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Advice #38

Notes & Transcripts

ADVICE DAD NEVER GAVE YOU

Ralph Sorter

   Mental videos go through my head – clips from days past – all fast-forwarded to the present burden I have in my heart for once-little boys who are now grown men.

   Age 2:  “I like my teacher.  She’s nice to me.”

   Age 4: “Hurry up!  We’re going to be late for Sunday School.  The teacher promised a special flannel graph story about David & Goliath.”

   Age 12: “Hey, Tommy.  Want to go to youth group with me?  We’re having a football game afterwards.”

   Age 15:  “But I can’t go to church!  My team needs me for the soccer team!  I’ll go to youth group.”

   Age 19:  “No, I’m not going to church Mom.  It’s not cool with my friends.”

   Age 24:  “I’ve got too many things happening this weekend.  Besides, it’s the only day I have to catch up on my laundry.”

   Some of you parents may find yourselves somewhere in between some of those mental video clips and are struggling with whether to give your children the freedom of choice about church.

   In the middle adolescent years some children resent being told exactly what to believe or to have to go to church.  It’s true that they should be given more and more freedom in choosing what they believe.  But if their early spiritual forming years are handled right, it will be carried into adulthood.

   My kids were the preacher’s kids.  They lived in the glass house with expectations on every side.  I rejoice that two are following my footsteps, but there is one who believes strongly, yet is not in church on Sundays.

   So here’s the suggestion for parents who struggle with adolescent spiritual independence: “I can’t control what you believe; that’s your responsibility.  But I have promised the Lord that we will honor Him in this home, and that includes being in the Lord’s house.”  The best insurance is your witness of a consistent testimony with convictions.

A Message from HOPE’S

Marriage & Family Ministry

ADVICE DAD NEVER GAVE YOU

Ralph Sorter

   Mental videos go through my head – clips from days past – all fast-forwarded to the present burden I have in my heart for once-little boys who are now grown men.

   Age 2:  “I like my teacher.  She’s nice to me.”

   Age 4: “Hurry up!  We’re going to be late for Sunday School.  The teacher promised a special flannel graph story about David & Goliath.”

   Age 12: “Hey, Tommy.  Want to go to youth group with me?  We’re having a football game afterwards.”

   Age 15:  “But I can’t go to church!  My team needs me for the soccer team!  I’ll go to youth group.”

   Age 19:  “No, I’m not going to church Mom.  It’s not cool with my friends.”

   Age 24:  “I’ve got too many things happening this weekend.  Besides, it’s the only day I have to catch up on my laundry.”

   Some of you parents may find yourselves somewhere in between some of those mental video clips and are struggling with whether to give your children the freedom of choice about church.

   In the middle adolescent years some children resent being told exactly what to believe or to have to go to church.  It’s true that they should be given more and more freedom in choosing what they believe.  But if their early spiritual forming years are handled right, it will be carried into adulthood.

   My kids were the preacher’s kids.  They lived in the glass house with expectations on every side.  I rejoice that two are following my footsteps, but there is one who believes strongly, yet is not in church on Sundays.

   So here’s the suggestion for parents who struggle with adolescent spiritual independence: “I can’t control what you believe; that’s your responsibility.  But I have promised the Lord that we will honor Him in this home, and that includes being in the Lord’s house.”  The best insurance is your witness of a consistent testimony with convictions.

A Message from HOPE’S

Marriage & Family Ministry

ADVICE DAD NEVER GAVE YOU

Ralph Sorter

   Mental videos go through my head – clips from days past – all fast-forwarded to the present burden I have in my heart for once-little boys who are now grown men.

   Age 2:  “I like my teacher.  She’s nice to me.”

   Age 4: “Hurry up!  We’re going to be late for Sunday School.  The teacher promised a special flannel graph story about David & Goliath.”

   Age 12: “Hey, Tommy.  Want to go to youth group with me?  We’re having a football game afterwards.”

   Age 15:  “But I can’t go to church!  My team needs me for the soccer team!  I’ll go to youth group.”

   Age 19:  “No, I’m not going to church Mom.  It’s not cool with my friends.”

   Age 24:  “I’ve got too many things happening this weekend.  Besides, it’s the only day I have to catch up on my laundry.”

   Some of you parents may find yourselves somewhere in between some of those mental video clips and are struggling with whether to give your children the freedom of choice about church.

   In the middle adolescent years some children resent being told exactly what to believe or to have to go to church.  It’s true that they should be given more and more freedom in choosing what they believe.  But if their early spiritual forming years are handled right, it will be carried into adulthood.

   My kids were the preacher’s kids.  They lived in the glass house with expectations on every side.  I rejoice that two are following my footsteps, but there is one who believes strongly, yet is not in church on Sundays.

   So here’s the suggestion for parents who struggle with adolescent spiritual independence: “I can’t control what you believe; that’s your responsibility.  But I have promised the Lord that we will honor Him in this home, and that includes being in the Lord’s house.”  The best insurance is your witness of a consistent testimony with convictions.

A Message from HOPE’S

Marriage & Family Ministry

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