Is the Christian Life REALLY the Best Life?

The most frequent reason teens leave the Christian life can be summed up in 5 simple words: “I just want a break.” Is the Christian Life the Best Life? I cannot answer this question for you. But I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine who might be able to help. | Christianity | Christian Teen | Questions about Christian Faith | God's Word | Bible Study

Article By: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries

A 2002 study by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Family life Council found 88% of the children in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18.

Eighty-eight percent.

Of  those who leave, only 60 percent will ever return.

Scary, right?!?

This article was inspired by a message I delivered to the students of Rapid City Christian School entitled “The Sweet Life” {Watch a Video of the Full Message}. 

Tom Bisset, author of Why Christian Kids Leave the Faith interviewed people and asked them when, why and how they abandoned the Christian life.

He identified 4 prominent reasons:

1. They left because they had troubling, unanswered questions about the faith.
2. They left because their faith was not “working” for them.
3. They left because they allowed other things to take priority.
4. They left because they never personally owned their faith.

Another study found the most frequent reason teens leave the church can be summed up in 5 simple words: “I just want a break.”

4 Reasons Why Kids from Evangelical Christian Homes Leave the Church. Click to Tweet

I get it.

I grew up in an evangelical Christian home.

I’ve struggled to own my faith, been tempted to “take a break” from the Christian life, wondered what it was like to live a secular lifestyle.

I’m so grateful I was introduced to an author named Josh McDowell at a young age. His books helped me tremendously.

If you (or your children) are struggling with any of the 4 things I listed above, I would strongly encourage you to get your hands on a copy of Josh McDowell’s book titled “Evidence that Demands a Verdict.

As a young man, Josh McDowell considered himself an agnostic. He truly believed that Christianity was worthless.

However, when challenged to intellectually examine the claims of Christianity, Josh discovered compelling, overwhelming evidence for the reliability of the Christian faith.

He dedicated the rest of his life to establishing a scientific basis for the facts surrounding the Bible, and helped many teens navigate the challenging questions listed above.

Ever been tempted to take a break from your Christian faith? Read this: Click to Tweet

Christianity is Our Family Business

There’s a TV commercial featuring two little boys…

“When you’re a Smucker, everyone knows you are going to grow up to make the world’s best Jam.”

Smuckers was founded in 1897 by Jerome Monroe Smucker when he began selling apple butter out of a horse-drawn wagon.

It’s now a 4th generation 4.61 billion dollar family-run business.

When asked about their earliest childhood memories, Tim and Richard Smucker (Co-CEO’s of Smuckers Brand), answered:

Some of our earliest childhood memories are of eating jam.

Lots and lots of jam.

In fact, their parents often discussed the family business at mealtimes and they were encouraged to participate in the conversation.

If you grew up in a Christian home, you have more in common with the Smucker boys than you think.

Because, when you are raised Christian, everyone expects you to grow up to be a Christian.

And it is very likely that your earliest childhood memories are of being Christian.

Really, really Christian.

Christianity is your family business! Are you ready for the responsibility?

Or would you rather make your own way in this world?

I know so many people who ran away from the expectation of the family business.

They rejected their parent’s faith and replaced their Christian heritage with the offerings of this world.

They took a break from the Christian life.

And the sin that was so enticing…trapped them, confined them, and started to define them.

Some never found their way back home.

Christianity is your family business! Are you ready for the responsibility? Click to Tweet

The most frequent reason teens leave the Christian life can be summed up in 5 simple words: “I just want a break.” Is the Christian Life the Best Life? I cannot answer this question for you. But I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine who might be able to help. | Christianity | Christian Teen | Questions about Christian Faith | God's Word | Bible Study

Is the Christian Life the Best Life?

I cannot answer this question for you.

But I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine who might be able to help.

I don’t know his name, and I’ve never met him in person, but He has become my spiritual mentor and trusted confidant.

A person I turn to when I grow weary of carrying the weight of the family  name – Christian.

He is a gifted writer and a passionate believer; far from perfect yet always pure in his intentions.

He love’s God’s Word above all else and desires to be a pleasing aroma to his Creator.

Yet he feels the burden of the family name in the same way you and I do, and is searching for strength to carry the weight of expectation.

His words are my heartbeat, my deepest longings, my hopes and insecurities all penned on parchment thousands of years before I was born.

He is the author of Psalm 119.

The purpose of this lengthy psalm is to exalt God’s Law and reveal the critical role God’s Word is to play in our Christian walk.

I’ve written several articles and a Bible Study on Psalm 119.

If you are interested in learning more about this beautiful passage of Scripture, I would encourage you to visit the links below:

An Invitation to Fall in Love with Psalm 119
7 Reasons to Study Psalm 119
Free 23-day Psalm 119 Online Study 

For the purpose of this article, I’d love for you to take a moment to open to Psalm 119: 97-104

97 Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
98 Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
100 I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
102 I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.

The psalmist believes the purpose of God’s Law is to protect and guide us. To teach us the way of righteousness and prevent us from straying off course.

The author of Psalm 119 believes the purpose of God's Word is to protect and guide us. Do you agree? Click to Tweet

The most frequent reason teens leave the Christian life can be summed up in 5 simple words: “I just want a break.” Is the Christian Life the Best Life? I cannot answer this question for you. But I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine who might be able to help. | Christianity | Christian Teen | Questions about Christian Faith | God's Word | Bible Study

God’s Word Guides us to the Sweet Life

Just like my favorite jam, God’s Word is 100% naturally sweet with no artificial flavors.

It gives us insight, wisdom, and understanding.

When we choose to obey the Bible, we are protected from evil and have no desire for the things of this world.

God’s Holy Word paints a picture of the life we were created to live and equips us to choose God’s way over our own.

It answers our unanswered questions.
It sparks our faith and ignites our passions.
It satisfies all of our cravings.
It equips us to run the family business.

You have a choice to make. Right here and right now.

Will you proudly bear the family name – Christian – and dedicate your life to the family business?

Or will you run away from the responsibility? From the expectation?

If you walk away from the Christian life, you will find there is nothing in this world that can satisfy your cravings.

In the end, the only thing you will taste is bitterness, sourness, and regret.

Because those are the tastes sin leaves in our mouths.

Will you proudly bear the family name - Christian - and dedicate your life to the family business? Click to Tweet

What Will You Choose?

The God who loves us, who inspired people like the author of Psalm 119, has laid out for us a way to live that is abundantly sweet.

He has given us the keys to the family business and promised to help us with every decision.

But we must be willing to take the responsibility. To equip ourselves for the task. To choose to trust that His way is the best way.

The most frequent reason teens leave the Christian life can be summed up in 5 simple words: “I just want a break.” Is the Christian Life the Best Life? I cannot answer this question for you. But I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine who might be able to help. | Christianity | Christian Teen | Questions about Christian Faith | God's Word | Bible Study

I’m sure there were times when Jim and Richard Smucker wanted to eat something other than jam for breakfast.

When they wanted to escape the family name and create their own destiny.

But they didn’t.

And now they hold the keys to one of the most successful family-run businesses in the world.

And their wealth can’t hold a candle to the boundless riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8).

Choose wisely, friend.

For there’s never been a more weighty decision set before you.

God’s way, or your own?

Choose wisely, friend. For there's never been a more weighty decision set before you. Click to Tweet

This article was inspired by a message I delivered to the students of Rapid City Christian School on April 20, 2017 entitled “The Sweet Life” {View the Full Video Here}.

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About the Author: Sarah Koontz

About the Author: Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is the founder of Living by Design Ministries, a non-profit organization that exists to deliver free Bible Studies to inboxes around the world. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah and her husband Ryan live on thirteen acres in the heart of the Black Hills, SD. They have two beautiful daughters, a rowdy flock of chickens, and a house full of foster kittens. Sarah is an avid gardener, a faithful coffee drinker, lover of one-pot-dinners, an unexpected homeschooler, and a Dallas Seminary student.

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