Helping Families by Tearing Down Walls

Parenting Tips

Should I force my teenager to go to church?

A significant number of teens who grow up in church will go through phases in which they do not want to attend worship with you. This is a significant moment in your role as Trainer, as you seek to balance the importance of building such habits and not embittering him or her to church in the future. My recommendation is to make church attendance a mandatory part of life as a family. There are two important principles to remember in the process:

 

-       First, help them understand the why behind the attendance. It’s your sincere desire that your children become passionate followers of Jesus, but you can acknowledge to them that you cannot force them to believe what you do. You can enforce, however, the value you place on this part of life for your family. In other words, even if they are not excited about the Lord (or at least, worship in the context of your local church), they can still come in order to honor you and the core values of your household. By attending worship, you are addressing the Walls of Isolation and Misplaced Priorities in the life of your child. Of course, once you arrive there you are addressing every unhealthy mindset you can imagine!

 

-       Second, as your children grow into their teen years (or even as young adults who are living in your home), they may contend that they are too old to be “forced” to go. I would recommend in this case that you acknowledge that it would be counterproductive to do so, but share that if they are unwilling to attend worship with you in order to honor the household boundaries, they will be expected to use that time to contribute to your household in other ways – with extra chores, etc. It doesn’t matter how old your kids are; you have every right to set the expectations as long as they are living under your roof.

 

When you clearly explain the “why” of worship attendance – acknowledging that not every moment of every service will be for their entertainment, but that this is a value you hold dear that you wish to share with them – you pave the way to instill a lifestyle of worship in your child’s life.


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The spiritual barriers people face are countless, but they can be categorized into Eight Primary Walls. These walls correlate with the 8 primary breakthroughs that everyone needs.
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1 of 48
I tend to expect the worst to happen.
2 of 48
I have to guard against judging people when I learn they are dealing with tough circumstances.
3 of 48
I think God cares about the details of my life.
4 of 48
When I am facing a difficult situation, I feel like I can solve problems on my own.
5 of 48
I know a lot of people, but don't feel very close to many people.
6 of 48
I feel I can turn to God for direction.
7 of 48
When bad things happen, I wonder if God can make things better.
8 of 48
I worry about the problems that the future holds.
9 of 48
I question why God allowed certain things to happen in my life.
10 of 48
I believe God is willing and able to answer my prayers.
11 of 48
I feel there is a disconnect between who I really am and how I act in front of other people.
12 of 48
I have a hard time trusting people.
13 of 48
People would describe me as a giving person.
14 of 48
My faith practices are more about routine than relationship.
15 of 48
I am intentionally seeking to grow in my relationships with others.
16 of 48
I have witnessed things that make me wonder if God is in control.
17 of 48
I feel strong relationships are hard, but worth it.
18 of 48
I find myself drawn to things I know are bad for me.
19 of 48
I spend too much of my energy pursuing material things.
20 of 48
I believe God loves me in spite of who I am.
21 of 48
I find myself more focused on the things I don't have but wish I did.
22 of 48
I observe things that make me wonder if I should believe the Bible.
23 of 48
The possibility of gaining a good friend is worth the risk.
24 of 48
I feel compelled to make the world around me better.
25 of 48
I am confident God has forgiven me for my past.
26 of 48
I try to avoid temptations that would bring me harm.
27 of 48
I am willing to serve others for nothing in return.
28 of 48
I have been wronged in the past in a way I cannot get over.
29 of 48
I am willing to sacrifice immediate gratification for something better down the road.
30 of 48
I believe truth is the same for everyone.
31 of 48
I am amazed at God's power.
32 of 48
I feel with God's help, I can face any situation.
33 of 48
I look forward to good things in my future.
34 of 48
People who have hurt me in the past cause me to avoid some relationships today.
35 of 48
I believe God is loving and kind.
36 of 48
When bad things happen, I feel like I am getting what I deserve.
37 of 48
I don't believe anyone can ever know what is absolutely true.
38 of 48
I think that God will meet all my needs.
39 of 48
I am grateful for the things I have been given.
40 of 48
When looking back on my life, I tend to focus on all of the things I did wrong.
41 of 48
It humbles me to think I can know God.
42 of 48
I worry that God is angry with me.
43 of 48
I believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing God.
44 of 48
I am so busy that I find myself ignoring the most important things in my life.
45 of 48
I believe God wants what is best for me.
46 of 48
I believe the Bible has answers for today's circumstances.
47 of 48
It troubles me that God has not answered my prayers.
48 of 48
I have too many of my own problems to deal with the problems of others.
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