Recently, I watched a video clip where a son (my guess is that he was in his late teens) expressed to his mother that he didn’t believe in God. She reacted in anger and went on to tell him that he wouldn’t be getting anything for Christmas since he didn’t believe in the Christ of Christmas. Partly, that video inspired me to write this piece. What’s the best way to handle when youth, particularly, in same households with adult Christians, don’t believe in God? It can be tough calls, indeed.
Some parents/guardians practice tough love in such circumstances. Youth are forced to attend church and to participate in Christian practices. In some instances, resentment resides in the youth. On the flip side, some parents/guardians don’t coerce youth to engage in what doesn’t spiritually appeal to them. They allow the youth to “freely” express themselves.
What, though, is the best way? In my opinion, there are no hard and fast rules as to what’s best. Each family handles the predicaments in ways that they deem best. Truly, there’s no formula as to how to manage the spiritual differences.
In each case, it’s highly likely that Christians seek guidance from the Lord and act accordingly. That, though, doesn’t mean that mistakes won’t be made. We live, learn and ideally amend as deemed fit. Challenges present themselves, regardless. When we aim to do the best that we know how, God understands.
Tears are shed, grief is felt, and hearts are heavy in such living conditions. Mourning is definitely present with something so vital as spiritual placements. Communication breakdowns can be difficult in any cases, but often in spiritual matters it can be more profoundly challenging.
Step by step, one day at a time is likely how some families get through the distances caused by consistent spiritual disagreements coupled with the other drama that sometimes comes relative to youth. It’s easier for some families than others. It’s good that some families have learned how to enjoy one another despite the differences. Yes, there are balanced ways to co-exist with love and respect in the equations.
Love and respect helps considerably and of course so does hope and trust in the Lord. The reality is that there are things that we cannot change so we need to be mindful to attend to how we respond to what’s outside our realm of full management.
The good news is that it isn’t hopeless and that even in the midst of such challenges, joy is possible. Indeed, it’s a process . . . .
Psalm 34:4 – KJV
I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.