With pain in their voices, two friends recently shared how their teenage kids weren’t embracing their faith traditions. They had a healthy relationship with them but the kids were no longer buying into what the parents believed.
Could this be due to the new challenges that kids must navigate?
They’re growing up in a multicultural, post-Christian world. I never dreamed that my own family would be made up of Anglo, Chinese, and African nationalities. Future success demands that this next generation collaborates and connects across these diverse boundaries. But to do so requires trust, and trust demands that we treat others legitimately.
Our kids must learn to flex with their traditions. No, this doesn’t mean that they need to become Hindu, Agnostic, Muslim, or Mormon. But it does demand that they have a softer interface with those who are. That could be why hardened or misplaced traditions scare them.
Christians often have their own exclusive look, vocabulary, hangouts, and friend groups. These internally-focused and sometimes outdated traditions can create mistrust between us and others. Could it be that our kids are fearful that this mistrust may harm vital relationships?
Could we be inadvertently forcing them to choose between church relationships and others? Or church relationships and an occupation?
Can we learn to walk close to the heart of God while making sure that people who aren’t still feel legitimate?