"The human infant is by far the most helpless of all young mammalian life and consequently requires an inordinate amount of care if it is to be nurtured successfully" (R.K. Harrison, ed. Revised Edition. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1992. p. 302).
It all starts with us---the parents.
We have allowed our children to experience areas that are dark, sinful and conducive to evil. We wanted to give our children what we did not have as children, and in turn, we have injured their souls. In doing so, we have opened the door to darkness, and they have now walked into the immorality, corruption and ungodliness of our decadent culture.
I have received many emails from parents that that are deeply grieved and suffer acutely for their children. Some have lost control over their children or experience rebelliousness, defiance and rejection from them. Sadly, all of us grieve for the condition of this world that grabs our children only so it can extinguish the flame of God.
We have given our children a freedom and opportunities that have backfired on many of us. We have given them to the world which belongs to evil. We allow them to spend countless hours on demonic video games, watch hours of violent television, listen to ungodly music, and "practice" for marriage by trial "living" arrangements. . Many are experimenting or using spiritually damaging drugs or alcohol, and we parents do not have a clue what our children are doing. We do not spend enough time parenting them, sometimes not giving them role models of a vibrant prayer life and of holy, positive relationships at home. We allow them to miss Mass on Sunday and to forego the Sacraments. Sadly, many ungodly patterns have become established in our children, and now they are set in concrete.
What does Scripture tells us about our children?
One of the Ten Commandments says: "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you" Exodus 20:12. This commandment must be taken seriously, not only because it is a matter of Old Testament revelation, but because the obligation to honor parents is one that is almost ridiculed in our current cultural climate.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" - which is the first commandment with a promise - "so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."
Fathers, do not infuriate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4 A son should hear his father's instruction and not forsake his mother's law. Proverbs 1:8
A son should hear his father's instruction and not forsake his mother's law. Proverbs 1:8
Under the Old Testament, a stubborn and rebellious son, who would not obey his parents, was to be stoned. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 Jesus set the example for children by being subject to His earthly parents. Luke 2:51
Disobedience to parents, like other sins, causes those who practice it - and those who justify others who practice it - to be worthy of death. Romans 1:30,32
Children should obey their parents. Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20
The Root of the Problem
My wife Maria has always worked with troubled youth. As a teacher and psychologist, she has seen and heard it all. What is her assessment of the situation with our kids? We are fighting a terrible battle---one that we are increasingly losing.
The combatants are drugs, alcohol, medication, TV, movies, video games, songs, music, and demonic media messages of "coolness". We have a toxic cocktail of appalling role models that portray wickedness as normal and "cool". We have also created an obsolete, overwhelmed and increasingly irrelevant school system. To make matters worse, our culture is totally supportive and even glamorizes the worst evils (abortion, illicit sex, pornography and continual escapism). God is presented as a fairytale, a fable, a myth, and Christianity an outdated, troublesome belief and value system.
Increasingly, we have seen good parents (yes, even with our own family) struggle to impart strong Christian values while trying to not totally isolate their children from normal activities and experiences. In terms of where to draw these delicate boundaries, parents are as confused and stressed as our children.
We all agree on one thing----we certainly have serious problems!
Testimonies from Youth and Children:
You can't bring your daughter back to God. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. I was also raised in a God-fearing family. I walked away from God and began to live a very unhealthy and dangerous life style. I started having relationships with women and defined myself as a lesbian. Through it all I know my mother loved me. She called me regularly just to keep in touch. I knew she would be there for me in an emergency even though I kept pulling away from her mostly because I was ashamed of what I was doing and I knew it would upset her. My mother showed me by example what a loving God we have. She lived her Christian life and I watched her. After praying for me for 25 years, I was convicted of the sin of lesbianism and I started going back to church. Now we have a very close and intimate relationship. She never stopped praying for me or being there for more. I love her so much for all her sacrifice.
I am 15, and I am an atheist myself.... Everyone thought I was rebelling at first, but I wasn't. I truly just don't believe in God. Some people aren't cut out for the belief.
As for the drinking, that isn't because of her lack of god. She obviously has a more serious issue that should be addressed. And she probably doesn't want you bothering her about her faith if she is a struggling alcoholic. It's annoying and does more damage than good.
How do I bring my child back to God?
First, we individually, and as parents, must pray, repent of our sins, ask forgiveness, ask God to change our lives and with a sincere heart turn our lives to God. It is very important that we ourselves reconcile with God; He is the only answer to all of our problems and situations. We need to invite the Holy Spirit and our Blessed Mother into our hearts and ask for His gifts and for Her direction with our families and our children. Surrender and guidance are key, for He is the only One that can change the impossible.
I know it may be very difficult to first simply repent and seek God, but this is what I believe that the Lord is telling us. We have loved our children with all of our hearts, and now we need to love them with agape love, with the love of God--- which is unconditional. Sometimes, this is very difficult to do. We need to understand that we must, above all, pray for our children, and not necessarily try to change the life they live (especially with older children), but pray and give them to God and to our Blessed Mother. Ask God to deal with their hearts, and know that we cannot convince them with our human logic, arguments or human force or pressure.
Staying true and acting on our faith in God is so crucial. We see many parents drop off their kids at CCD on Sunday for one hour or more. They might think they are completing their Christian upbringing, but they are not. They give their responsibilities as parents to others. Children are smarter than we might think. They look at us, the parents, as examples. Do we spend time with them and share about God? Do we go to Sunday Mass with them as a family? Do we teach them at home, by word and behavior, about God? Do we give others the responsibility that is ours? Have we as parents had a negative influence on our children? Do they see us as sincere, genuine and vibrant in our faith? Do we speak of God and act in unholy ways? If so, this is the place to begin-our own behavior!
It could be that our kids went off to college and came back not believing in God-liberal professors with their own agenda turned their thinking away from believing in God. The young person may question everything, and our values do not make sense to them. They built walls between you and them when it comes to talking about God.
We need to become spiritual prayer warriors for our children.
When we approach them, pray before you speak---pray that we don’t say anything to further drive them away, or to add a wedge between them and our Lord. Pray that our words may be His---peppered with His "communication skills" and His transforming love.
Let us also pray to set healthy, Christian boundaries for our children—to say no to influences that will harm their souls as well as their bodies---no matter how tough. Let us pray that we will have the courage to speak truth to them, but also the discernment and patience to wait, to be silent and listen to their thoughts and their stories.
We have to learn to do everything in and through the love of Christ with our kids Let’s become committed, fighting-mad prayer warriors for our children! We can never give up or give in! God and our Blessed Mother can do more than we could ever imagine in this very important battle for the soul of our children-one that we cannot and will not lose.
Your brother in Christ, John
Prayer for Christian Families
O Lord, God of goodness and mercy, Who in the midst of an evil and sinful world hast presented to the society of the redeemed the Holy Family of Nazareth as a spotless mirror of piety, justice and love, behold how the family is being undermined on all sides, every effort being made to desecrate it by stripping it of faith, religion and morals.
Regard the work of Thy own hands. Safeguard in our homes the domestic virtues, for these alone will ensure us harmony and peace.
Come and stir up the champions of the family. Bestir the modern apostles so that in Thy Name, bearing the message of Jesus Christ and exhibiting holiness of life, they may revive the doctrines of conjugal fidelity for married couples, the exercise of authority by parents, obedience on the part of children and modesty on the part of girls. Grant also through the efforts of these apostles that the home favored by Thee with many blessings may again become an object of esteem and love in the minds and hearts of all.
It is through the examples of the Divine model of Nazareth that the Christian family is to be restored in Jesus Christ and to recover its former respect and dignity. Then every home will again become a sanctuary and in every household will be rekindled the flame of faith to teach patience in adversity and moderation in prosperity and to promote order, peace and harmony in all things.
Under Thy paternal gaze, O Lord, and with confidence in Thy Providence and in the loving patronage of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the family will become a sanctuary of virtue and a school of wisdom. It shall prove, as Christ has promised, a haven of rest against life's burdens. In the sight of the world it shall render glory to Thee, O Father, and to Thy Son, Jesus, until the day when, through Him, we shall, together with all His members, sing the Divine praises in the eternal ages to come. Amen.
By Pope Pius XII
We are no longer thousands of miles apart from each other. We are a one World-Wide Family. Let us join each other and pray together for all of our needs, especially for our children and our families. Can you imagine how beautiful it would be if we all we came together in Prayer with Our Lady and all of us prayed to the Holy Trinity? Join us every Thursday evening at 10:00 (CT). Regardless of our Time Zone, we as a Family of God need to pray for the sin of mankind with Our Lady and the Holy Spirit. We are called to intercede for our brethren walking in darkness throughout the whole world.
Learn more: 24 Hour Perpetual Adoration & 24 Hour Online Rosary
Please join my wife and I in praying for our needs and especially for our children (any age).
Maria and I will pray for all of you, your children and your families every Thursday evening at 10:00 (CT) before the Blessed Sacrament. We are hopeful that we will all be praying together at the same time- wherever in this world you are- for the intentions of Jesus, Our Lady, the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis and our own person intentions (especially our children, our families, and the healing of the sick.) We are no longer strangers living in seperate states and countries, but a family that is coming together before the Holiness of our Lord and Savior Jesus.
I asked Or Lady and She was very happy and joyful. She will join each of us throughout the world regardless of the time zone. She will be at each other's side. It will be a blessing if we can spend one hour of praying together. The Rosary, Adoratoin at the Blessed Sacrament, or just silent meditation if we are working. Special Graces will be given to each of us as we pray for each other, our families, and those that are walking in darkness.