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I have heard a lot of people saying they will not force their children to go to church for fear of making them resent it. Parents make their children do lots of other things without this fear, why is church different? As a parent you have the obligation to teach them right from wrong. How can you teach them about life but leave them ignorant to Jesus?

What are your opinions on this? Would you make your children go to church or let them choose for themselves?

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Tiffany I'm living proof of this one... My parents forced us into it going to church but it was well worth it --- It's almost like Tough love. I'm not a parent but a Youth leader and know that our Youth Group size is directly proprotional to what is happening today. We have the largest crowd of Unchurched Teens going to be Young Adults in history. Do you think this will have an effect on future generations?
I read somewhere (I don't remember where) that the one thing that isn't or shouldn't be an option with our children is going to church. as parents we are obligated to MAKE our children attend church. It says in Ephesians 6:4 And fathers, don't stir up anger in your children, but rbing them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. So see we are commanded to rear our children in the Lord. One of the best ways to do this is to make them go to church.

In my house church is not an option. Church is something that is required. Even if they stay at a friends house on Saturday night, I either pick them up befoe church or they go to church with their friends.
Heather said:
I read somewhere (I don't remember where) that the one thing that isn't or shouldn't be an option with our children is going to church. as parents we are obligated to MAKE our children attend church. It says in Ephesians 6:4 And fathers, don't stir up anger in your children, but rbing them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. So see we are commanded to rear our children in the Lord. One of the best ways to do this is to make them go to church.

In my house church is not an option. Church is something that is required. Even if they stay at a friends house on Saturday night, I either pick them up befoe church or they go to church with their friends.
I think a lot depends on the individual child.

My mom is Japanese and Buddhist, and my father was a non-practicing Christian who passed away when I was 10. I didn't have a religious upbringing, but, after marriage but before becoming a Christian, going to church was part of what we did as a family because I felt it was "the right thing to do".

My daughter (adopted from Romania) has bipolar disorder, but we didn't realize it until she was 13. She went through many years of personal internal trauma and fears that I just did not understand. It could easily have been seen as rebelliousness at times and laziness at others (.. leading to more severe symptoms). We struggled often because I was trying to "do the right things" now, as a Christian.

When I finally understood, I had to let her walk a different path than I would have chosen for her in many ways such as not having to go to Church and often needing to miss school, but always staying by her side on her path. I did not know where her path would take her, but I focused on our relationship with one another and my relationship with the Lord; always remembering that God created us to have free will, and that His loving call must be answered lovingly and willingly, and that this wonderful child was His gift to me to love and cherish.

She will be 18 next month, and, thankfully to God, she is coming out of the darkness of her illness and more closely into the light of God. And, she is coming to form her beliefs based on what she learned in Church and school (Catholic).

God is love, and this is how His power can reach into our hearts. Yes, we must train our children, and, yes, going to Church together is very important, but we must also discern God's path for each child, which will be unique to each soul, and God's peace is our compass.

The Church is visible and spiritual, human and divine, a sign and an instrument filled with His mysteries, which only faith can accept.

I always keep a picture of Jesus holding the lost sheep (like on my profile page) to remind me that whenever we lose our way, He will always be there for each of us.

Romans 5:5

"Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us."

Christine
I think I can give some different vantage point. For anyone that does not know me I have three young children
Izaiah is 6
Lukas is 3
Laila is 2

We have yet to find a church that can handle all three ages groups. That is one reason I do not "force" church on them however Izaiah has attended church with my mother at river of life fellowship and they have a great Sunday school for his age. This allows for him to feel more part of the church experience and he is the one that is asking me can he go to church. On the the other hand Lukas my three year old went to church and it was a little more then he could handle as far as sitting at a table and doing crafts and listening to stories. So forcing him to go to church is not what will increase his experience in a church family.

What is important to understand is the lord does not force us to love him. We as parents should not force our children to go to church, it gives them the wrong idea. Church is a place you want your children to want to go you do not want them to think it is punishment. And if the church is not connecting with them weather they are 2, 6, 10, 15, or even 25 all you are doing is planting the wrong seeds about church.
I am a parent who firmly believes that PARTICIPATING (not just attending) in church is more important than brushing your teeth or being on time for a family meal.

My oldest (who is now an adult) was basically forced (yes, by me) to participate in church. As a result, she ended up very wounded from the experience by some of the people in the groups she was participating in.

She does not like church now (and has some very harsh words for Christians who do not live a Christ-like life), but it's funny that she seems to be surrounded by a plethera of Christian friends. I firmly believe Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" and I pray and I wait for her to be called back to God and that her heart can finally be healed.

I have 2 other children and I will raise them in the same manner. This is how I was raised. I strayed, I came back. It doesn't always happen that way (as dawnspot pointed out). As parents, this is what we are called to do. My Father loves my children far more than I could humanly love them. They need to come to understand this. I am fallible, He is not. He is their only Hope. How can I say as a loving partent that introducing them to a foundation of truth is an option?
When I was grounded as a kid(teen)...church was the only place I was allowed to go, God met me there. And Sunday morning church was not optional, it was part of being in our family.

I have 4 kids...if they live under the roof, they attend church. Even if it was not the one we attended. And they always knew why we believed they should attend. My oldest daughter chose a different church...and that was fine with me. My two older kids(24, and 21 years old) now attend church on their own. In fact, my 21 year old son who used to be a drug addict is now running our sound ministry at church, and is at church anytime the doors are open. PRAISE GOD! I think...IF you raise them headed in the direction they should go...eventually they remember the way.

But you know...I have made mistakes along the way. My son wasn't allowed to listen to any music that was secular...and that caused resentment and he listened to it anyway behind my back. Now with my younger kids I tend to discuss the secular music they listen to ....and hopefully they are learning to discern...because I have heard my younger son talking to his friends about music and telling them why he doesn't like songs. I have never heard anything questionable so far, and if I do I will cross that bridge by teaching with love. SOOO...I learned through experience.
I'd like to get Bill's thought son this. Bill - can you comment? I like your philosophy of letting your kids grow up at a certain age while they are still in the home...

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