Summary: What are the dangers and solutions for raising second generation Christians? Here are 15 Key Biblical Principles.
Following the great faith of Joshua it was said of the next generation of Jews,
"After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord or what He had done for Israel." Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served Baal." (Judges 2:10,11) Let us look at the problems and solutions for second generation indifference to the precious faith of their parents.
1. All parents have a responsibility to teach their children to love and fear the Lord. Failure to nurture children in the faith is a recipe for community decay. The Israelites fell short of fulfilling their responsibilities to involve their children in serving God. Somehow, the parents believed that their examples were enough. (Judges 2:8,9)
2. The children of great men and women of faith only knew the Lord superficially, but not in a deeply personal way as their parents. Without an intimate knowledge and relationship with the Lord all people are apt to go astray. Every individual must learn to cultivate their relationship with the Lord through personally worshipping, consecrating, and obeying the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength and mind.
3. The children of great Christian parents are often neglected because the parents are so busy doing the will of God that they tend to neglect their family responsibilities. It is easy to be so thrilled about the ministry outside the home that one can overlook the importance of serving the Lord inside the home.
4. The children of committed Christian parents often learn just enough about Christianity to put on a front of religiosity. Jesus warned people of honoring God with one’s lips while their hearts are far away.
5. The children of Godly parents often only know the Lord intellectually, historically, and culturally, but not in a deeply spiritual sense. It is not enough to know the Lord with head knowledge – God wants our hearts. Second generation Christians are often connected to the Lord only through traditions rather than through a personal-abiding relationship that is cultivated from a hungry heart for God’s love and power.
6. The children of mature Christian parents easily fall into a routine of attending church out of a sense of obligation rather than from a pure heart. Jesus warned the Pharisees about this "check list" mentality when He said, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men. But, God knows yours hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men, is detestable in the sight of God." (Luke 15)
7. Many Christian youth feel that the church has become irrelevant for their generation. This may be a sad commentary to the unwillingness of Godly Christian leaders to allow young people to exercise their own style of worship services with English sections that are separate from vernacular services. Failure to hand over power and responsibility to the youth often results in a second generation of back-sliders.
8. Second generation Christians often fail to acknowledge God as the one from whom all blessings flow. They have learned to take their blessings for granted. Young people are often critical and tend to be ungrateful to their parents and to God for the wonderful things given to them freely.