Your children abandoning their faith in their twenties like the rest of the culture isn’t something that’s on your radar when they are still small.
Sure, you catechize them. You spend time learning all the Judy Rogers songs, the right answers, the right friends. But, homeschooling isn’t a magic bullet.
What you can control…
I’m sorry to break it to you. What you can control?
The primary thing you can control, friend, is yourself. That’s it. In some ways that’s everything. That’s the thing that the Lord is going to hold you accountable for at the end of your life—the things you’ve done in the body.
So, knowing what God requires of us as parents, spouses, friends, and as His child is our responsibility. Working out our salvation with fear and trembling, trusting in the Lord to work all things together for good, for His glory.
That simple trust and acting in faith is what we can control.
We can control the relationship we have with our children, as far as our own efforts go. I personally feel it’s vital to keep that relationship door open and the connection strong, regardless of their faith choice later in life.
What you can’t control…
Here’s the shocker! What you can’t control?
This in of itself is an act of faith, too. From the moment of conception, your children are outside of your control. It’s true, but oh, so hard. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could do A, B, C, and get a guaranteed result? Maybe, but it doesn’t work that way.
These little people, just like you did in your own growing up, have to learn to navigate the big wide world. And that comes with a risk. A risk that they may leave the faith of their youth.
There are things we can do, for sure.
We can train them up in the fear and admonish of the Lord. You and I can sow God’s word in their hearts. We can walk before them in a blameless manner, as much as we’re able. We can be real, honest, and keep our own commitment to our faith. And that increases the odds they’ll embrace the faith we live out before them. But, it’s not a guarantee. Not by a long shot. And that, we can’t control.
What God controls.
Here’s the part you’ll love- God controls everything. He’s given us some promises in His Word- namely that it won’t return to Him void, but will accomplish all that it sets out to do. He’s working Romans 8:28 out for those that love Him.
It doesn’t mean your children won’t lose their way. It doesn’t mean that at some point in their lives that’s a guarantee that they’ll return to their faith. The promise is for you, the believer.
When your child leaves the faith as an adult…
I don’t have anything magic to share with you, and I’m sorry. It does happen. And it breaks our hearts.
From my own experience, I can tell you that it’s one of the most painful things a mom can experience. In my own situation, I can point to things in our family life- that “perfect” homeschool family life- that didn’t serve my kids well.
Our homeschooling experience did leave us slightly isolated, though that’s not the norm in homeschooling, and that didn’t serve them well, either. Stronger Christian friendships would’ve blessed them. So, if I can share any help with you that may help your children, try these:
- surround your children with Christian friends
- be involved in Church (a healthy one)
- venture outside your homeschooling circle where your children can learn to stand in their faith
- maintain your marriage
- maintain your own Christian friendships
- pray as a family
In the end, your children may leave the faith, and your heart may be broken. That’s real life for many. Stick close to the Lord who hears the brokenhearted and is your shield and reward. He understands. And keep the door to relationship open with your children. They are in need of God’s love.