Should parents force their kids to go to church?


It's amazing how we serve a God who does not impose Himself upon us. The message of the gospel is a God who makes a way for us to enter into His presence through the work of Jesus Christ, but never pushes us through the doorway. He simply makes the door as big as possible and invites all who are burdened and weary to come to Him.

At the risk of rights and freedom, many Christian parents try to encourage, require and even force their children to go to church. While it is assured that most would do it out of love, the results can often backfire. Consequently, Christian parents are left to wonder if they did the right thing to force church upon their kids.

What must be first established is the answer to the question, "Why do we force our children to attend church service?" and most will answer, "Because I want my children to encounter God." But here's the thing: People, even your children, don't necessarily have to go to a church service to experience God.

Entering a religious building and performing is in fact not the only way that people experience God. We can experience God in our families, in nature, in schools, in relationships and friendships. God is everywhere and it's just a matter of waiting for Him to show up to our kids in the way that He intends. We don't have to ram Jesus down anyone's throats. His cross has already made a way for everyone to experience Him.

Why don't they want to go to church?

Of course, the case of believer kids who don't see the church as valuable is another story, but in even such a case, we cannot really ram the idea of church service down anyone's throats. The best thing we can do is build value around the idea of a church community, which isn't even at all tough because a church community is really beneficial!

In church community we grow in discipleship, integrity, relationships, worship and fellowship. There's no place to get all these things better than a church community.

God doesn't impose Himself upon anyone

From the very beginning, God refused to force Himself down anyone's throats. That's why He put the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17), so that man would be free to choose God or his own way.

Jesus never imposed Himself upon anyone, but instead freely gave Himself up even when God knew that some would deny Him. Romans 5:8 tells us, "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."