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My son says he doesn't believe in God any longer.

My son is a very bright 16 year old. Last night, he told me that he believes that he is agnostic, and doesn't not feel that he believes in God. He has been raised in a Christian household. I feel that we have failed somehow in raising him. He is a wonderful kid, and I know this shouldn't change what I think of him, but I just feel so sad about it. Has anyone else ever had a child do this? We had a long discussion last night and will have many more in the future, I'm sure :) I am not sure what to do. I feel like I have lost him and failed him in life. Any answers will be appreciated. Thanks.

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:19 AM on Mar. 11, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (32)

  • You haven't failed, he's 16 years old and has a brain. He is his own person and obviously thought about it. If you pressure the issue you will make it worse. Leave it be. If he mentions it again, tell him that eventhough he might still believe in God, God still believes in him

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 9:21 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • You need the book The Power of a Praying Parent.

    Find out why he lost his faith or maybe he never had faith. Did he once believe and stopped for a reason or has he not accepted Jesus yet? Was he ever baptized?

    Maybe something at school has caused his to rely on logic and caused him to question God?

    I wish you the best and will pray for your son.


    Answer by ThrivingMom at 9:25 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • Seems like a smart kid, not because he is agnostic, but because he is seriously pondering this god thing. Many people choose to blindly follow, & others choose to think about it & make a decision that seems rational to them. He may change his mind in the future, but the fact that he is not blindly following his parents is a sign of being able to think for himself, & be independent in his own thought. Don't worry too much. Set a good example & don't force anything on him. Forcing kids into a religion usually backfires.

    Be glad you have a smart son who is thiking deeply about the issue. Lots of kids don't even have the ability to think so deeply. Also, he is right to believe in whatever he wants to.


    Answer by samurai_chica at 9:27 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • I was raised in a strict Christian home. But I knew from a young age that it wasn't the path for me. If one path was right for everyone there would only be one religion. But it doesn't work that way. Your sons belief in God does not reflect on how you raised him, it reflects on his own personal path. We all find our own path, regardless of our up bringing. At some point we have to do some "soul searching" and decide what is it that we believe or don't believe, what fits with who we are... It seems like your son is at that point! I would think it would reflect more on your parenting if he simply accepted everything he was told without question than it does that he wants to find his own answers.

    Good Luck and Gods Bless

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 9:39 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • I was raised in a home that had no "set" 8 I chose to go through ccd myself and was baptized and received communion at the same time. As I grew up I began to question my faith and eventually gave up religion...actual did a full 180. After having children...I found myself believing in God again, but no "formal" religion. To this day my beliefs don't "fit" I believe what I believe and hopefully in the end being true to myself will be good enough for God. But give him time...don't force it or he will push away. Give him literature on many different religions for him to read in his own time and let him know you are there to talk with no judgment and be true to that promise. Good Luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:47 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • You have not failed him in any way, just because he chooses to beleive in something other than you it doesn't mean you failed. I too always tell my daughter that even though she doesn't beleive in him, he beleives in her. There is nothing for you to do, if you start passing on scriptures and God's word to him it will only anlienate him more, let him be and let him figure it out on his own, and whatever he decides it should not create a wedge between the two of you. Afterall religion and faith are very personal.

    Answer by older at 9:56 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • First of all, one of the most important things we can teach our children is not what to think but how to think.  It sounds to me like you were successful.  Combine that with rebellious adolescence and you have a recipe for "losing faith".  It sounds like you're handling things just fine.  Don't push him, you will only end up causing a rift in your relationship.  Support him and help him find his own way.  Continue to practice your faith and invite him to church on special occasions (but be ok with it if he says no).  He might come back to your faith when he matures a bit but be ok with it if he doesn't.


    Answer by beeky at 9:58 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • I think anyone from any religion feels bad when their children don't follow the same path they do. But God did give us free will. And I think most people don't even realise how much they need God until they have experienced life a little. All you can do is be a good example and pray for him. You never know, someday the path may lead him right back home.


    Answer by BlooBird at 10:03 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • He is growing up and trying to find his own identity and figure out what it is he believes in. This is normal. If you try to push him to change you'll give him more of a reason to rebel. Listen to him, without judging him and love him.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 10:13 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • I've been one of those children. If you respect him as an individual you'll respect his decision and understand that is what it is - HIS!

    Answer by Waxing_Lyrical at 10:13 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

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