Real Stories: Talking About God with Adult Children

David and Debbie thought they did everything right raising their kids in a Christian home. They took them to church, had family devotions, prayed for them often, and warned them that their faith would be challenged in college.

Now in their mid-40s, their children want nothing to do with spiritual matters.

“We thought that they were prepared to go off to college and get out into the world, but looking in retrospect, we can see that they weren’t,” David said. “They were not grounded in faith to the degree that I thought they were.” 

The Harrisons comment on what good children they have—they’re successful, kind and have healthy relationships with their parents. But the Harrisons admit they didn’t fully equip their kids to face a secular society and the untruths continually fed to them. 

“We didn’t really understand the importance of articulating a Christian worldview,” Debbie said.

For the past several years, Debbie has been part of a Wednesday morning Bible study held at SES and led by SES faculty. Both Debbie and David also attend an apologetics class at their church taught by an SES graduate. 

“I have really gleaned a lot about apologetics and answers to questions that people ask,” Debbie said.

“The apologetics class at church caused me to think of different ways of sharing Christ with our children,” David added. “Before, I would quote Bible verses to them if I could get them to listen, just try to insert it into the conversation.” His kids would quickly shut him down.

Now David has a new approach to bringing God into conversation with his children, “an in-road to talking about God in their language.”

The couple has learned about non-Christian philosophies and the kinds of beliefs their children have been exposed to. It’s helped them to see where their kids are coming from and to build a foundation for talking about spiritual topics.

At the same time, Debbie said, she and her husband are becoming more firmly rooted in their own faith.

“Apologetics gave us a deeper understanding of who God is, and that changed us and enriched our spiritual walk with God,” she said. “As old as we are and as many Bible studies as we’ve been in, it’s exciting for our faith to grow more.”

You Can Help!
SES is committed to coming alongside people like David and Debbie as they deal with the hurt and confusion that comes with having loved ones deny their Christian faith. Every day there are hundreds of SES graduates who are on the front lines ministering to people like David and Debbie, and there are hundreds more—and their families— who would benefit from an education at SES. 

Will you consider a gift to help those future students, to invest in the next generation? Any gift of any amount helps us attract and equip people to follow God’s call on their lives.

On behalf of the students we serve and the many souls whose lives will be eternally changed, thank you!

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