Long before I learned the term “spiritual deconstruction,” I heard stories from my oldest son about it. During his first year at a small Christian college, my son witnessed friends facing faith dilemmas. These friends, raised in Christian homes, struggled with challenges to their beliefs. This most often happened when college peers or professors challenged the traditional Christian doctrines they professed.

This led to questions and inner conflict. In some cases, it caused a complete departure from the faith they had grown up with.

Discouraged, my son described these students walking out of a classroom with visible tears. Challenges to their faith caused their beliefs to crumble under pressure.

Critics labeled these kids’ faith as “old-fashioned” and “outdated,” and they soon adopted a more “relevant” and “progressive” theology.

Times have changed,” they surmised. “Doesn’t it make sense that our faith should change with them?

Stories like this broke my heart when I first heard them. I’ve become familiar with the spiritual deconstruction movement and its effects. I want to warn parents about “progressive Christianity” pulling kids from church into confusion and depression. I want to warn parents everywhere to do everything possible to avoid this being part of their kids’ future story.

You have likely heard the current Barna research about church dropouts, showing that two-thirds of young adults who grew up in Christian homes will leave the church after they leave home. A very small percentage (less than 4%) of young adult “Christians” hold to a truly biblical worldview.

This information is enough to frighten Christian parents and give them reason to ask what – if anything – they can do to help their kids avoid spiritual deconstruction when they leave home one day.

Good question.

One worthy of some very serious consideration.

I am convinced that the answer to that question is found in what happens in the years before kids launch, which is crucial for faith development.

Why my sons did not deconstruct:

When my sons experienced professors, peers, or media that conflicted with the faith they learned at home, they opened their Bibles. And sometimes a good Bible commentary. They reached out to trusted mentors (like my husband and I, a youth pastor who had discipled them throughout high school, and a number of great books they brought with them to college) and they stood on Truth.

My sons had spent a great deal of time in their growing up years not just attending youth group activities but daily studying the Bible and having conversations about the reliability of Scripture, all of which contributed to their faith development. While they did not take a formal course in Christian Worldview (though my youngest son is taking one now), they learned apologetics during family walks, around the dinner table, and before bed as they chatted with my husband and me. This was all possible because they were homeschooled.

In the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 6, Moses passes on God’s commands to His chosen people in the most simple, yet descriptive way I can imagine: “You are to teach your children God’s commands as you lie down, when you get up, when you walk along the way…”

While we can all agree that there is not a “formula” for raising Christian kids, I do believe that these verses in the Bible are as close as we will find to a guide for faith development.

And as much as I shudder to hear the statistics about kids leaving the church, I do hold on to the data related to kids who remain grounded in biblical truth. The ones George Barna refers to as “spiritual champions.” (Who doesn’t love that?)

Nurturing Faith Development at Home

Research shows that kids who grow up with simple disciplines in their home are more likely to stay committed to their faith, the local church, and traditional Christian values: Reading the Bible regularly. Praying. Attending church as a family. Choosing mostly Christian music and wholesome entertainment.

This doesn’t sound very difficult, does it?

Yet all of this may be very difficult if our kids are spending most of their waking hours in an environment that does not support or encourage these things. (Especially one that is increasingly hostile towards them.)

It is a long-understood truth that we become like the company we keep. In the book of Proverbs, King Solomon wrote: “He who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20) Paul echoed these words in Philippians saying, “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) I have often recalled a parenting moment when one of my boys was asking permission to hang out with a group of kids who I knew were not making good choices. It was one of my (homeschooling) friends who counseled me quite simply with: “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

And, while it is possible to give our kids after school or online courses in biblical worldview and apologetics (and I know that some Christian schools offer those), it will be hard to compare to the opportunity we have to ground our kids in these things in a homeschool environment. One where we can quite literally talk about these things: when we wake up. As we walk along the way. When we lie down. All…day…long.

Can kids develop a strong faith in a traditional school environment?

Yes, they can. And praise God for those who do! But: are they likely to remain true to their faith? I know that some do, but the statistics are hard to argue with. For those Christian parents who have kids in a traditional school setting, I encourage a committed effort to counter the influences at school with plenty of intentional spiritual training and faith development at home.

But if you have the opportunity to educate your kids at home? I encourage you to try it! There are plenty of blessings in homeschooling, but perhaps the greatest rewards will be realized in the years after your kids have launched into independence!

Source link

Subscribe Below To Our Weekly Newsletter of our Latest Videos and Receive a Discount Code For A FREE eBook from our eBook store: