There are many young people across this great land raised in what society likes to call “good Christian homes”. These children are grounded in faith, taught morality, and how to make godly choices in life. And yet, more often than not, when children reach the age to leave home and go off to college kid’s fall away from faithfulness to God and leave the church. What happens to these “good young people” that they go off and choose the bad? Here are five leading causes to consider.
1) Don’t heed parents’ instruction – “My Son, observe the commandment of your father, And do not forsake the teaching of your mother; Bind them continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light;” (Pro. 6:20-23) It’s not a matter of not listening to their parents anymore, it is a matter of not treasuring the knowledge and wisdom of their parents in their own heart. And so they fall away.
2) Get in with the wrong crowd – “My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, For their feet run to evil…” (Pro. 1:10&15-16) Many times when kids are away from home for the first time they don’t pick friends, friends pick them. People who are looking to have a “good time” are out searching for others to join in the revelry. Many young people want to be a part, and are thankful for the attention, and end up getting in with the wrong crowd. Make no mistake about it, “…evil companions corrupt good morals” (I Cor. 15:33)
3) Envy sin / sinners – “Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the Lord always. Surely there is a future, And your hope will not be cut off. Listen, my son, and be wise, And direct you heart in the way. Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.” (Pro. 23:17-22) Oftentimes college kids see peers who are living in sin and “enjoying every minute of it”. Satan can make responsibility, maturity, and godliness look awfully boring by comparison. But Satan doesn’t want people to know about the rapes, fornication, drunk driving deaths, dropout rates, etc. that are associated with “having a good time”. Young people must resolve not to envy stupidity, no matter how “fun” it may look – sin is sin.
4) Stop reading the Bible like they should – “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word. With all my heart I have sought Thee; Do not let me wander from Thy commandments. Thy word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against thee.” (Psa. 119:9-11) With all of the new school classes, the homework, and a job as well; who has time to read the Bible? Those who want to keep their way pure will find the time or make the time. Those who don’t will likely join the freshman fatalities.
5) Compromise church attendance/participation – “He who separates himself seeks his own desire, He quarrels against all sound wisdom.” (Pro. 18:1) No matter WHAT age you are, you need the church of Christ. It is designed to build you up, strengthen you, and keep you faithful to the Lord. (I Tim. 3:15; Eph. 4:16; Heb. 3:12-14) College classes and work schedules may not always make it easy; but if you are not a part of the Lord’s church, then you are not in the church – the group of the saved. Don’t be a fool… stay in Sunday school!
Parents need to teach their children these 5 things while “…there is still hope.” (Pro. 19:18) If we wait until they leave home, then it will be too late. Young people need to take these 5 things to heart and understand and know that if they want to remain faithful to the Lord, then they must heed this instruction from God’s word. If not, they will end up another Freshman fatality. (Rom. 6:23)