I have a lot of Christian friends whose children are breaking their hearts.
This is a group of folks my age whose children are college age and up.
The children were raised in the church. Call them covenant-children, church-kids, or whatever floats your boat for a label, these are the kids who were always taking part in church activities. They were taught that the Bible is TRUTH. They know all the songs from Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. They could do Bible drills like nobody's business. They memorized their Bible verses for Sunday School, Children's Church, VBS, Bible Class at school (because most of them were either in Christian Schools or Homeschooled) and Family Worship time. They grew up knowing the Truth of Scripture and telling all their friends about it. Many of them went to Christian Colleges where classes were taught from (we thought) a Christian World-View. They were baptized communicant church members and they know the jargon.
But something has happened.
Suddenly we realize that not only are these kids not in church, they are not at all apologetic about it and have no plans to go to church in the near future. Their hearts seem to have gone through a change that their families did not expect. Slowly and subtly their priorities have shifted and their parents have suddenly awakened to the realization that God is at the bottom of their priorities. If there at all.
I'm not going to try and analyze the whys and wherefores and hows of this shift. Fault-finding and blame-casting is counter-productive and is not my purpose.
I would rather share some hope for any of you who find yourselves in this situation.
Some time ago I heard a sermon from Luke 15, the chapter of the parable of the Prodigal Son. I was struck by how the preacher brought out some things about the father. He was talking about the love and grace of the father who was waiting. The father who never quit waiting and never gave up hope. The Father who waits for each of us, no matter where we are or how long we have been away.
Don't give up on your wandering children. Don't stop waiting for them to figure out that God alone is worthy of first place. Don't let yourself become so broken-hearted that you are afraid to hope. Don't turn off the emotions because the pain is too much to handle. When you get so tired that it seems like it is more than you can keep on doing, have the courage to admit that to someone in your Christian circle and give them the privilege of bearing that burden with you for a little while.
Keep hoping. Keep waiting. Keep trusting. Keep praying.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Know that I am praying with you and for you, that HIS peace will fill your hearts and your home.