In the previous post, I shared with you a dilemma someone in the Scriptural Gems community is facing. Her loved one wants to put being a Christian on hold until she is older.
This is something many Christian household face. Their younger children and stepchildren, particularly teens, want to have “fun” now and then live their life for Christ later.
Unfortunately, “later” may be too late for some. For others, they never find their way back to God. How can you help them as a parent?
In part one of the What if Your Stepchild No Longer Wants to be a Christian series, we discussed the importance of:
- meeting the needs of your stepchild
- bringing backup (if necessary) when discussing this heavy topic
- how to prepare for your conversation
- how to start your conversation with them
- finding out why they no longer want to be a Christian
- helping your stepchild reconnect with being a Christian
In part two, I will conclude by giving you further practical tips to help your stepchild reevaluate their thinking on the subject of Christianity.
You will be able to share with them how being a Christian can benefit and protect them now as well as show you how you can conclude your discussion with them.
Share The Negative Consequences of Living Without God with Your Stepchild (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
You can also use this opportunity to share with your stepchild that many young people feel the same way they do. Young people want to spend their youth doing what they want to do.
They want to have fun and enjoy life to the full without the “burden” and “restraints” of being a Christian.
However, there are consequences that so many innocent young people experience while having “fun” away from God. The world seems so flashy and exciting and draws them in.
At the same time, this same world takes delight in taking advantage of people and beating them down.
Many young ones end up with bad habits such as smoking, alcohol abuse, drug addiction and worse. They end up with STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, loss of relationships with family and real friends that only want what is best for them.
Unfortunately, young people feel that nothing bad can ever happen to them…until it does. As Ecclesiastes 9:11 brings out,
Again I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, or bread to the wise, or riches to the discerning, or favor to the skillful; rather, time and chance happen to all of them.
Anything can happen to them at any time no matter how smart and “worldly” they believe they are.
Be honest with them and explain how you felt when you were their age. You can also use this time to share experiences of others you may know who went through similar feelings of discontent.
If you want to go even further, you can have someone else who felt the same way come in and speak to them about the mistakes they made in their youth and the consequences they faced as a result.
Explain to Your Stepchild the Benefits of Being A Christian
Being a Christian protects us in so many ways. It keeps our conscience clean. This means that your stepchild will sleep better knowing that they have not done anything wrong.
They do not have to worry about hiding anything from their parents or hoping you don’t find out what they did. They will also have the benefit of not being weighed down by lies and half-truths.
I suggest taking some time to explain the benefits you have received when you were younger. You can also discuss the blessings you are experiencing today because of being a Christian.
Take the opportunity to brainstorm ways together that will make them feel content as a Christian:
- What do they need?
- What do they feel they are missing out on?
- How can you all work together to make them feel more secure with who they are now?
Show Your Stepchild Bible Principles that Will Encourage Them to Remain a Christian (Proverbs 13:20)
Learning bible principles as a young person also help them for decisions they make now that will affect their future.
For example, they will have closer relationships and friendships learning scriptures such as;
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ (Acts 20:35 Christian Standard Bible)
A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for a difficult time. (Prov. 17:17 Christian Standard Bible)
Making the right friends now can drastically determine who they will grow up to be. The consequences of bad association has been dramatized on too many movies and shows to recount.
If they are around persons that smoke, abuse alcohol and other substances, they will pick up the same bad habits.
Many teenagers deceive themselves into thinking they are strong enough to withstand peer pressure, but there are even bible examples that prove otherwise (which I will go into in more detail soon.)
Being around other young ones that do not have a relationship with God may not lead your stepchild in the right direction.
You can lovingly explain to your stepchild that youths in their social groups are immature and can inadvertently drag them into a situation that can lead to trouble.
Trouble can be in the form of breaking the law or pressuring them to do things they are not ready for such as dating or sex.
Personally, I’ve found Proverbs 13:20 to be helpful when growing up and even now as an adult. The scripture states,
The one who walks with the wise will become wise,
but a companion of fools will suffer harm. (Christian Standard Bible)
The point of this verse is simple: we need to choose our friends wisely. There are other benefits of being a Christian that can be explained to your stepchild.
Why not use this opportunity to share some personal experiences of how serving God has benefited you?
If you have recently decided to become a Christian, you can share how being a Christian earlier in life would have helped you.
Below is a great FREE tool you can use to help you focus on why you love each member of your stepfamily, even when you face challenges. This 10 Things I Love About My Stepfamily worksheet will also help you and your family draw closer together.
Share Bible Examples with Your Stepchild (Genesis Chapter 34)
Another tip for helping your stepchild reconsider their choice of no longer being a Christian is by sharing, from the bible, examples of persons who used their youth to serve God and the consequences of those that chose not to follow him.
For easy reference, below are bible accounts of true and genuine friendships rooted by their love for God.
You can consider together and after each account, you can ask your stepchild questions to find out what they learned from each example, how they feel and how does it benefit them:
- Naomi and Ruth (Ruth 1:16)
- The three young Hebrews (Daniel 3:17,18)
- Paul and Timothy (1 Corinthians 4:17)
- David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18:1)
A bible example that my mom shared with me when I wanted to hang out with the wrong crowd in high school is that of Dinah in Genesis chapter 34.
In that example, Dinah was cautioned against visiting the young women around her age that did not serve God. She did not listen.
One of the young men where she visited noticed her and defiled her by forcing himself on her intimately. This lead to Dinah’s brothers taking revenge by killing him to avenge their sister’s honor.
This experience was a complete disaster and could have been avoided if Dinah had listened to her Christian family. They only wanted the best for her, the same way you only want what is best for your stepchild.
What to Do After Your Discussion with your Stepchild
After you have this intense conversation, do not simply send them on their way. Set a time period for them to implement some of the suggestions and ideas you have discussed and come up with together.
This time period will be based on their age and what you are going through in life. This can be anywhere between 3-6 months. Then come together again and discuss the results.
Ask them if they feel the same way they did before. Maybe you need to brainstorm more ideas for them to feel as if they are having fun and not missing out on anything.
You may realize that all they need is more quality time with you and your spouse doing family activities together.
Remember, let them read some of the above bible verses themselves so that the messages can reach their heart.
When possible, share your own personal experiences when you were younger: how you felt, how you dealt with challenges and what you wish you had done differently.
Encourage your stepchild to speak what is on their minds and share how they feel and why they feel that way.
If they are no comfortable speaking to you, encourage them to speak with another mature, spiritual minded person.
I would love to hear other tips in the comments below that you may have if you have children, stepchildren, nieces, nephews or younger cousins who feel that they no longer want to be a Christian!