Keeping Faith When Your Kids Leave the Faith

The # 1 prayer request at Relevant Radio® is for family members who have left the Catholic faith. It’s on the hearts of so many whose loved ones have been deceived by the culture and strayed from God. When your kids leave the faith you worked so hard to instill, it can cause a great deal of pain and anxiety. How can you keep the faith when your kids have lost theirs?

“I know sometimes your faith is tested and a lot of parents wonder where God is. Maybe you did the best you could—you baptized them, you took them to church, you gave them a good education, you prayed with them, you gave them a good example—and yet they have left God and they have left the faith and you, personally, feel like a failure,” said Drew Mariani, host of The Drew Mariani ShowTM.

He can empathize with the anguish that so many parents feel. “I would sit in this chair ten, fifteen years ago judgmentally and point my finger and think it’s the parents’ fault … today as a parent with adult children I realize how powerful the culture is. How powerful Satan is in trying to cut those spiritual cords.”

Allison Ricciardi is the Founder of the Raphael Remedy and a Licensed Mental Health counselor. She sees many families today that have done everything right to instill the faith and virtues in their kids, but their kids still fall away from their Catholic Faith.

If you’re desperate for your family to return to the faith, Ricciardi recommends changing how you pray. Do you pray for God to save your kids, tell him how terrible things have been and how badly you need his help? This is focusing on the problem, she says.

“I think what we need to do is have a prayer of praise, prayer where we’re listening to God, prayer where we’re reading scriptures, we’re reading inspirational stories like of Saint Augustine’s conversion and things. We need to focus on the power and not the problem,” explains Ricciardi. It’s a prayer that God wants to answer, and we should have confidence that he will answer it (in his time, of course).

It’s not easy to be patient, but as we wait for our family members to return, we need to trust and be ready to gently offer help and support. God “allows circumstances to develop that they need—that something’s going to happen in their lives and they’ll be at a crossroads—and we’ve got to be very careful at those times not to preach, but to share.” Gently offering to pray for or with your kids can make a big impact, she says.

In this big scary world, we need to also find reasons for hope. “There are a lot of bad influences in the world, but there are a lot of good influences as well. And what we want to do is we want to pray for holy encounters for our kids. Pray for God to send those instruments,” explained Ricciardi.

“Don’t yield to despair, because the Devil is going to try every which way to discourage you with what I call ‘fake news’. He’s going to keep showing you things that aren’t really true but they look really bad,” said Ricciardi. Don’t let your kids’ loss of faith cause you to also lose faith. Keep at it and don’t stop praying!

Saints Monica and Augustine, pray for us!

Hear part of the interview:

Tune in to The Drew Mariani ShowTM weekdays at 3-6pm ET / noon-3pm PT only on Relevant Radio®.

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.