I really need some help!

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by MattBeltram, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. MattBeltram

    MattBeltram
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    I joined these boards because I need the help of some true believers: you are all that is left to me.

    My son has started talking about 'atheism,' that bizarre faddish cult that is sweeping our godforsaken nation. He has started to speak ill of the Bible and even our lord God, and I think it is the friends that he mixes with: they have no good intentions and are a negative influence. He has started listening to music that is almost entirely against the word of our Lord, and as we have seen, this music has caused so many deaths and terrible misdeeds we have all lost count.

    I don't know what to do! I have tried so hard to preach to him the word of the Bible, and he all of a sudden appears to be completely devoid of any morals and sense! He still attends church with me every week, but he is resistant and sluggish.

    I don't know what to do. Obviously I don't want him to be led astray, but I don't know how to go about doing it. I am sure that many fellow Baptists have experienced similar situations... Can you help me please?

    I have tried turning to the Good Book, and I have searched and searched but all I can find ends in his death as a result of his outright betrayal of the word of our Lord... - I know deep down he is a decent person, but he has been shrouded in such horrible deceit from his 'friends'...... How can I save him??

    -Matt Beltram
     
  2. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    I sent you a private message.
     
  3. annsni

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    How old is your son? Is he still living at home?

    I will pray for him right now.
     
  4. MattBeltram

    MattBeltram
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    He still lives with us, he is 17, but he is at that age now where he has enough freedom to whisk himself away for whole nights. I know that if I make a tighter curfew for him, he will disobey me more, and there just seems to be no way for me to win... Why has he done this to himself and his family? I feel ashamed to take him to church, for I know his prayers are false in his own mind.
     
  5. christianyouth

    christianyouth
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    I hate to say this, but this is a COMMON happening. A lot of my friends who were once church attenders have had similar experiences. I would say first off, that your son shouldn't be allowed to hang out with bad influences. That much is just obvious. I've watched as one kid, a brilliant guy with an outgoing personality, spread atheism and immorality to an entire youthgroup, because the parents did not have enough courage to forbid their teens from hanging out with him. They thought that their teens would, 'be a good influence on the poor wayward kid.'

    Since having your kid around bad influences is so dangerous for his spiritual health, and the Bible does say that a companion of fools will be destroyed, I have to ask, is your son in either public school or private school? If he's in either of them, I can gurantee that he will be exposed to all sorts of wickedness and he will be a companion of fools.

    Now, about delving into atheism, I just say preach the Gospel and show that God has the power to change a life. Our lives are the best apologetic. If he sees God being a reality in your life, he is going to be hardpressed to find arguments against the truthfulness of Christianity.

    Remember, hit him with the law. All men have a general knowledge of God from the creation AND the conscience. If you can hit him with the law, continually, plow up the soil, his conscience will testify to the truth that he is a sinner in need of a savior. I know this has to be really hard, and I'm so sad to hear this, but at the same time I have to wonder about what type of media your son is consuming, what type of preaching he is under, what type of friends, etc. I have watched many parents throw their kids to the lions, and then bemoan atheism or immorality in their children.
     
  6. MattBeltram

    MattBeltram
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    Thank you all for your kind words and moral support at this most distressing of times... It is strange that he has suddenly become so anti-Christian and filled with such malice in such a short period of time... How has he lost his way? I have always, from BIRTH taught him the Truth, so how has he backtracked on everything that I have laid out for him? He was always so obedient and caring...
     
  7. Plain Old Bill

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    Several things:
    There are good videos on drdino.com for you and your son to watch.
    "I don't have enough faith to be an atheist", by Norm Giesler
    "When critics ask"by Norm Giesler
    "Evidence that Demmands a Verdict" by Josh Mcdowell
    It sounds like your sons faith was challenged and he was not properly trained. Had he read these books or been taught by someone who had read these books his faith would have remained strong. Please read these books and watch these videos. If you can get your son to watch the videos and read the books, they are powerful and strong.
    These materials take the strength away fron the skeptic and atheist and put power in the hands of the Christian. We are warned in the Bible by Peter to make a strong defence of the faith.:godisgood:
     
  8. sag38

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    Guys, this may be a real call for help. But beware, on the last forum I was a part of, there was an all to familar post. Turns out pearls were being thrown to the swine. Someone was doing this as some type of cruel joke. If I'm wrong, I apologize. But, this seems all too familiar. If Rev. Mitchell is the same Rev. Mitchell he will remember this ruse too.
     
  9. TCGreek

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    You are in my prayers, you and your son. God bless.
     
  10. skypair

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    First, HOME SCHOOL if you can. Pick him up at his "compentency level" and go from there to excellence. I wish I had done it with my oldest (my wife was not confident enough) but my younger 2 are SOARING in their adult career lives! Daughter got a "full ride" athletic scholarship to college and is a miltary pilot and youngest in art school in Florence Italy on schlarship!

    Then, the thing that helped me the most when I grew up was the respect of and contact with ADULTS! Adult wisdom -- adult values that work -- adult responsibilities, like a JOB! I honestly didn't have time for peers! And that's OK! Even GOOD! I found out all the things I DIDN'T want to do when I grew up! (carry papers, work is a grocery, be a laborer building houses or motels or pools, working night shift at a meat packing plant for the "night override," mow grass, cut glass and sell paint, etc.!!). You quickly learn the things that are "too much work for a subsistence lifestyle!"

    But tops -- put 'em under good preaching so they will be saved. When I got saved, I learned everything I needed to know about authority! If we disobey the authorities in our lives, we are rejecting the only people God can use to make our lives "abundant!" Ask him does he want to have "abundant life?" Health, wealth, honor (Prov 3:16, 22:4).

    Then tell him my testimony (if you think it will help) -- at 16 I trusted God with my LIFE. Today I am 61, retired from the highest paying, best job in the airline industry - Widebody (DC-10) Captain at Federal Express. Not by following my "plans" to be an accountant. No, but because God led me through it ALL!! He can have that same experience but not by following peers -- especially those that think it is great to be "popular." Most peers are looking blindly at the future - no goals, no future!

    skypair
     
    #10 skypair, Jan 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2008
  11. menageriekeeper

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    I'm going to suggest something that may offend you, though offence is not my intent. But beware, cause I can tell you are very, very sensitive when it comes to this issue.

    What your son is doing, all the atheism, music, yada, yada is not an attack on you. It may seem like it is and your son may even be going through a rebellious phase and he may think that he is attacking you, but he is not. Stop being defensive. All this stuff is an attack on his own beliefs about God and you need to treat it as such.

    If you met an atheist in the store, how would you respond? Do you know how to defend against atheism? If not, you are in a very good place to learn. Do a search there are threads here on the subject. Learn to answer your son's questions/opinions matter of factly. Don't argue it, only answer it. You've been given good resourses in some of the other posts, use them.

    Your son is seventeen. Within a year, he'll be legal and can do as he pleases. I don't know how to phrase this best so I'm going to spit it out. You need to pray constantly, not for him, but for yourself that God will give you grace to deal lovingly with a son who seems to turning away from his raising. You can very easily turn you son against you if you demand he believe exactly as you. You must teach, not demand. Demands are going to be met with resistance. You don't need a power struggle here cause you are going to lose power in a few short months. There's no point in demanding at this age.

    So let's see, we have study, prayer, whats left? Hope.

    Can you remember a time before you were saved? It's hard on those of us who don't have a 'before Christ' time in our lives to have hope when we see those around us sinking into sin. But guess what? We do have hope. The same God who lifted us up out of our sin, is perfectly capable of lifting your son out of his. Realize, God's plan for your son's life may be different than His plan for yours. He may allow your son to go through dark places He would have never allowed you to experience all to prepare you son to better work for Him. Keep your faith. Keep your hope. This event may just be a test of your faith as much as it is a test of your son's.

    One more word. If you son never went through a rebellious period (ie, terrible twos and threes, furious fours, etc.) you are overdue. Every child rebels to a certain extent while establishing his/her own identity. Obviously, your son feels safe in revealing his questions to you. Use these times to teach, not argue even when he's spoiling for a fight. Tell him you will not argue. Ultimately, it is his decision and you can't make it for him. Tell him so. Tell him you'll pray he'll make the right choice, but it's up to him.

    On the rules of the house stand firm. I'm the meanie that tells my children often that when they can afford to support themselves then they get to do as they please, but until then they abide by my rules and I have a bunch! (mine are almost 10, 13 and 15)

    Do not be ashamed to take your son to church, but you may want him to attend services with you instead of being with the youth group. If anyone looks down their nose at you, they are the ones with the problem and shouldn't be so secure that "their child would never do such as that!" They just don't have a clue. Your son could probably tell you exactly what thier child is doing. :rolleyes: So don't let that kind of thing affect you. Your real brothers and sisters in Christ will understand and support you and your son. If not, this is where your son's questions stem from and it's time you found another fellowship. (sorry, but I've seen many a church built around manmade rules and traditions that didn't have a clue what the word charity meant)
     
  12. annsni

    annsni
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    MK pretty much summed up what I was thinking about on this subject. It IS hard but sometimes we just need to get on our knees and pray for these prodigal kids, be firm but loving and leave the rest to God. He wants him to come back too.
     
  13. Joe

    Joe
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    Hi Matt

    I am sorry to hear about your family situation. You are in my prayers. We have one teenager, he is almost 17.

    Talk to your Pastor about this situation. Find a christian counselor in your area. Maybe even a psychiatrist to see if you are in need medication. I don't know how else to say it, but you sound a bit neurotic. I am sure you love your son, but your obsessiveness may be driving him over the edge
    How lucky you are to have your teenager attending church with you :godisgood: Be appreciative, and quit preaching. Drop your agenda, just enjoy your son for who he is. He'll be gone before you know it.
    Enjoy your son, he sounds like the average teenager. Except I think you said he is staying out all night? Well if you allow him to, he will continue. Set a curfew, and back it up. Either he comes home, or call the Cops on him. (We have curfews here, kids must be home by10 pm m-f and midnight on weekends).
    Negotiate a contract of rules, be open minded and very flexible. You want him living at home with you. But he can't stay out all night, no way.
    If you know deep down he is a decent person, then be happy.
    Your son even attends church with you. If you want him to be a Christian, show him what a follower of Christ is. Stay focused on your own walk, be happy, pray together at meals, be a role model. Hang in there brother :1_grouphug:

    edited to add: MK's post is excellent
     
    #13 Joe, Jan 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2008
  14. Karen

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    Good advice already given by others. But don't just take him to church, have a short family time of Bible study and prayer at least 2-3 times a week. Pick a book (we are using Concise Theology by J. I. Packer at the moment) and read a short excerpt, read a chapter or two of the Bible such as reading through John, say a prayer. Maybe 20 minutes or so long. Let him see that God is real to you, not just a subject you address on Sunday.
    Tell him that God does not mind honest questions, but that he needs to honestly look for the answers that God has.
     
  15. MattBeltram

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    Thank you all for such brilliant counselling and guidance - I doubt I would have found such tremendous help anywhere else.

    To sag38: I don't understand your suspicions - I am completely without malice and I am only searching for help, how have I attacked anyone? Even if this WAS a ruse of some sort (although I don't see how), what good would come from it?

    I think I am going to take on board what many of you have said - I can understand why I might sound quite neurotic - it is just that I love him so much, and I can't stand to see him waste away. While I accept that he should make his own decisions in life once he is an adult (as he is due to be quite soon), surely after God it is a father's duty to deliver his sons away from temptations and evil? He is still a child in my own eyes, and maybe this is a problem that I myself will have to overcome before I can pray for him in a decent manner.

    I tried what many of you have offered, by offering him guidance through certain educational books, but he got angry with me the other day for offering him these things, he told me I was trying to "convert him" (I swear I was anything but confrontational, and did not preach a word) - it is obvious he is trying so hard to rebel, and he just grows angrier and angrier when I try to help him.

    I am OF COURSE happy that he continues to go to church with me and my wife, it shows that there is still at least a thread of hope left for his faith, but I have found that whenever I try to turn the topic of the conversation in our own home (as I have ALWAYS done; I do not believe that one person can be truly Christian if they only show their faith on the Sabbath), he turns away or leaves the room. He is beginning to distance himself from us, even his mother.

    Anyway, thank you all once again for the kind words and guidance, and for your prayers for myself and my son.
     
  16. KJVkid

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    Matt, I have waited a while before making a comment. I have been a pastor for a lot of years. My wife and I have 8 kids and 13 grands. Two of our boys are preaching, two are deacons in ind. fund. Bapt. churches. Our oldest daughter and family is a missionary in a land where they are the ONLY and FIRST ever Baptist missionary there. The other three are still at home and ALWAYS in church when the lights are on. Saying that, I feel I have a little creditability.

    1. Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

    2. You mentioned "books" you have tried. Let me mention a BOOK you might try that I know works, 2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    3. You say you are "happy" he still goes to church with you? You mean he has a choice?

    4. You also metioned his "friends". I don't understand......why does he have these friends?

    5. If you are really who you say you are there is help, but it's not on this board it's through the Lord Jesus. IF I had a son like you are talking about I would be pleading with my pastor and church for help in prayer!!!
     
  17. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Matt, you have received excellent advice and I cannot add much, but I am raising a 14-year-old grandson. We must remember that we are not fighting against flesh, but Satan.

    Satan tries very hard to get our children, especially when they are in their teens. You may need to enter into some spiritual warfare against the real culprit.

    I do not just pray for my grandson. I pray with him and let him hear me praying for him and thanking God for entrusting him to me.

    I cover him with the blood of Jesus and pray that God will place a hedge of protection around his mind and encamp angels around him to fight off the attacks of Satan and the temptations of this world.

    I also pick his friends. He is a good boy, but I never lose sight of the fact that if he has wrong friends or I do not set a good example, that he could be swayed during the turbulent teen years.

    Will be praying for your family.
    ┬žue
     
  18. christianyouth

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    Amen. I was thinking much of this myself. Great advice.
     

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