A Christian Parent's Worst Nightmare
by Linda Berg
2/23/2013 / Christian Apologetics
"Mom, I have something to tell you." I was in the kitchen doing dishes after dinner. Our sophomore daughter was home for college for the weekend and her dad, brother and I, had just enjoyed our first meal together in months.
She had pulled up the counter stool, was sitting on it, visiting with me as I stood at the sink washing dishes. Something in her tone indicated this was going to be serious. An alarm went off in my head.
I quickly grabbed a towel to dry my hands and said, "Let's move over to the sofa so we can talk." The casual carefree way she chatted with us during dinner had disappeared in a matter of minutes.
We sat down and she began, "Mom, umm... I don't know how to say this. I'm sorry. I know this will upset you and dad, but, umm...I don't believe in God anymore."
Incredulously I looked at her and said, "What? Did I hear you right? You said you don't believe in God?"
The tears began to roll down her cheeks.
I continued, my panic unrestrained. "How can this be? You are at a Christian College?"
Honestly, I'm not sure I heard her initial reply. This was all too unbelievable.
Since her birth, she had never missed Sunday school, Sunday worship, Wednesday Bible study. She had made a decision for Christ at 14. She cared about others, especially the lost. All through High School she had shared Christ with her friends. She was once crushed when a friend did not accept her beliefs about Christianity for himself. Her grandfather was a preacher. Us, her parents, were missionaries in Mexico. All of these thoughts swirled in my head for some time before I was even aware. she was sitting there, turmoil all over her face, trying to explain it to me.
It's not an uncommon story. The statistics are grim. Three out of four children raised in the church, when they go away to college, will walk away from church and their faith.
There are a myriad of reasons:
The church is often guilty of entertaining our children and youth into Christianity.
They don't see the same Christianity they are taught lived out in their parent's lives.
We have not taught them truth with its scientific and historical evidence.
They are sent out into the world and universities where religious belief among intellectual educators is Atheism.
I Timothy 4:16, "Watch your doctrine and your life closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
As parents and church leaders, we have not prepared our youth to defend their doctrine or to have the will to do so by helping them understand their identity in Christ.
Our daughter? She is faithfully loving and serving God after three years of turmoil in her search for truth.
I Timothy 4:16 NIV
Linda Berg serves in Mexico beside her husband. They preach the gospel and plant new churches. Linda is also a Christian Life Coach challenging women to live in strength of Christ and dignity of God's design.