3 Great Parental Delusions


19 year old Hannah Sabata may very well go down in history as the dumbest criminal EVER! After she robbed a Waco, Nebraska Bank, she fanned out her money on Youtube, showing the camera a note that says, “Then I robbed a bank with a gun, a pillow case and a note.” Her plan was to go on a shopping spree, but her binge was short-lived; police caught up to her within a few days and put her behind bars.

Perhaps she thought she wouldn’t get caught. Or perhaps she just wanted to have some fun. Either way, I don’t think she was planning on doing time in the clink!

As thoughtful human beings, we can sometimes be very stupid. In fact, we often seem to believe that we are the exception to the rules. Sometimes that means we feel that we can get away with something, or that we’re invincible. If you don’t think you’re this way, just wait until you discover your first gray hair!

We as parents easily fall prey to the same delusions. We tend to think, deep down, that it’s the “other family” that has problems, or that have their young people go prodigal. But the facts prove that this is not the case. In fact, the vast majority of our “Christian” young people leave home – and God – at the same time, breaking their parents’ hearts into shivers. (some folks think the attrition rate is as high as 94%!!)

What are some Delusions we parents fall prey to?

1.       “My kids will be fine. As long as they’re not bothering me, they’re ok.”  I think my parents thought the same thing when I was about 4 or 5 years old and a 15 year old neighbor boy took me to the woods to play a “game.” Thankfully I was a feisty little girl, and when his “game” began to hurt, I pushed him away.  But nowadays young people are getting into things – online relationships, dangerous and addicting video games, drugs, etc. – all without their parents’ knowledge. No, our kids are NOT fine just because they’re not bothering us.

2.       “Oh, the church and the youth group will take care of my young person’s spirituality. I don’t have to do anything.”  The church and youth group are wonderful extensions of parental teaching and training, but can never replace it. What we do at home teaches the children much more emphatically than what is taught for just a few hours from a pulpit every week.

3.       “What my kids need is more “stuff,” and lots of activities. Hey, I work hard to give my kids whatever they need. Isn’t that enough?” Don’t fall for this one. Kids don’t need stuff, they need YOU.

It’s easy to think “Oh, that won’t happen to me,” and have our hearts broken. By the same token, we don’t want to be paranoid, but to have a realistic approach to life. Let’s face it, in our society today, there are more distractions than ever, so we must be vigilant.

Let’s not fall into these ruts of wrong thinking, or we may end up with – not just a jail sentence, but decades of heartache.

Over the next few months, I’m going to write about child training. Specifically, I’m going to write about raising godly children, based on interviews I’ve conducted with dozens of young people who have chosen to serve the Lord.

QUESTION: What other parental delusions have you seen? Leave a comment and let me know!

Special Announcement:


Keep your eyes out for the upcoming release of my new book on this topic, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, coming in September! In this book, there will be:

  • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
  • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
  • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
  • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
  • And much, much more!

Other Helpful Resources:

  •   Raising Modern Day Joseph, by Larry Fowler, an excellent book which takes the view of “how to do it successfully,” rather than just documenting why our young people are leaving our churches.
  • Jumping Ship, by Michael Pearl – Pearl is a very polarizing author – either you love him or hate him, but his advice in this book is excellent.
  • Already Gone, by Ken Ham – By talking to many, many 2nd generation Christians who have left the church, Ham has discovered that the majority of young people have their direction set long before they reach 18. It’s a must-read for anyone in ministry, or any parent.
  • The Barna Group, a Christian research organization which provides vital statistics for the Christian home, and many valuable resources.

For the record, I don’t get any kickback for recommending these books. They’re just books I’ve read on the subject, and that I think are excellent.

Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word,
and Happy Wives Club

Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage

Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum






  1. Bonny Pearl says:

    Parenting takes A LOT of energy, physically and mentally. Sticking heads in the sand is easy, but won’t help our children. Thanks for these convicting words!

    • Lisa says:

      It does, Bonny! And when you multiply parenting one child by two, three, four, or more, it really takes a lot out of you! That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Marty says:

    This is such an important topic to bring out into the open! Too many times I think Christian parents feel like their children “know better” so they’re somehow immune from the world’s temptations and that simply isn’t true. May God grant you wisdom and clarity over the next several months as you share your thoughts on something that clearly needs to be heard by us all.

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, Marty! I often feel like I’m treading on the serpent’s tail when I write such things, and I need all the prayer I can get.

      We love stuffed animals, heart-warming stories, and chicken soup. But sometimes we need a bit of bitter medicine.

  3. momstheword says:

    I was just talking to a friend on Sunday who asked me why my kids “turned out alright” and his didn’t. “What did I do wrong?” he asked.

    As parents, we can only lead our children to the Lord as close as we are ourselves. So we definitely want to be faithful in our own walk with the Lord, and we want to impart our beliefs and values and be faithful in prayer and find a Bible believing church that preaches the truth, etc.

    But ultimately, our children make their own choices. Parents need to remember that when the guilt tries to overwhelm them.

    But that doesn’t mean we give up and give over to our delusions. We keep in the fight for our children’s hearts and souls and we keep praying and we keep trusting and we keep speaking truth into their lives! Great post,my friend and look forward to more! Thanks for linking up to the “Making Your Home Sing Monday” linky party today! 😉

    • Lisa says:

      I think this subject is very close to peoples’ hearts, Cameron. The many people I’ve talked to really have a lot to say about this subject, and it’s quite relevant and practical. I look forward to sharing their stories!

  4. Lisa says:

    Those are some very good points. I think this issue is near and dear to many hearts. I look forward to writing about the interviews I’ve been blessed to have.

  5. Beth says:

    Thanks for this insightful post, Lisa. I appreciate not only the links you’ve provided, but the encouragement you give us as parents. Very often we want to believe the “delusions” you’ve discussed and it’s important to recognize them for what they are! I’m looking forward to hearing more about your interviews and research on this subject. You have me riveted! Thanks for linking up at Wedded Wed too, my friend.

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, Beth! My goal is to be an encouragement and show folks that it IS possible to raise godly children in this day and age. How do we know? Because of the many people that have already done it!

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