by Vicki Rochow

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs on the planet! Parenting is not an exact science and, in the end, the best we can do is to do our best, and hope it is enough.

Some Christian parents face the burden of their children turning away from their faith and no longer coming to church. You may have done all the ‘right’ things – taken your child to worship, shared your faith at home and encouraged them in their faith journey, and yet they still make the decision to stop believing or they may have an inactive faith.

If this is your story, you may feel you have failed. You may feel grief, disappointment and guilt. God’s solution to the problem of guilt is forgiveness. If you feel guilty about failing as a parent, be assured of his forgiveness. You may need to forgive your child. You may also need to forgive the church for its failures.


One friend shared her story of her two children. One has a rich and personal relationship with God, the other does not. Both children were brought up in the same home, with similar experiences.

But one child received care and love through adult mentors and formed relationships that nurtured and encouraged their faith. The other child did not. One child found a way to contribute to congregational life through their gifts and talents. The other child didn’t feel like they belonged. Did these relationships and opportunities have an impact on faith development?


We have learnt at Grow Ministries that to grow our faith we must have a multi-dimensional experience. The faith we learn at home is only part of that experience. As children of God, we are part of a bigger family. Acceptance and love from our congregational family have a major influence on how our faith grows.

As parents, we do our best, and sometimes we fail. Thankfully, God’s forgiveness overcomes our shortcomings. He does not love and accept you because you are a perfect parent. He loves and accepts you because he is the perfect parent!

As a Christian parent, you have been given the amazing gift of faith. Because of that, we trust that God has your child in his hands. Continue to pray for them, encourage, accept and be gracious to them, just as our God is to us. Openly live by grace and do not give up.


Grow Ministries has a resource for parents who face the heartache of having their loved ones turn from the Christian faith. Called Parents in Pain, it is a series of four Bible studies created for parents to come together to share, support, and encourage one another in a group setting. You can buy Parents in Pain at

Vicki Rochow serves in communications for Grow Ministries.

For more resources that support parents, families and congregations in nurturing faith, go to

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