Hard to believe, but I have heard more than one set of Christian parents say, "I am going to let my child grow up without forcing a belief on her so that she can choose what to believe for herself." I always respond with, "You have got to be kidding, right?" There is something these well-meaning but misguided parents don't realize. Kids are going to chose for themselves whether parents teach them or not. The only thing these parents have done is to remove the influence of the ones who love their kids the most, and left them to the influence and guidance of so many others who do not.
What sense does it make to say it's okay to influence our kids toward the foods we value, the sports teams we like, the colleges we approve or the activities we enjoy, but say that something that has sway over our eternal destiny should be experienced by our children as an unguided journey?
These abdicating parents are not creating an influence-free environment. In fact, the parents still have more influence than they know. By withdrawing from actively influencing their kids toward faith in Christ, they are tacitly sending the message that such a faith is just not all that important. This is unspeakably sad.
May we who are parents and followers of Jesus, recognize our responsibility to nurture a sound, reasonable, wonderfully mysterious and grace-filled faith in our children. May our children see in that the greatest expression of love for them. And may their faith grow, mature and lead them to a joy-filled life of following in the footsteps of Jesus.
Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.
- Proverbs 22:6