Nine of ten men will have children to leave the church.
In the last post I gave you a list of statistics the authors of the book No Man Left Behind shared that men in the church struggle with. In this post we are going to start looking at each one of those statistics and talk about each of them and how discipling can help us overcome from being one of the statistics or at least mitigate the affect.
We are going to look at the statistic that nine men out of 10 will have children who will leave the church. Now this probably doesn’t surprise us too much as we all know families whose children are no longer in church. But I talk with men regularly that are concern with the fact they have at least one child who are no longer attending a church after being brought up in the church environment. Though I have never really asked them; I wonder how many of those Dads actually disciple their children.
Now what do I mean by discipling their children? When I say disciple I mean Dads who read the Bible with their children, pray with their children, talk about Biblical topics, encourage their children to memorize and meditate on scripture. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 tells us;
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
Now let me tell you – for full disclosure – I am one of those Dads who did not obey this teaching but has been blessed that my children have remained in church and are truly followers of Christ. Why did I not disciple my children? Because no one taught me that it was my responsibility and not the churches. For many years in my life I did not have a man who poured his life into me teaching me how to be the spiritual leader my children needed. Now do I think I was a bad Dad? Of course not! (At least that is what my kids tells me.) But I should have been more involved in their spiritual development as they were growing up. More than just taking them to church and getting them involved in church activities.
So if you are already feeling like a less than adequate Dad because you did not or have not discipled your children, you are not alone – unfortunately there are many Dads just like myself who have failed to invest in their children’s spiritual development.
However, if we change our behavior and begin discipling our children at a young age this trend of children turning their backs on God can be reversed. Will it completely eliminate children walking away from God – no – but it will curtail a number of them. I know of Dads who did pour their lives in their children and still some of their children turned their backs on God. Some of them returned later if life. Some have yet to do so. Some never did. But I also know many Dads who did and their children are now very active in the life of the church and many are leaders in the church.
Robert Lewis wrote a book several years ago called Raising a Modern Day Knight. A great book for dads and granddads to read as their sons are growing up. Gives some great ideas on having manhood celebrations at various stages of the son’s life. One as early as eight years old. I would encourage you to get a copy of this book and read it. I gave a copy to my son-in-law even before his two boys were born for him to read. Makes a great gift to new dads.
So let me encourage you. If you have children still in the home it is never too late to begin discipling them. The older they are the harder it may be to start – but start. The next generation is counting on us. There are many resources out there to help us Dads disciple our children. Check out ministries such as All Pro Dad, Heart of the Father Ministries, and Better Dads to name a few.
Start today – we need to be discipling our children. Our families are counting on it. As the saying goes – “As the father goes, so goes the family, and so goes the nation.”
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6