely journey as the family no longer got many invites to many homes as he’s a difficult guest.I have a few faithful friends who’ve been great over the years. Our oldest son walked away from the church in his early teens and was very wild, drinking, in trouble with the police etc. a great turn around has happened in the last year, he and his girlfriend have completely changed,he is on an adult path to faith, I can claim no credit, God is doing it.My other children are in different stages with God, my youngest says she’s not interested yet has a great grasp of doctrine, she will defend the faith if it’s challenged in school etc. so I watch and pray for her.
    I notice you speak a lot re Calvinism, Armenism etc. it’s a discussion I tend to avoid, I live in Ireland, my experience is that Calvinism fostered a sense of superiority among many Protestants who regarded themselves as the elect, who were obsessed about “household salvation” but who found bringing the gospel to their Catholic neighbours very difficult, or who did it in such an offensive way e.g. calling the Pope the “Antichrist” and the Catholic church “the whore of Babylon” that it did more harm than good. For people like me who moved from catholicism to a more solely bible based faith the costs were huge as our family and friends thought we’d joined a cult or become a protestant of the above type. I therefore have my head in the sand on it, I attend a church largely made up of former catholics with the same woolly views as me on the topic, I know this may make you apoplectic but does it matter? and can we really be 100% certain until God reveals all in heaven?
    Keep up the good work

  2. Thank you for that essay, i have copied down those verses to pray for my children (and husband).

    My spouse is currently walking away from the faith and it is very painful for me. We grew up in the church together and he was a committed Christian for as long as I have known him, but in his mid-20’s after being married a few years he started to reexamine and is leaving it behind.

    I dearly wish he had gone through the questioning/walking away/returning process as a young teen as I did instead of now when he has a wife and children.

    I pray that he will return to faith; I feel the lack of spiritual unity and it is a void in an otherwise great marriage. I desire to pass on a spiritual heritage to our kids, and think about the challenge I will face if I have to do so alone.

    The book Why Christian Kids Rebel by Tim Kimmel is an excellent primer in different types of Christian family strategies/structures and which kinds tend to lead to children truly aquiring faith and which lead to kids walking away as teens/adults more often than not. It is one of my top parenting books of all time.