Should I Force My 18 Year Old To Attend Church?

Q. Do you think that parents should FORCE their 18 year olds and older to go to church? I raised my kids going to Sunday School. They got saved and baptized at like 14/15. Now that they are 18 they just “don’t want to go”. They say they still believe, but don’t want to go to church. I hate fighting with them to go. When I finally get them there everyone is unhappy and mad. Is it better to force them or not? I can’t see which is the better way to go. I feel like a failure that they don’t want to go to church.

A. You are not a failure. According to the last research I read only about 3 out of 10 born again kids who attended church regularly at age 14 keep going to church after they reach the age of 18. I think it’s a matter of exercising their power of choice. Some stay away for several years before coming back.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

This doesn’t mean that raising children to attend church will guarantee life long church goers. It means that even if they go away for a while, most will eventually come back.

In the mean time it helps to remember that while church attendance is beneficial, it’s not mandatory for believers. Bible studies, small groups, and other forms of Christian fellowship can serve the same purpose.

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