Q: My son is 15 and he says he does not believe in God, how can I try to help him believe again?
A: This is not an uncommon thing to have happen among people especially teenagers. Like with so many other things they look at the actions of people and judge whether or not something is worth putting their time into. They do it with everything and most of all with their faith. The most common word I hear from teenagers who are trying to convince they don’t want to believe in God or religion is “hypocrite.” They look for the inconsistencies and when they find someone who isn’t living up to the ideal, them the whole must be a lie. Unfortunately there are a lot of examples in the world of people who claim to be believers and don’t let their actions go along with that belief. And the media doesn’t help with its mixed message that range from everything is okay as long as you believe in something to don’t believe in anything because its just “opium for people” (to quote Marx and Hegel on that matter).
My suggestion to you is this…first, be the best witness of your faith that you can for your son…remember what St. Francis said, “where there is doubt, let me bring faith.” As a parent, you (whether you know it or not) are always going to be your son’s first and finest teacher of the faith. Second, if there is a youth minister or a Priest that your son has trusted in the past and would be willing to go speak with about his doubts…get together. Third, pray and pray and pray…remember St. Monica prayed for son St. Augustine for thirty years and when he finally came to the Lord he did some incredible stuff. Fourth, don’t get discouraged, if he doesn’t come around over night, don’t worry…just keep being there for him and remind that God is always waiting for him as well.