As a Christian mother, I have a dilemma, and I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give to me.
In our family we have always raised our children up in the church. My two older children never really rebelled against going. But my youngest who is fifteen is going through a bit of rebellion, and I'm not sure the best way to deal with it.
First of all, we changed churches about two years ago. This church is a wonderful church...very loving. The music is very upbeat and contemporary. The atmosphere is laid back and casual. It is a perfect church for a teenager to feel at home in.
The thing is, he is the only child still at home. His brother and sister are on their own. I've noticed recently that he will only go with us when his sister goes as well. But he never wants to go if it is just his dad and me.
Last night he promised that he would go with me this morning. So I got up and got ready to go. His sister had to cancel going at the last moment due to her job. So my son decides he is not going either, and said the only reason he goes is to see his sister.....and then said that church is boring. (Translation: I want to stay home and play computer games). Also, let me add, that my son has never really gotten plugged into any youth group at church because he is shy about joining groups in which he doesn't know anyone. I know if he could do this, it would help a lot.
Anyway, this morning I came so close to giving the "I do so much for you,and this is all I ask of you" speech, but I held my tongue. I just don't feel it ever does any good to force a teenager to go to church. I believe it does more harm than good.
But I have talked to others who disagree. They have the "as long as you live in my house, you will come to church with us" mentality.
So I want to ask my Christian Gather friends. What do you think? Do you believe in forcing a teenager to attend church? Or do you you think it is best to pray and hope that God will open their hearts at the right time?
Let me also say that I do not believe a person has to go to church if he is a Christian. But my son is not. And I hear so much at church each week I KNOW he would benefit from. My heart is heavy, wondering what to do. So could you please advise me? And could you also keep us in your prayers? Thank you.