When Teens Doubt

It’s sad, but I hear it more and more each year.

Every weekend at my parent workshops I get at least one question about it… and I constantly receive emails asking the same thing:

What do I do when my teenager tells me they don’t believe in God?

Here’s an email I just received:

Jonathan,

Thank you for all the wonderful ideas and advice! We are taking it all to heart in raising our teens. The question I have is, how do you apply these strategies in your book with a 16 year old who has decided she doesn’t believe in God the way you’ve taught her? She is not going to have the same moral compass you’re wanting her to make decisions from . . . so when you give her some freedom, she chooses against God’s truth/biblical morals. The gradual freedom idea is good, but how do practically do that with a teen who is literally turning her back on everything you’ve taught and walking down the wrong road? We’ve felt like we had to get pretty heavy handed on the boundary side of things b/c of some of her serious poor choices lately. Any advice would be appreciated!

Sincerely,

Concerned Mom

I hear her pain, and in response to her and the countless others who keep asking the same question, we are doing a two week series on the topic, and the first is already posted on TheSource4Parents.com as the featured article:

My 16-year-old Doesn’t Believe

Next week Part II of this article will be posted. I wrote Part I, addressing how to respond in grace and truth. My brother is writing Part II, and it will be addressing the more intellectual side of the issue, getting to “the why” of the matter.

Please share this article with others!

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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