There is no one thing you can do to guarantee that your kids will be serving God in twenty years. I know this is not the answer many people are looking for when they are trying to do their best they can to raise Godly children. However, there are definitely things you can do that greatly decrease the likelihood that they be actively involved in their faith as adults.
These thoughts are not just based on my own research and ideas but on several recent studies done, especially one called Hemorrhaging Faith. It is evident that young people growing up in Christian homes who do not have the following things in their lives are far less likely to be a person of faith as an adult. The stats are dramatic enough that I would say if aren’t doing these things there is little chance (Not Impossible) that your children will be people who call themselves Christians as adults.
(1) Don’t read your Bible at home. This seems pretty simplistic but this is one of the common factors of young adults who are in the church today. They had a parent who obviously believed in, read, and tried to live out what they learned in the Bible. I believe the reason it is important the Bible was read at home is because it demonstrates that their parent’s faith was not just a Sunday event but rather a part of their entire life. So if you are not trying to pass on your faith keep all the Bibles hidden and never let your children see you reading, studying, or listening to it.
(2) Don’t let your kids see you pray. Again this is quite simple. Don’t do it. If you never pray you obviously don’t think God is involved with your day to day life. Lack of pray perhaps is a sign of how much we believe God is involved with real life.
(3) Don’t get involved with a local Church. This is one of the most obvious and easiest ways to make sure your children will not be Christians when they grow up.
This isn’t about whether you forced them to go or didn’t. This is about you. It also isn’t about if you attend a Church for an hour on Sunday. If you remove yourself from being involved in the ministry and community of a local church you can greatly increase the chance your kids with have no faith.
Why does this seem to matter? It would appear that if your kids never see a practical outflow of you saying you are a Christian, then they don’t believe it is important either. Also, by never having your kids part of a Christian community, around peers who have faith, and never modelling it yourself, you are almost guaranteeing you won’t pass on your faith to them.
Again, as a parent myself, I know there are incredible struggles with raising kids, teens, and young adults. In the end I know every parent just wants what is best for our children. Over the past years from reading, hearing, and studying this topic I have been convinced that a parent(s) role will play a huge part in every person’s faith journey.
I also know there are always exceptions. I know parents who have seemed to do everything right, and some who seemed to do everything wrong, and there kids are doing great, and some are not.
I do want to encourage you with this. For young people who have walked away from their faith and come back, the number one reason they give for that turn back to faith is this – Influence of family. It is never too late. Read, Pray, Go. You be the example.