Statistics show that nearly 90% of children brought up in evangelical homes abandon the church after high school. Some may return, but how can parents reach kids who are rebelling against their faith?
In his new book, Why Christian Kids Rebel (W Publishing Group, 2004; ISBN: 0849918308), best-selling author and family and parenting expert Dr. Tim Kimmel provides encouragement and hope for parents asking themselves why their safe Christian homes arent enough to keep their kids from rebelling. Kimmel points out that a parents own attitude about faith may play a pivotal role in diffusing rebellion and renewing relationships.
Some of childrens rebellion against your spiritual lifestyle might be a necessary step in their finding an authentic relationship with God, says Kimmel. Poor choices in movies, music, and companions could simply show that your kids are making decisions for themselvesa healthy step forward.
Building on the foundation laid in his last book, Grace Based Parenting (W Publishing Group, 2004), Kimmel suggests moving away from parenting models that encourage Christian parents to cloister their children in an evangelical environment.
Parents whose goal is to raise a spiritually safe kid usually get a spiritually safe kid in the process. But they also often get a spiritually weak kid, says Kimmel. Parents who want to raise strong children realize it cannot happen without the children having to work for their spiritual muscles.
Kids living in contemporary culture need to observe the authenticity of their parents faith. Its not enough for them to check off a to-do list of church activities, according to Kimmel.
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As parents, we often let our fears get the best of us, but working from a position of grace we must be savvy enough to let rebellion run its course.
In Why Christian Kids Rebel, Kimmel offers advice for restoring a rebellious child:
1. Pray about issues before you discuss them with the rebellious child.
2. Take the first step to initiate peace.
3. Identify with their pain. People dont get angry and rebel for no reason.
4. Own up to the negative part you played.
5. Deal with the problem, not the person.
Figure out how you can cooperate rather than compete.
You may never resolve all the issues, so instead aim at restoring the relationship.
Dr. Tim Kimmel is one of Americas top advocates for todays families. He serves as Executive Director of Family Matters, an organization focused on equipping families for every age and stage of life through resources and conferences. In addition to speaking, Kimmel has authored several books including Grace Based Parenting, Little House on the Freeway, and Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right. There are currently more than 800,000 copies of Kimmels books in print.
Kimmel, formerly a nationally syndicated radio host for the Salem Radio Network, serves as a family and parenting expert for media, working with outlets including FOX News and The Washington Post.