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A newspaper article reported the results of a poll showing various opinions concerning parental force or pressure in seeing that children attend church. The article states: “…many voiced the lament of a New Mexico mother who wrote: ‘We forced our son to go to church. As soon as he left the parental roof, he left the church.’”
The logic of this mother and other parents is interesting. You will notice that only one factor in this child’s life is taken into consideration as to why he might have “left the church” – the fact that he was forced as a child to attend.
It might be revealing to know:
1. Did the mother and father attend church regularly?
2. Did they live their faith, or were they merely “Sunday morning Christians”?
3. Were they firm, fair and consistent in their teaching and discipline of the child?
4. Did they attend a church where the truth of God’s word was taught, or where the Bible is regarded as a spurious book of ancient myths and fairy tales?
5. Did they attend where the Bible was studied, or where children (and older folks) played games and learned crafts?
Also, we wonder if this mother “forced” her son to bathe, eat vegetables and go to school. Did he cease to bathe, quit eating and forsake education “as soon as he left the parental roof”?
Parents, your children will probably turn out to be pretty much like you. Therefore, if you want to see your child study the Bible regularly when he grows up, study the Bible with your child now. If you believe that your child should attend church after leaving home, don’t send him to church – take him.
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
--Tom Moody, Bible Comments, July 1997

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