When Your Child Leaves God

by Jim Lee

Many of you parents who will read this, know by experience the horrific impact this circumstance can have on you. In the past, I have often sympathized and grieved with other brothers and sisters who have gone through the heart wrenching experience of seeing a child of theirs turn their back on God, and return back to the world.

Parents are usually at a lost for words when this happens. Others will question themselves, asking "What did we do wrong?"; "Where did we go wrong?"; "Were we too strict?"; "Did we set a bad example?" etc. And sometimes, even the preacher or elders are at a loss of words to help during this difficult time. Sometimes, all we can do is "weep with them that weep" (Romans 12:15).

As I write this article, I write with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes, because we too have now experience what so many others have ... a child who has turned from God. Having been blest with three precious sons, we have been overjoyed by this blessing. What precious memories we have of them. My wife Sandi and I have done what we believe the Bible teaches on raising our sons. They all three have been baptized for 13, 11, and 10 years now. Two preach the gospel, and the other son has such a tremendous ability in the Scriptures; however, knowing the Scriptures and living by the Scriptures makes a huge difference (Luke 6:46).

In a previous article, I stated that as Christians, we are at war. How that we have to be on guard daily with the armor of God on, for if we walk out into the world without our armor, we are more less walking right into the enemy’s camp. We are at a serious disadvantage unless we prepare ourselves for battle (II Corinthians 2:11). Sin enters our lives via "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life" (II John 2:15-17). And according to James 1:14-15, when we allow ourselves to be drawn away by our own lust, we then become enticed (tempted), and then when our lust conceives, it brings forth sin, and sin, when it is finished brings forth death (spiritual separation from God).

And this is where our son is now. Separated from his God. On the
road to eternal destruction. In preaching on the home as God would have it, I will often quote Psalms 127:3 "Lo,children are an heritage of the Lord. ..." I hope I am thinking right on this scripture, it seems to be saying, that our children are a gift from God, thus an heritage, and He (God) wants them back so they can receive their inheritance.

It has to please our Heavenly Father, when He sees His children, raising their children in the light of His word. As godly parents, we are preparing another generation of Christians to carry on in the battle. Thus our fervent duty to train and teach them according to God’s Holy Word (Ephesians 6:1,4; Colossians 3:20-21). This we feel we have done. Yes, how I wish we could carry our children on into heaven by proxy, but this would violate God’s design in making mankind a creature of choice. e.g. Adam and Eve had a choice to obey or disobey God (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-7). Those in the days of Noah had a choice to listen to a preacher of righteousness or reject his message (Genesis 6 and 7). Joshua told those of his day to make a choice (Joshua 24:15). In the New Testament, the very same principle is found. Jesus said in John 12:48, "He that rejecteth Me and receiveth not My words,hath one that judgeth him:the word that I have spoken,the same will judge him in the last day." Paul told the church at Rome in Romans 14:12, "So then everyone of us will give account of ourselves before God." To the church in Corinth, he says, "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Corinthians 5:10).

I can see why the apostle Paul said there was power in the gospel in Romans 1:16-17. Yes, it (the gospel) is the power of God unto salvation, but it (the gospel) also forces us to make a choice every time it’s preached -- to obey or disobey. Nothing else in this old world has that much power!

Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, "He that is not with me is against me." Our God has done everything He can to keep us out of hell. He has given us His only begotten Son, He has given us His inspired word, and He has given us time to obey His will.

Thus it is my fervent prayer, that God will continue His longsuffering and patience towards our son, but not to our son only, but to all the other godly parents who are feeling the same hurt that we are feeling due to your child turning his back on God. Will you pray for all of us please?

Remember, that the devil is a thief and a murderer. Jesus spoke of him as such in John 10:10, "The thief cometh not, but to steal and to kill, and to destroy." How many Christian homes has he invaded and done serious harm to? For sure brethren, let’s not be guilty of offering him an invitation into our homes! Whenever he shows up, "resist him and he will flee" (James 4:7).

And for those of you whose children are remaining faithful to God, relish this time and verbalize to them how proud you are to seeing them being good examples to others and living for God, for they are the next generation of Christians. May they remain "rooted and grounded." In closing,brethren, we are strong believers in prayer and we believe, just as the Bible states in James 5:16, that "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." And it’s our prayer, that by the time this article is printed, our son has been greeted back home by both of his fathers (Luke 15:20)!