Home > Faith, Parents, Teens > How do parent and teen faith differ?

How do parent and teen faith differ?

I want to know how students faith is different from their parents.  What is it that makes teens tick when it comes to faith? Do teens typically own their faith or do they still have their parents faith? I sent out a message to 250 students on Facebook and the following are a few of the responses. Here’s the message I sent out:

“I’m going to be speaking in a few weeks about youth culture and I want to know how students faith is different from their parents. There are lots of areas that I’m curious about. if you were to look at your parents faith what do you see? hypocrisy, service, attendance, outreach, and… well anything else! How does that compare with you? Do you view faith any differently than them? I’m not going to use any names so you don’t have to worry about that. I’m also not looking for any particular answer. I want students who are honest. If faith isn’t a part of your life or your parents lives, that’s fine. if you’re parents are big into it but it’s not your thing, that’s ok too. I’m not looking for you to bash your parents but I want you to be honest if you can.”

Girl – 17, Indiana
Well, my parents have very old strict values and don’t really go by today’s world. So, everything I do is based on their ways and not how the world is today which is really annoying because, times have changed. My parents don’t really have a faith view on things. It kind of draws me away but then again at the same time keeps me eager to challenge them.

Guy – 17, Indiana
My parents-When I look at their faith and then look at my faith, I can tell you that they are not that alike. Part of me is proud to say that I don’t have the same faith as my parents, because I think that just because they are Christians doesn’t mean that I am automatically one. I look at my faith and think that they raised me and brought me up in the faith, but they allowed me to choose how I wanted my faith to grow. They put me in a parochial school and I can’t thank them enough for doing that. By doing that, they gave me a base for my faith and a better understanding of the word.
Now-My mom is in a few bible studies and is close with her faith. My dad doesn’t show it much, but I know he is in tuned with his faith. When struggles come upon him and the family, he shows it. My faith has these qualities but I think that I have many more opportunities to share and talk about my faith which helps me grow and become more vulnerable then my parents. When i think if I have the same faith as they do, no I don’t think I do. I have been through my own trials and my own troubles and my own amazing spiritual experiences that the faith I have, has been molded by into.

Thanks for the opportunity to share and make me think 🙂

Girl – 18, Indiana
We have been a part of this amazing church since before I was born. The people are wonderful and the service is fulfilling. The youth program that started has reached so many young adults in our community. we had to build a parking lot! but the military moved us a few times and I think that it made our family lose a little faith. My mom is over in Kuwait and we still pray at dinner and go to church when we get up but my mother was the one holding our faith together. I think that when the parental figure is absent, the drive to keep up the faith becomes weak. My best friend and I keep each other in check but if the environment frowns upon religion, I think most youth will turn that way.

Guy – 18, Indiana
I’m out of high school but if it’ll help you then sure I’m all about it. My parents are split, never were married and my dad is an atheist while my mother is a “Christian” but doesn’t practice it. I recently just moved back from my dad’s house where I finished high school because I wanted to reach out and witness to him relationally but instead it murdered my walk with the lord. I’m back in my home town living on my own now and God is more prevalent in my life than ever, I’m leading worship with a singing voice that I previously didn’t have and gods given me visions and the gift of the tongues which has helped me overcome my addiction to porn but I still care for my father and i want him to come to Christ. idk what to do but I keep praying for him, and prayer is powerful so I’m faithful that my god will heal =]

Girl – 17, Indiana
i just want to say that I appreciate that you’re trying to find the truth about youth and their faith by asking us rather than just by trusting a book or some speaker. Sometimes we are told how our age group is expected to act and think so much that we forget ourselves how we really think.
But this is what I think about my faith compared not really to my parents faith specifically but to our parents generations faith as a whole. When I was young I didn’t really believe in God but I went to church and saw that my parents believed and the entire church body believed. I didn’t come to be a Christian because my parents told me so. I did it because I trusted them and really believed that they knew something I did not. I didn’t think that all these people in my church would believe in God just because someone told them so or just because they wanted to feel better about their sins. I thought that they actually had some hard proof that God was real and Jesus Christ died for us. As I grew up, I slowly realized that no one had an answer or hard proof. What bugs me about Christianity is that the only real proof we have is through emotional experiences. It bugs me that no one has thought about if there was no God. I guess it’s not really that, but it bugs me that everyone is too scared to question Christianity. And it seems that the older generation has forgot about questioning their faith at all and instead resorts to cookie cutter Christian answers for every problem in their lives. It seems that people have just gotten lazy with their faith so they take the first thing that is handed to them and makes them feel better. Some people simply believe in Christianity just because they have been with it for so long. It’s like acquiring a taste for coffee or something. You are constantly being pushed into the Christian routine and one day you realize that you are calling yourself a believer but you don’t know why. You don’t know why Christianity is true or good. So I guess since I have gone into so much detail about this you have probably used some deductive reasoning skills to figure out that these are the issues I’m dealing with. It bugs me that Christianity is the only religion I have considered because I know if I would have born into a different family in a different part of the world with a different religion, I would be that religion right now. And though they may not say it, I bet 90% of the people that go to my church or other Christian groups here would be in the same boat.
So I guess what it sums up to is this: How do we know? How does the older generation know and feel secure in Christianity? Don’t read me a bible verse or say that you had an instinctual feeling in your heart because I’m tired of those answers. There has to be something better, especially since Christianity has lasted this long. Or is that just the thing, which nobody really knows but nobody wants to admit it.

Girl – 16, Illinois
I’m a Christian. My Mom is a Christian. My Dad is an atheist. My step dad says he’s Christian.
My point of view – faith is how you live your life. If you don’t act in a Godly manner, you might as well not be a believer. My mom and I do devotions together and help out a lot at our church. My step dad seems to think chores are more important. So I am no longer allowed to volunteer because he thinks that “honor your parents” is more important.
However, I think that we should help those who can’t help themselves first.

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Categories: Faith, Parents, Teens
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