Parents stop failing your kids.
I know I'm not a parent, which obviously makes me an expert on this topic (sarcasm). Seriously, while I may not know a lot about parenting, I know what the Bible says about being a parent. I think that allows me to say: Parents, stop failing your kids.
The Bible clearly tells parents they are responsible for raising their own children both biblically and disciplinarily (Proverbs 22:6; Proverbs 29:15; Proverbs 29:17; Deut. 6:7). However, it seems that many view youth ministry or "church" as a replacement for the parents' role to "train up a child in the way he should go..." (Prov. 22:6).
Here is an interesting hypothetical statistic:
If an individual attended every Sunday Bible Class, AM and PM service, Wednesday service, and one weekly devotional EVERY week from 0-18 (obviously unrealistic but humor me) that individual will have had 4680hr of biblical training.
I often hear teens say they do not have daily devotionals with their parents. I just as often hear teens say they have NO devotionals with their parents during the week. This should scare you. You may be saying but 4680 hours of biblical training is a lot. No, no it's not. That's only 2.9% of the total time an 18 year old will have lived (157,680 hours). Are you saying giving God 2.9% of your time is enough?
I really hope that you aren't counting on youth/church programs that provide a "patronizing solution to isolate kids from thievery people they need to be around to develop a maturity in Christ" (Family Based Youth Ministry, 84) to adequately prepare your kids to have their own faith. That won't work.
Did you know that 83% of parents believe parents are responsible for a child's spiritual development, but only 35% say their religious faith is one of the most important influences on their parenting (LifeWay Research Looks at Role of Faith in Parenting," Lifeway.com)? This is a scary statistic. Between school, work, sports, and other events parents and teens hardly have time to even eat a meal together.
Parents (and teens) I challenge you to evaluate if you are too busy doing good things when you could be doing great things. Are you so busy going from one event to another that you leave out biblical instruction and devotion? Do you believe it is the most important influence on your parenting (or at least should be).
I want to leave you with one last statistic: Parents, you are battling influences from school, work, friends, and the media. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study, the average teen spends roughly 7.5 hours EVERY DAY consuming "entertainment media" (tv, internet, texting, video games, etc.). If you are counting on biblical instruction 5 hours a week exclusively from church services and youth events to "out influence" the negative influences....
YOU ARE FAILING YOUR KIDS.
As always, God loves you and so do I.