Jehovah`s Witness/my son/JW
QUESTION: Hello Mr. Holland,
I was a Basptized JW, back in 1996, I was 22 at that time, I married into it, my X husband was raised JW, so we both decided to be baptized before we got married. I never really was considered myself a JW, but I followed along all their doctrines, knocked on doors, went to their events etc,
We got divorced in 2006, we have 2 kids my son who is now 15 and daughter 10. they are both exposed to their dad's belief JW, My son tells me 3 days ago mom I do not want to go to church, he said I'm learning about Jehovah and its interfering with my beliefs.. you see we have joint custody of the kids, I am a born again since 2008, I have been going to church but I think I have failed my son in teaching him constantly about Christ, I pray for him everyday but I was wondering which other approach I can take with my son.
I led him to Ephesians 6:1 and told him he needs to come to church with me. but I also don't want to turn him away.
Thanks and God bless you.
ANSWER: Good evening, Lari, and thank you for writing.
My heart goes out to you in your situation, as it is not an easy one. And there isn't an easy solution, either.
I am very happy to hear that you have become a Christian, and are attending a good Bible-believing church. That is the place to start in your own life. At least, I hope it is a church that stands on the complete authority of God's Word, the Bible. That is very vital in this situation, as your son needs to see that a relationship with God is not merely a form, ritual, or a religious ceremony, but it is something that is life-changing, and firmly founded on the Scriptures.
You made this comment....
"I have been going to church but I think I have failed my son in teaching him constantly about Christ, I pray for him everyday but I was wondering which other approach I can take with my son."
I do not know exactly what you mean by "failing" your son, and that's okay...I don't need to know. But in whatever way you feel this is the case, I would simply tell you to correct it without delay. That may involve a heart-to-heart talk with your son, about how you believe you could've done better. The answer to his dilemma, whatever it is, is not to join a cult.
You said that you pray for your son every day, and I honestly can't give you any better advice than that. At 15, he has a mind of his own, and a decision to make. I was 15 when I came TO Christ, after being raised in the JW religion. I would say to pray earnestly for Him, believing that we serve a big God, Who answers prayer. You may not see the results immediately, and it may seem to get worse before it gets better...but pray anyway. NEVER, ever give up praying and trusting God for your children.
I am going through that with my oldest son right now. No, he isn't joining a cult, but he is 19, no longer at home, and is making decisions and doing things that I don't go along with. Nothing really terrible or wicked (that I know of)....Just that spiritual things are not first in his life right now. I think he feels he was always sheltered and kept from certain things, and now he wants to see what he was missing, and certain things that we taught him are wrong, he now wants to question why they are wrong. All we can do, is pray that the Spirit of God will speak to Him, and draw him to what he knows is right. And we are believing that God will do that.
Don't lose heart with your son. God is still on the throne. He is at a point in his life, where he wants to figure things out for himself. It is our job to provide the proper guidance, but in the end, he is going to make the decision. Especially in your case, because one parent is pulling him one way, and one is pulling him another way. I would say...Put him in God's hands. You can't go wrong there.
As far as the thing about "failing" him....Whatever failures you feel may have happened, it is not too late to correct them. I would simply say this to you....Be the Christian that you want him to be. If there is any sin, or maybe just half-heartedness in your walk with Christ, then remedy that today. Maybe there is something that you need to sit down and talk to him about, or apologize to him for, I don't know. But I know that when we walk closely with Him, there will be a difference in our own lives, that others will notice. Let your son see your love for Christ, and the change in your life. In other words, show him something real, that lets him know what you have is more real than what he is being offered at the KH.
There is a great Scripture in the Bible, that says....
Matthew 6:33- "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
If you put God's interests first, and serve Him whole-heartedly, then He will look after yours.
Now, one final point....During the times on weekends when he is in your house, and staying with you, then he is to do as you say. You may have to lay the law down. When he is with his father, you can't do much about that. But when he is with you, and you tell him its time for church...then its time for church.
One more thing you might want to impress on him, is that the Watchtower Society has all sorts of things in its history, that remove any possibility of it being "Jehovah's Organization". That is not to say that there aren't good people in this religion, because there are. But impress upon him that joining and committing to a religion for life, is a huge step, and should not be done lightly. In fact, a person owes it to themselves, to do intense research about any religion they are considering, in order to make sure its teachings line up with the Scriptures. In fact, I highly recommend you read the post by the expert named Richard, from a few days ago, called "Jehovah's Organization"
. I am providing the link below.
There are things contained in this writing, that your son will never be told at the Kingdom Hall. But they are factually true, nonetheless. And they are things he should know, before joining this religion.
Also, I recommend having your son to read this link, which gives a pretty good history of the Watchtower Society, and how it came into being....
It would be beneficial for your son to know these things, before making such a decision.
Finally, I will say this, and I am in no way saying this is even a problem. I just need to throw it in. But be very careful not to bash his father, because that is still his father. Just as Ephesians 6:1 applies to him honoring you, it applies equally to him honoring his father. Your son is in a tough predicament, with 2 parents who both want what is best for him, but with very different ideas as to what IS best. My heart goes out to your son. Either way he chooses, he is going to hurt one of his parents. Let him know that his father, no doubt, believes he is instructing him in what is right, but unfortunately, there are things about this religion that his dad likely isn't aware of, either.
Don't make it about "this church/religion vs. that church/religion". Let the comparison be between what he sees in you...a vibrant, joyous relationship with the risen Savior, vs. pressure to conform to the dictates of a religious Organization, which claims to speak for God, but their track record shows differently.
And again, don't ever give up...even if it gets worse before it gets better. Just pray for him, and let him see the difference Jesus Christ has made in your life. That can only work in his heart for good.
If I can help you in any further way, please do not hesitate to follow up. I will help you pray for your son, that he too will know what a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, is all about.
God bless, and take care.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Derrick,
Thank you so much for your fast response, I attend Calvary Chapel here in Fort Lauderdale, a Bible- believing based church...6 years today I gave my life to Jesus....BTW I really appreciate all you had to say.
What I meant by failing my son is that I should've had been doing bible study with him and studying Gods Word with him here at home, I have bible study's with my 10 year old daughter and I read her the Bible so she understands and she accepted Jesus last year all on her own so I did a better job with her then him is what I might have referred,( I should've done it with him) I know that his dad does that (teach him JW way), so I figured his dad has a head start, my son is a good son and very obedient if I ask him to please seat with me and read an article with me he will, so I will do this tomorrow and have him read the History of the JW that you sent me.. Thank you for that.
I will never give up... even if it gets worse before it gets better, I gave it all to God, I trust and have faith in God. Thank you so much for these encouraging words.
Thank you for helping pray for my son, I too will pray for your 19 year old son.
God bless you and I will keep you posted.
Good morning, Lari. I apologize for not getting back to you yesterday, but I had to work some long hours.
Its odd that you mention Ft. Lauderdale. I was just there back in August, on family vacation. We stayed at a beachfront resort on Sunny Isles Beach, and actually drove up to Ft. Lauderdale to eat at a place called "The Rustic Inn". Not sure if you are familiar with it or not. Good food, and a little on the pricey side. But it was highly recommended from a co-worker of mine, who lives here in NC, but was from Ft. Lauderdale. You live in a beautiful area.
I am very glad to know that you are attending a solid, Bible-believing church in your area. That is a key to maintaining a strong walk with Christ, and helping our faith to remain strong. Keep doing what you're doing.
I understand completely what you mean, about looking back on things you wished you had done more of. I have been there myself. Thank you for praying for my son, as well. I don't want to give the impression that he is out there doing wicked things. He is a good young man. I only wish he were more spiritual. In August, he joined the Army National Guard, and has just completed Basic Training. Since he is away from home now, we worry about some of the things he may experiment with. We have taught him what is right, and now its time for us to just trust God to lead and guide him, and draw our son unto Himself. I don't think a parent ever stops worrying.
I am very happy to hear that your daughter has come into a relationship with Jesus Christ, as well. That is exactly what she needs in this world we live in. So many things out there to draw them and pull them away from what is spiritual. I can't believe how this world has changed, just since I was a teenager. So many more things now to worry about, and wickedness is literally pushed right in their face at every turn. I don't envy what teenagers who are Christians today, have to face. But if your daughter will keep Christ first in her life, she will be just fine.
But again, do not ever give up on your son. God is bigger than false doctrine, and your prayers for him are powerful. God knows your heart, and your desire for your son to know Him. I will gladly help you pray for him.
And please, if there is ever anything I can do to help, please let me know. And yes, please keep me posted. Take care, Sister, and may God bless you.