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Should I Force My Daughter To Go To Church?

My daughter does not want to go to church and says that she is an atheist. It has been going on for about 6 months.

I feel it is my Christian duty to bring my children up in the church, but is there any point in forcing her if she doesn't want to go?

Will this turn her away from God even more. She is 13 years old.

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I still feel that at 13 shes way too young to be leading her own life and making such decisions. I mean what next? If the mother didnt feel it was a problem she wouldnt post it here. No one is a good parent. A good parent is a parent who tries. I think its the hardet job in the world to raise another decent human being. But when it comes to children lets stop this free thinking nonesense the modern soceity has good mad. A child is a child end of story.

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who says prostitution is harmful and freethinking isn't? Is prostitution not also about freethinking?

do you westerner wannabes think at all?

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Pls,don't try to force her, try do something like, (1) Sit her down and talk to her like one of her friends, thereby asking her what really prompted her to start such things (2) Try get one of her close friends and ask the friend things they talk about whenever they are together, thinks they talk about matters alot (3) If possible, get someone she confides in and let than person get full details of whats' really happening to her.

May God change her heart and seperate her from bad influences. (Amen)

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@londoner,

THE BIBLE INSTRUCTED THAT YOU SHOULD TRAIN A CHILD THE WAY HE/SHE SHOULD GO,

IS THAT NOT?  THEN LET ME BRIEF YOU WHAT TRAINING  REQUIRES:

IT RQS DISCPLINE AND DRILLING WHICH COULD BE OF ANY FORM.

DISCIPLINE ITSELF RQS PUNISHMENT.    NOW What is punishment?

IT MEANS TO HANDLE SEVERELY OR ROUGHLY OR VIOLENTLY.

   VIOLENCE REQUIRES FORCE.  PLS GET UNDERSTANDING

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my 13 year old daughter has decided she wants to be a professional prostitute. Should I force her not to become a prostitute?

prostitution is an harmful trade. freethinking isn't. do u idi amin's think at all.

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my 13 year old daughter has decided she wants to be a professional prostitute. Should I force her not to become a prostitute?

Many people here dont even know what it is to be a parent. There are some here who dont seem to deserve to have become parents. Which kind nonsense be that? which time me and my son/daughter wey be underage begin drag matter as to who dey wiser?

God save us all

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I dont think I have seen in the bible where it says you can force human beings to do things, examples in the bible like , if you say to this MOUNTAIN refers to THINGS and not PEOPLE. Even God himself who told Adam not to eat of the tree didn't force him not to, he left the choice in the hands of Adam. Trying to use the bible to justify things even God himself doesn't do, is one reason why so many people can't live a so called Christian life.

They manipulate it to justify whatever they want to do.

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matthew 11:12 " RIGHT FROM THE DAYS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST UNTIL NOW, THE KINGDOM OF GOD

                            SUFFERETH VIOLENCE AND THE VIOLENT PEOPLE ARE TAKING IT BY FORCE"

                                                  YES- BY FORCE, EVEN BY FIRE BY FORCE.

mark 11:22-24   "HAVE FAITH IN GOD,,,,, YOU SAY UNTO THIS MOUNTAIN,,,,,  AND IT SHALL BE REMOVED" 

           

      IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILTY TO TAKE HER BACK TO GOD B4 SHE TURNS THE HEADS OF OTHER CHILDREN

                                       MAY THE LORD HELP YOU IN JESUS NAME (AMEN)

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She need to be force to go to church and ensure that she 's attentive to message because salvation come through hearing, hearing thru the word of God.

Also try and get some christian novel, films and tape to keep her busy.

ensure you study bible with her at least once in a week prayerfully.

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at dis tender age i think its wise to force her to church, if she were old i wuld av advised against it. try and live an exemplelary life; at dis age a child tends to imitate anything she sees, so be mindful of how u behave wen she's there and be cautious of the company she keeps. most of all. take it to the lord in prayers.

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@ Rhea, oh really? So if a child came to you and asked your advice that she is also 13 years old, but instead of her parents being Christians they believe in the occult. They want to force her to go to their gatherings and join in their libations and incantations, she says she doesn't believe in it and refuses to go.

What would your advice be then, would it not still be a monorchy sinmce she is under 18 and is "eating from their table"?

It is "their house", "their family", "their domain" too, what would your advice be then?

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Wonder shall never end. That's absolutely true.

But for as long as my child remains a child, it is my responsibility as a parent to see to it that he/she heeds my call and respects me. That invloves going to church with me. He/she can decide to join a rock n' roll band for all I care, but that will happen when he/she has attained adulthood and is no longer under my direct supervision. In other words, such a person no longer feeds off my table.

It is my house. My family. My domain. I (with my wife) call the shots. It is no democracy here. It is a monarchy. It is my duty and responsibility as a parent to provide my family with the very best that I can afford. If that child wants a democracy, he/she can as well pack and go live elsewhere, or join Barack Obama's campaign crew.

I think our teenagers of nowaday should exercise some patience and wait till they attain adulthood before they start contributing their independent opinion to how the house should be run.

This democratic attitude in the family is tearing a lot of families apart and bastardizing family values. Did I get that child's opinion and consent before I decided (together with my wife) that we are going to have children?

I know i sound like a harsh father. But the very fact that I am the father/parent and that child is under 18 years, I legally, ethically and otherwise remain in control. So, she goes to church with me till she attains 18, and then decides what she wants from then on, including how to fend for herself.

These are my thoughts anyway.

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Na wa o! Some backward posters are still criticising yvskc for not raising her child properly simply because the child voiced her quite reasonable and legitimate opinion. Like it or not guys, God's existence is only a matter of belief, it can't be proved, and challenging this belief is quite normal. Non-believers (in Xtianity) outnumber Xtians in Naija alone.

But, what's this? Yay! The poll on this topic has swung for the progressives for the first time!

Big ups to all progressive thinkers: Queen D-reloaded, almondjoy, omo.olomo, gg, Seun, manmust etc etc. Your children will always stay close and will always confide in you.

Hopefully the 'drag ams' and 'flog ams' have not reproduced themselves, as they obviously can't tell the difference between a child and a goat.

I love you guys/gals who went to a good university, but are now saying 'Philosophy? Psychology? All na grammar!' If you are better-educated than past generations, yet you can't make better decisions than your parents, then what have you gained?

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I am still waiting for you animals to come and beat me. Yea it's a challenge.

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The reason for that is because the parents themselves have corrupt tendencies with religious hypocrisy. That's quite a different thing

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@ poster

Ur daughter is just a typical young teenager; naive and impressionable, also highly sensitive, so be careful. I suggest u live her alone. Pray 4 her and thank God she is not yet experimenting with satanism or atheism like Seun Osewa. lol. Nah its nuthin to worry about. Just think back to all the things you felt, thought or did when you were 13 and you'll understand what she is going thru now. Good luck.

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The reason for that is because the parents themselves have corrupt tendencies with religious hypocrisy. That's quite a different thing

no there isn't a difference. what's the point of religion if it can't curb the corrupt tendencies of man. something is wrong with the parenting skills of Nigerians if all they can do is instill fear in their kids by forcing them to do things

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I was once like her, My dad was a deacon and founder of a church he always force me to go to church against my wish. I must tell you now I realised he has done a very good job by not letting me go astray. If the parent refuse to play her part now. I am sorry, she will be blamed for that in the furture. I am not a disciplinarian but I beleive better application of punishment could realy work wonders in the life of a teeager like her.

However, if you are not residing in Nigeria you may not be able to have any control over your child.

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MOve your family to Naija which children learnt respect for the elders and follow their parents' instruction.

yes such great parenting skills have really helped. see how nigeria is the 2nd most corrupt country in the world with high crime rate but churches and mosques every corner. parents are guardians/providers and not dictators. olodo

@poster

learn to tolerate your daughter. nairaland shouldn't be where u get parenting advice. have a thorough convo with ur daughter in the presence of a counselor. your daughter should be encouraged to be a freethinker and allow to make critical decisions such as religion on her own. forcing her to go to church will only widen the distance between u 2.

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MOve your family to Naija which children learnt respect for the elders and follow their parents' instruction.

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are there any proper parents left in the western world?

13 year-old girl go talk say she dey take decision wey her parents no agree with. which kind yeye decision be that?

The fact that you believe and have allowed her to believe she should make decisions irrespective of your opposition to such decisions shows that you have the wrong ideas about bringing up children. If she has been brought up to believe she is in a position to make such decisions at the age of 13, there is something wrong with your parental abilities.

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This bible that people keep going on about, was anyone forced to go to church/listen to Jesus's teachings etc. I don't know of one example in that very bible where ANYONE was forced at any time to believe in the bible, its actually impossible to FORCE someone to believe something.

Instead of burying heads in the sand, maybe you should get to the root of why at such a young age, a young girl has decided there must not be a God. People have reasons why they believe things, what is so wrong with having a conversation with her? Try a different method of parenting than the average African parent is used to.

The very people who introduced Christianity to Nigeria, don't force their children to go do they? If a child has parents who visit their local shrine in the village and are into native rituals, do they not have the right to refuse the belief or to opt out, because they are their parents property?

If she has good qualities, why worry?, afterall some of the biggest  devils to go church.

Nigerians and Africans in general find it difficult to think outside of the box, or go against the grain, because we have herd mentality. Churches need to be cleaned up before people start pushing more impressionables in there.

To be honest I think church is a waste of time for many people. What you are talking about is the building and the protocols which go with it, Christianity has never been about that. You bring up your child in a "Christian" way by what you do when you are not in a church service. I would not force my child to go to Church.

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YES i do beleive u should force her to go to church, but only because she's only 13 and shouldn't be making decisions on weda she wants to go to church or not at such a tender age. But let me tell you. You can control her physically (and force her to go to church) but u can't control her mentally (and make her believe in God) Theres nothing u can do to change her, the damage has already bin done. U know its when kids reach thier teens dat they form thier opinions about life. And some maybe convert to Muslims, or discover that they are gay, become an Atheist etc. You just have to understand that kids brought up in the U K are different from us kids who were brought up back home and respect her beliefs.

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I read this post and couldn’t stop laughing. What is this world turning into?

A girl of 13 telling her mother she doesn’t believe in her religion but wants to be an atheist! When I was 13 I dare not look straight into my mum's eye and tell her I won’t go to church cos I don’t believe in her God.

Please for heaven sake if you have to force her go ahead and force her. At the same time be praying for her and show her love. You must continually read/study the bible together. Please you must not relent in your efforts till you see her turn to God because God will ask you. Please don’t forget your bible go back to it again. Why did God kill Eli and his children on the same day simply because his children were sinning against God and Eli did not rebuke them and the whole family was swept away on the same day, that won’t be your portion in Jesus name. The bible states that there is madness in the heart of children but we should use rod to remove it not necessarily cane. You can use the rod of the word of God to chastise and correct her. Be involve in her activities, know the kind of friends she keeps and make sure you send those who could have negative impacts in her life away, check the kind of books she reads and dissuade her from anti-God collections. Do your part and let God knows you did and leave the rest to Him.

I wouldn’t have said all these but only ask you to be praying for her if she were 18 years and above but at that age, you are still responsible for her!

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@ poster,

I know by now you might have try your possible best telling her about christ loves for mankind in other to bring your daughter to christ not to church( because she may decide to go to church but still remain what she want to be) your main purpose should be that she knows Christ and loves HIM with all her heart I.e accept Jesus Christ as is lord and personel saviour. If  not

Try and get her some tracts, Bible story book, films or any other objects or things that talks about Christ love. Please and please dont force her but let her understand by your cares and love for her that Christ loves her more than you do.

Above all pray that God should prove Himself to her in everyway.

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Did you hear me say that? Or are you just seeing what is not there? If the other daughter has made up he mind of her own free will to go to church, then she also has a mind of her own.

If this daughter doesn't want to attend church, why should she be forced to? Sitting in a church when you don't actually believe in what is being said is just a waste of time, it would only be for show, as we all should know religion is supposed to be a true spiritual connection, not an obligation to your parents. She is right not to make a mockery of the church by going when she doesnt even believe in God.

I don't see why she should pretend or her parents should decieve themselves that attending church makes someone a Christian.

To be honest I think many people who attend church, do so for the wrong reasons and dont even take anything being said to heart, by Monday, they have forgotten all that they heard the day before and there is often no evidence of what they profess to believe in their behaviour. If attending church was the key, Nigeria would be a very different place than it is. Attending church is not the problem, practicing the virtues of God is.

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@De-reloaded,

I have to warn you though, dem might work you over a bit and the size of your heart may expand through your chest to give you a deluded confidence. For example, I still consider myself a victim of your unguided words, but not minding you and the insults you give to my buddies in Nairaland just because they stated their views. However, would you learn how to keep your cool and not go further with your insult? Unfortunately, explaining something that is infinite for a finite mind of yours to understand is impossible.

One last thing, the whole solution can be stated quite simply by asking, 'Is there anything you gain from your insult?

Still maintain that at 13, the parents must not tolerate nonsense from her just because they want to show her love.

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13 yrs old? i beg look for pankere and wipe her small yansh!yeye!

look dont be decieved by all these pshyco analysis a 13 yrs old does not know whats up yet, so u must not spare the rod. if she were my daughter she must go to mosque . if u like call me a terrorist muslim.

if u are abroad, decieve am come naija come wipe her yansh to avoid them arresting you for wanting to train ur child.

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What else can i add to this superb post?

Everyone is born a sinner . . . the bible says so.

I attended church for yrs (by force) . . . it did me no good. The first chance i had outside the home i stayed as far away from the church as i could, prefering to cook pots of beans with my friends rather than go decieve myself (as most were doing) in the "house of God".

It was not until much later, after plenty of preaching that i finally ON MY OWN decided to return to the household of faith.

Force ur child to read the bible at ur own peril, she will simply grow up to see it as an instrument of imperialism.

As a child i detested reading the book of proverbs, i thot it was written to punish children.

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I beg to differ,people are effectively born atheists until they are told about God or what other form of deity those in their immediate surroundings are familiar with.

At the heart of the issue is whether you can induce belief in God by "force".The 13 year old attending church weekly is meaningless if she doesn't believe in God.

Thus apart from whether its desirable to compel church attendance,the efficacy of such compulsion is highly questionable.Being a Christian is not a question of regular church attendance,its about a firm belief in certain Christian doctrines.

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if you force the child she will probably not listen to anything and just going to church forced or not does not make u a Christian

so first i think you should check the kids she moves with, where is she getting the whole i want to be an atheist thing from someone or something  as to be putting it in her head.

the kind of things she sees around ,n listens to affect them especially at that age she a needs a Christian environment at home first

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I would not suggest you foce her to go to church. At 13 and claiming she is atheist shows she is a bit confused probably because of the so many faces of christianity and each seem to be at each other's neck. Make sure you go into parent to mother kind of discussion, let her tell you all her beliefs and even atheist and why she come to that conclusion. You will be able to get some things out from that and even from her own words she will realise that there is GOD inrespective of what religions belief it fits. You really need to understand her inner thinking, even though she is young but she think deep. Dont worry about her going to church she will if indeed she has being going since childhood, the more you force are the more she question your actions expecially if you belong to the millinium churches where you will be too amazed how some human behave and to make matter worst they will claim to be born again or assistant pastor but with demon behaviour. I belief in prayer as well as in mindset even the bible says "pray and be watchfull". Best of luck

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gee, and so the other sister doesn't have a mind of her own? Nonsense. . .

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Congratulations, you have a daughter who has a mind of her own.

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a 13yr old saying that knows nothing about GOD. find out about atheists to guide u in the war. find out about the friends she admires most because she possibly just heard someone she adores talk passionately about it and she started it. change the environment, relocate. at least she no get choice for that one.where u go she goes.

get friendly n very ready to understand her.give her the listening ear. let her tell u about it (atheism) noting how passionately she'd talk. also note where she got the idea from, if there's a lure, etc.

lure her with kindness buying her things, gifts etc in a nonchallant way that wont make her get defensive. a 13 yr old intelligence shouldnt beat urs. they'll always fall like adults will always fall (with time) for whoever spoils hem with kind gifts.act like a man genuinely toasting a woman.

help her picture a friendly and kind passionate God.

i wonder how she summoned the nerves to tell u that at 13. if she wasnt scared telling u that then something's wrong with u! parents should know when to be friends with their children and when to be PARENTS.

wonder what guts we african children had at 13 not to go to church infact we run to sunday school first.

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Atheist are not born that way

it is things they have heard, seen and/or experienced that makes them think the way they do

A friend of mine who was very dedicated to church activities once questioned if God exists

reason

she lost her father and mother within six months despite all her prayers during their sickness

check the group your daughter hangs out with at school

hook up with the parent of her favorite friend and find out their beliefs

give her inspirational books to read on her own

watch movies with her especially where wonderful works of God are exulted

link up with her favorite teacher in school

she may have seen or experienced something you are not aware of and that may have shaken her belief in God

look for someone she freely talks to

that person may be a guide to her opening up on what caused sudden change in her belief system

then address the issue if you find out

THEN PRAY

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there is a yoruba proverb translated says; the devil is in the chest of children,

and you remove it with the cain, simple. 13 yr old telling you that she dose not

want to go to church, nonesense

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Some people must learn how to make their points without insulting others.  Everybody is entitled to state his or views no matter how it sounds, but don’t insult others.

Regrettably, I have known some people in this site, they can’t make their views without adding insult to other people’s opinion.  Your view is good to your mind, so others reason that theirs are better.  So, Seun should try and do something about this insult.

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i agree with you

i guess you need to really read your bible well

and get prepared for whatever answers she might have

i believe the solution lies in your ability to defend the contents of the bible

as well as the Christian doctrine in totality

sincerely speaking, you have a very intelligent daughter.

you really need to work on yourself to make her see reasons

but really it might not be easy cos we all are living by faith,

and you might need to bring herback to Naija.

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Some of you people are pitiful. What concerns "spare the rod" in this matter? Animals

Did she say that her child steals or sleeps around or kills people. She simply has problem beliving certain things in the Bible, understandable, by prayers she will be led back to the flock if need be. All this talk of rod does nothing, most of you were beaten to death and supposedly go to church and you're still no better than Satan himself. Rubbish.

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maybe the solution to her problem lies in what she has been doing the first 13 years of her life and what you have done and is doing about them.

think

think

think

the problem did not start today!!!

Remember Aristotle, i hope you are not 13 years late to train your child.

Go way back in time and look for the solution to your problem.

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Proverbs 13:24

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

I think your child is not passed this stage. If you will force her do that in Love.

this is abuse and suppression of ur child's voice. ur child would just grow to hate u and the Church if u forced her to do. have u asked her what her grievances with church are??

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No u can't force her 2 go 2 church but i think it also depends on how much space u gave her as a child.

All hope is not lost. U can copy Saint Augustine's mother by praying fervently for her, for God to touch her soul.

After all, she'll answer for herself on judgment day and so will u. I hate 2 sound judgmental but u might share part of d blame especially if u spared d rod during her earlier years.

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Pankere for sale, pankere for sale!!!

20% discount!!

Buy 5, i dash u one!!

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@ Poster,

Proverbs 13:24

He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

I think your child is not passed this stage.  If you will force her do that in Love.

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@yvskc,

I admire your sane attitude to your daughter - afterall, she is your daughter, and none of us understands her half as much as you do.

Two things that are of interest to me here, perhaps could be of help? These:

(1)

Way to go! I trust you always do this with confidence, whether or not she might have some counter-examples of the weaknesses and failures in lives of some believers. What many people do not understand is that being a Christian does not mean that unrealistic claims have to be placed upon the believer. Certainly, we make no excuses for the sad behaviour evident in some people; but being the convictions in a Christian heart would not rejoice in those sad issues.

(2)

Okay, that's quite innovative. Let me add here (perhaps by way of a reminder, since you may already know this): whatever you do explain, please do not make it easier for her to "understand" anything at the expense of what the texts say or teach.

It is often a serious mistake that many people hold that have actually resulted in unfortunate events. For example, some ministers in trying to make it "easier" for some of their brethren to relate with Christ, have tried explaining the miracle of the Incarnation in reductionist terms. The result? Their audience today deny that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit!

Okay, I'm not trying to be overstretched or overbearing on this; but I guess you get my drift?

You're in my prayers, and may God bless you as a mother for His name's sake.

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@Poster and all,

It is good to love your children but never you love them base on wrong. Remember again, “spare the rod and spoil the child.” I’m not saying you should turn her to punching bag.

Meanwhile, it’s a pity that at 13, your kid is making such decision and here, some people are advising you to leave her alone, show her love etc. Show Love? Yes, but whose detriment at last? Let me tell you, you will be held responsible for any wrong decision your daughter takes today as long as she remain a kid.

My own advice to you is to talk to her gently but if she refuses to listen, then resolutely force her to give up the idea of atheism. Though, church is not necessarily visiting that structure there. You can still have that church, I mean discussion of the bible right in your home. The only thing I’m against is that of atheism. She is still a kid and so, you must not allow that in your home. When she is of age, she can then decide what to be, but heaven will testify that you have done your best when you had the power to control her.

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Teach your children the way that they should go; when they grow up, they will not depart from it.

How old is your daughter?

When did you start showing her the way she should go?

As a parent, you need to give direction to your children. But you don't have to force them. But the best direction you can give is to lead by example. I believe that if she sees something fantastic about your God, she will want to know Him more.

I wish you God's guidance as you strive to do His will.

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