Have you observed that quite a number of the bad guys and babes we have around us originated from staunch Christian homes? I mean homes where there were morning devotions at 5 am and vigils took place every two days; where memorizing bible verses had higher prominence than the general elections and praying over meals assumed the significance of Christmas service. Did you also notice that these guys and babes growing up won bible contests and were prominent members of the startup choir your teen’s church was trying to organize? I hear someone whisper D’Banj.
So what happened? At what point did these guys take a spin for the ‘worst’? Why would someone who showed so much promise in the ways of the Lord at an early age suddenly become an alien to those same ways? These and many more questions flood the hearts of the observant as they take a regular peek into the affairs of men and women around them.
The reason I’ve brought up such a touchy issue is to hopefully provide some sort of clue that might prove invaluable to the upcoming generation of parents who seek to raise godly kids – that is you and I.I won’t pretend to have answers here but I’ll be straight to the point. I think there are two fundamental reasons why godly kids morph into ungodly adults. Let’s take a quick look at them. Shall we?
First is the issue of dependence. The structure of many Christian Churches hinges on the premise that faith and knowledge rest with church leaders alone. This attitude is carried into the home structure where even though the children are being brought up in a godly atmosphere, they are not trained to carry on independent of parental spiritual guidance. Instead they are pre-loaded with ‘software’ (doctrines) filled with bug fixes (life solutions) that worked for the parents in their operating system (era), which in the light of 21st Century interactions are already obsolete and do not take into consideration sophisticated malware (peer pressure and internet). So you find parents telling their daughters to avoid friendship with boys – as though mere handshake will transfer semen and fertilize ovum – instead of equipping them to handle advances properly. Since the parents are always correct and are the final authority on all issues, the child cannot ask questions or clarify instructions. This babe then attempts to confront reality living on the faith of her parents, with principles that cannot stand the test of pressure. Crack! She gives in. Like a breached dam, when she gives in, she goes all out.
The second issue is closely related to the first and it has to do with deep seated questions; questions that challenge our convictions. As children, most of us were curious and would have asked at one time or the other ‘Who created God?’ The response we got depended on how understanding the person you asked was. As adults, the questions haven’t fundamentally changed. They just come in a different guise such as: ‘Why did God allow this thing happen to me? I thought he was a good God’ or – under the influence of raging hormones – ‘Did God really say we can’t have sex before marriage?’ All these are questions that cannot be brushed away with pre-formed pat answers. They are situations that determine conviction on the part of the person in question. Unfortunately, as seen from the first reason, many people at this stage are living off their parent’s or church’s faith, therefore they cannot withstand the pressures and questions that fellow corrupt humans bring.
So the lesson here can be summed up from Proverbs 22:6 ‘Train up your child in the way (s)he should go…’ That verse didn’t say follow your child in the way (s)he should go. As future (or present) parents, it is your responsibility to help your children locate their path, find their conviction and locate their (own) faith. Only then will they stand a chance in this decaying world.
I am a Medical Doctor, Brand Strategist and the Author of Musings of an Analytical Mind. I love to challenge conventional thinking and am a firm believer in the coexistence of aesthetics and quality. Follow me @ifeodedere on Twitter.