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My Son's Church Attendance

Should I make my 15 year old attend church and youth group even if he doesn't want to? It always turns into a fight. I don't want to turn him away from church. I want him to want a personal relationship with Christ. Any suggestions?

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I think the trick is to have raised them so that they respect and listen to what you say and wont dare "fight" with you about it. Like back in the 50's when children obeyed their parents and didnt backtalk and stuff, because they knew they'd get a whoopin'. ANYWAY...I really want to say you need to make him obey you while he's still in your house and your responsibility, but will just run away and fight and disrespect their parents...ask friends for counsel
---Todd1 on 5/21/08

God doesn't force Himself on us...Pray,plead the blood of Jesus over his life and his salvation and trust God to do the rest. We all have a freewill and God made us that way...We cannot change people...However, when we pray and speak God's Word over them, then God changes them...God has promised to save our household and we must release our faith and God's Word over people for things to happen in their lives...And this is when things work...Faith,Love,The blood, and the Word of God...Always Prevail...
---Elisabeth on 5/21/08

I made my children attend church every Sunday until they graduated high school.I didn't insist on Weds.and youth group though.They backslid after high school but all but one returned to serving God after a few years.I would do it if I was a parent again.
---shirley on 5/21/08

nobody should force an individual into a given religion thats wrong and i must say lacks integrity . Religion is a personal practice your beliefs are yours and yours only and not your parents never should another individual decide your beliefs for you thats making you weak ,its teaching to be a follower ,not a go getter which doesn't benefit your loved ones they need to be able to deal with decisions or they will have a hard time making choices by themselves.
---Zach_paulson_16 on 5/21/08

thats doing harm to you child. its your job raise you child, teach your child what he needs to know to succeed in the real world [that includes decision making] you need to focus on your son and his beliefs and intentions .its his life not yours not to mention the kids 15 in three short years he'll be out in the real world and needs the skills to succeed .he needs to be a strong willed,selfsufficient ,honest being the power of crist compells you, DO WHATS BEST FOR YOUR SON
---Zachary_Paulson on 5/21/08

Sometimes you just gotta trust Him!

You know your son better than anyone. If he's just expressing reluctance, I'd try to encourage him to go ... because we always feel better if we go to church (at least that's what works for us). We recently had to change churches to find one that better suited our kids (a VERY difficult but necessary decision). I think you need to hear from God on this one.
---DoryLory on 5/21/08

Forcing another human being to embrace a belief system they don't want to embrace can cause strained relationships and family strife at the least and psychological damage at the worst. My parents wouldn't let me quit church even though I had "quit mentally" at about age 10. As a teen I ended up acting out to show my displeasure instead of focusing my energies on academics. I'm 37 and forced religion still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Let your son make his own decision.
---Christi on 8/24/07

At 15 I lived with my Uncle, a pentacostal preacher. He used the 'under my roof argument.' He was determined, as a 'prize' to save me. I got out of church-church schools by asking questions, relentless questions i knew they could not asswer. They asked me to leave. Other teens were thrown out for sex, drugs, all sorts of immorality, it was questioning that i was tossed out, (in other words thinking was more immmoral than the other things) liberated as I called it.
---MikeM on 7/29/07

As long as they are under your roof, they must live by your rules.
---Ktisophilos on 7/29/07

Make him attend until he is at least 18 years old or until he leaves your home. God hold us responsible for our kids until they reach adulthood.I would not fight with him. This puts him on your level.Tell him once and that's it. This is your duty as a parent/mother. Is dad around? What is he doing to help this situation?
---Robyn on 7/29/07

The mother should first have a relationship with Christ before she can share this relationship with her son. You cannot share with your children that which you yourself do not have. Get saved, then you will be able to share your salvation with you son. What a blessing it is to be able to lead a family member in real prayer and communication together with Jesus Christ.
---Eloy on 7/29/07

I think it is important for you to be the parent and make your son attend church. Who knows what's best you or a fifteen year old boy. It will not be you who turns him away from church, it will be his own heart.
---mark on 7/29/07

I do believe that your teenage son should be involved in the church and have a personal relationship with Jesus. I drifted away from the church in high school but 6 years ago, I gave my heart to Jesus and I've never regretted that.
---erin on 7/14/07

You cannot make him have a personal relationship with Christ. I suggest you stop trying to get him to go to church, just leave it and don't say anything. Then pray and keep on praying for his salvation.
---Helen_5378 on 7/14/07

Ask your child why he/she doesn't want to go. There could be something bothering your child that you don't know about. Sunday school and youth group needs to be a place where your child can go, not only to grow spiritually, but to feel safe and comfortable, and if they don't have that, that could make youth group uninviting. You don't want to force them to go and have them end up pulling away from the church. Be encouraging in your conversations with your child.
---Katie on 7/14/07

I definitely made my kids attend church and youth group. My rule was, under 18, they are in church with me. After that, they answer to the Lord.
---Madison on 7/14/07

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Teach a child the way to go and when he is old he won't depart from it.
---wes on 3/6/07

Yes, I believe that you should, but also find out what he likes(music, books, sports, etc.) and mix the bible in with that. I see teens today wanting more that just to go and hear a sermon, but they really want to know God for themselves & just need a little help doing it.
---Rickey on 1/12/06

Your teen fights because it works for him.
In a TV program a solder brought his wounded buddy to the surgeons and demand treatment at gun point. As a Doctor explained the procedure of taking the worse hurt first the solder listened intently and said he fully understood. Then he forced the doctor to treat his buddy first anyway.
Listen to what your teen says, explain your responsibility to him and God and then take him with you. But, you be involved with his classes also and support him.
---Elder on 1/12/06

I've often heard it said that because children are forced to go to day school whether they like it or not we should still force them to go to church and Sunday School. I don't think it is quite that easy personally although I would never argue with anyone over this point. Today's children are very smart and they KNOW that they have to go to school (the law of the land says so) but they are doing nothing illegal by staying away from church, however it might soon be illegal to force them to go.
---M.A. on 1/12/06

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That is a hard question. I approached it like Madison answered, asking (no, telling) them I expected them to attend church with us and when they were 18, they had that choice to make. Dr. James Dobson suggests that once they are responsible for their decisions that you should give them a release in writing, making them responsible.
My prayers are with you.
---Barby on 1/12/06

Seems like we have no problem forcing our kids to go to school and learn stuff they don't like for 6 hours a day 5 days a week for 12 years and there doesn't seem to be a problem. But when it comes to the assembly we are fearful of being pushy. Don't believe it that they will hate what you push at them. They know that you are pushing something good . You can't force the realtionship onto him but get as much word into him as you can. It will accopmlish it's work in him.
---john on 1/12/06

Our oldest son came to church with us until he was 18. Son #2 rebelled and we had to give him to the Lord. We couldn't d-r-a-g him to church after he turned 14. (It's just hard to be a good Christian drug dealer!) Sons #3 and #4 are now 16 and 14 and come to church with us. The one who walks closest to the Lord today, is Son #2, the one who rebelled. He's 20 now and God got a hold of his heart even though he wasn't in church.

One of my favorite sayings is: God's bigger than all that!
---DoryLory on 1/11/06

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