Psalm 119:9 How can young people keep their way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
I have three college-age children, two of which are undergrads and one preparing for grad school. I’m delighted to see them venture into this important season of life, laying foundations for professional careers as adults. All three were raised in the church from the day they were born. I am a pastor so that was a given. But now that they’re adults I wonder if they will continue their faith journey apart from their family of origin.
Lots of people raised in the church leave the church, or significantly reduce their engagement with the church, upon leaving the nest. I get it. They want to exercise their newfound freedom to say yes or no to things mom and dad want or expect. But faith is more than simply going to church.
Faith is the fruit of the word of God sown into young people over and over.
When we read to our children from the word of God, when we sing songs of faith with them from an early age, when we teach them to pray in good times and bad, there is something eternal that takes root in them. Even when it appears they have wandered far from the Lord, the seed of the Kingdom that was planted remains. And so today the Lord is inviting you and me to trust that.
Heavenly Father as parents we understand that our children are not really our own, but belong to you. We care for them, teach them, shape them, prepare them, and then let them go. This morning we lift up the young people we know and love, whether they are our biological children or not. We pray that the word of God planted in them will not return empty, but will accomplish that for which it was sown. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.