Remember, Peter Is Not Judas
Finally, in the midst of the sorrow and frustration that comes with a child struggling with or even leaving the faith, we need to remind ourselves that there is a difference between Peter and Judas. Both denied Jesus but Peter repented and returned to serve Jesus wholeheartedly. Admittedly, Peter’s return happened shortly after his denial, but that isn’t always the case. There are lots of individuals who once identified as believers, deconverted and then, years later returned to the faith. I know of a number. Lauren helped plant a church, led worship at it, and served as a youth group leader. However, she was terribly mistreated by the church’s leadership and became disillusioned with Christianity, and eventually denied the faith. It’s a long story but she shortly after her deconversion she became involved in the adult entertainment industry and went on to make over 200 adult films. But porn wasn’t the end of her journey. God miraculously got ahold of her and today she once again is a follower of Jesus. Darrin grew up in the church but left the faith due to intellectual reasons. He became an online atheist apologist, writing for a popular anti-Christian website. He actively sought to destroy the faith of Christians; that is until God opened his eyes. After becoming convinced by the evidence for the resurrection he recommitted his life to Christ. Darrin once again identifies as a Christian.
If Lauren and Darrin – who were about as far morally and intellectually from Christ as a person can get – can return, there’s hope for our loved ones. Be encouraged. God’s heart is for your child. Even though it might be hard to believe, he really does love them more than we do. We know this because he sacrificed his son for our sons and daughters. Therefore, we can trust that he never stops actively working to draw them back to himself.