Parents, it’s our Fault if our early teens or pre-teens are already hating us, dreading church, turned off by the Bible, and if they are loving the world more than God. It’s our fault and no one else can be blamed like parents. It’s like one of my children said, parents can be stepping stones or stumbling stones to their children. Parents can be a blessing or a curse to their children.

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord“, Eph. 6:4

The data suggests they are gone….not gone from College….not even gone from High School…. but most of our children gone much earlier and never follow the Lord. This departure began from very early in the child’s formative years. Crying for what taste good, crying for what feels good. Gimme that! I want it! Such wants are natural but they must be trained and brought into submission. But during this important formative period, many parents missed such important, pivotal opportunities to train, restrain, and shape their child. So the child grows and grows, wanting more, and begging for more. The parents just stand there with that deer in a headlight look. Clueless. And it’s a real shame that the adults don’t know what to do because child desperately needs to be under the guidance of adults who know exactly what to do. I was once in a Perkins on Sunday morning, looking over my sermon and drinking coffee. A family sat nearby and the little boy was a terror. Food was flying. He was making a real disturbance. The mother was red in the face with exasperation. I was just watching the drama. It was comical and sad at the same time. Unless someone took the reins with that child, the child would continue on this course into adulthood. And that’s trouble. At a certain point, the woman looked at me and said, “You are probably going to mention this in your sermon.” Maybe my Bible gave me away, but I had never seen her before. She was obviously self-conscious and wished she could crawl under a rock. And here’s the thing: With love and discipline I could have controlled that child. My wife was reading something recently from a book titled, “Already Gone”, that pointed out WHEN we are losing our children to the world. It’s not College that’s to blame. Not even High School. Observers, parents who have a keen insight in these things, know just how true it is. Young teens are coming to worship and they don’t want to be there. They don’t worship God. They don’t love their Heavenly Father. They don’t know Him. They don’t love being there. It is their peers who they really open up to. It is their worldly peers who inspire them. Parents, this is your fault that your children are in this spiritual condition at such a young age. Jesus said, “do not hinder the children from coming to me.” The disciples were literally hindering people from bringing little children to Him. And parents are literally hindering their children from coming to Jesus when they neglect to mention Jesus. When they fail to emphasize faith in Jesus. When they rarely if ever read the Bible. When they put sports and recreational activities ahead of worship. There are many ways that parents literally hinder their children from coming to Jesus. If your children are still young, I beg for you to gird up your loins for spiritual battle. Remember that you are in charge. Know what your children need and don’t need. Do not feed their every impulse but teach them the value of “No”. Have a good idea what is most important and give that to your children. Have a good idea of what they should grow up to be and lead them to be that. Parenting is the hardest job in the world. It’s not to be taken lightly. Never give up. Never give in. When you reach those pivotal moments where the will of the child clashes with your will, YOU HAD BETTER WIN. It’s that important. Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Parenting is serious business. To the older parents who feel they have already lost their children to the world, I’m sorry for you. All you can do is strive to be the best example you can be. Don’t make excuses. Where mistakes were made, apologize for them. Pray for your children. Spoken with love. Dan

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