College kids are an interesting bunch. On their own. Away from their family and friends. Finding out who they are and trying to figure out what they believe. We all have heard different statistics concerning the numbers of youth who turn from their childhood faith in college. Some say 70%. One resource is quoted at saying 86% and one goes as far to say 94%.
This shouldn’t be the case, but it is.
Who is to blame?
The churches who water down their messages to reach the youth?
College professors who fill their heads with crazy worldviews that would make anybody’s head spin?
Hypocritical Christians in our young people’s lives that said one thing yet did another?
I don’t have the answer. Quite honestly, I don’t think there is one, simple answer. Churches have been trying to figure out the answer to this question for the past couple of decades. Books have been published about it. Sermons have been preached. Conferences have been formed. I wonder, are we any closer to seeing change or have we pushed the youth further, and further away?
As a mother of young children I obviously want to see my children grow in their faith so when they move out on their own, whether it be college or the workforce, they will stand strong in the truth. All I know to do at this point is to instill a love for the Word of God in their lives. A love for truth. Yes, this is possible. And I believe it begins when they are young. Teach them to love what is good and hate what is evil, (Romans 12:9). Kids are quick learners. You already are teaching them the basics of life. You’ve taught them to sleep through the night, to eat healthy and to be potty trained. Now, teach them to hate lying. To hate gossip. To hate setting things before their eyes that aren’t pleasing to the Lord. People often ask, “won’t they feel like they are missing out on something if you take so many things away from them?” (Referring to certain music, TV shows, video games, etc). I argue, no. If you give them something productive to do in it’s place they will love to do what is good instead. If they can gain a skill such as cooking, sewing, or woodworking, they will build self-confidence and when they are out on their own they won’t be trying to figure out who they are but they will already know that they are a useful part of our society and have something to offer.
How do we teach them to love good and hate evil? Well, we need to fill their little hearts with the Word of God. Through song, through audible family prayer, through Bible reading and memorization. In addition to this we must model Biblical principles in our own lives and when we correct our children we must present to them our Biblical reasons for doing so. The Bible is our guide, not just a book of fantasy.
The day my five year old daughter realized that the Scriptures talking about the sheep and the shepherd were referring to us and Jesus, the light bulb went off. She understood that the Bible wasn’t just talking about cute little fuzzy sheep but rather that she was a sheep under the care of Jesus. It became personal to her. That is what our youth need. A personal revelation of the Jesus of the Bible, not just a mental understanding of it and not just us preaching it to them. When we immerse them in the Word in our homes and as we walk and talk with them, God will show up and make himself real to them, then we will be there to guide them along as they have questions.
Don’t fear that your child will be one of the above statistics but do something about it so that doesn’t happen, we have all the tools we need, in the Word of God!
Check out this great Bible memory plan for kids!