Many faithful church-going parents grieve when their adolescent and adult children scorn or ignore the faith that their parents carefully nurtured in them when they were small. A pastor and former classmate of mine is forlorn that her daughter wants nothing to do with the church. She was married in a civil ceremony with no role for her mother and she chose not to baptize her daughter. A former student of mine, a woman of deep faith, “did everything according to Dobson” and now finds her four sons defiant and rebellious.
The passing on of faith through the generations is fragile. I take comfort in the verse, “Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray” (Proverbs 22:6). I remember that there is sometimes a long wait between the planting and the flowering. God is at work in the deep-down soil. It can be hard to live, as we always do, in the in-between time, but that’s where we are in this world.
This message is adapted from “When Children Fall Away” written by Mary Mortimore Dossin in the December 2005 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.