My Child Doesn’t Believe in God…

My Child Doesn’t Believe in God…

When our son Luke was 6 he asked if Santa was real. Luke was our 3rd child. His older brother and sister were already privy to the truth.

So I knew he knew.

I did the little bit about the real Saint Nick and why we do what we do.

Yada. Yada. Yada.

And Luke, being all Luke said a very Luke thing:

Did you lie about Jesus too?

Needless to say, with our younger children… we aren’t into Santa.  And I am not saying you shouldn’t do the whole Santa thing, but our two younger sons are adopted. I can’t have anything between us that makes them not trust me.

The “original” batch of our biological children range in age from 14-21. One is engaged, one joined the Marines, yesterday. The “new batch” of kids is four, two, and one.  Friday as I worked on book edits, I could hear my mommy helper, Bobbi, singing Jesus songs and telling them the Nativity Story.  For a moment my heart ached and I took time out to have a good cry.

Outside my protective reach, “the Originals” are coming of age in a whole new age. Things are much different than I would have imagined when we began our parenting journey.  I did everything I could to be a “good Christian mommy.”

Yet, tis the season to become your own person.

And I don’t believe that Santa caused disbelief… but some say they don’t believe, or they “just aren’t sure.”

That’s not why I am crying.

I raised a lady-baby that will soon be a wife-baby. I raised a man-baby that will soon be a Marine-baby. I poured into them and loved every aspect of the journey… well except for the 13th year of any given life, which is like a yearlong root canal while sitting on a Lego in an itchy sweater. And of the original-babies I know they know I love Jesus. And I know they remember the songs and the stories. I feel certain they know my Jesus.

They couldn’t have been raised under this roof and not known Him.  I talked about Him and sang about Him. I answered their questions, always with a nod to Him.

And I am not singling out any one of the young adult babies, but I am talking to you moms of young adult babies who are grief stricken or worried about a season of unbelief.

You did a good job.

At your very worst, you told them the truth of the Cross.

They watched you pray.

They saw you praise.

They heard your prayers.

They know the Truth.

I am faced with the question: Do I want my adult-babies to only believe because I did?

My answer is no.

When they were nine and they professed He was welcome, deep in my heart I knew the “yes” didn’t take the place of working out that yes with fear and trembling. And under my protective watch, when an uncle, friend or grandparent passed on they witnessed how I pointed back to Jesus. They knew that’s how I coped. They watched as I fell into the arms of Jesus, time and again.  They bowed their heads and said “amen” and then they went outside to play.

The burdens of childhood are much different than the burdens of adulthood.

While they played tag, we planned the funeral… fully relying on Jesus.

My relationship with Jesus is more than a coloring sheet, nursery rhyme or song. It is an intimate bond with a real God.  And friend, you can’t teach that. It must be walked out.

[clickToTweet tweet=”My relationship with Jesus is more than a coloring sheet or song. It is an intimate bond with a real God. ” quote=”My relationship with Jesus is more than a coloring sheet or song. It is an intimate bond with a real God. “]

A wise friend, Bev Sheasby of said this to me: “Within the seed is the entire plant. You planted the seed.”

I believe that He who dwells in the seed will nurture it into something fantastic.

And while it is hard to watch your baby go out into the big wide world, knowing they aren’t embracing their birthright as child of the God of all, the seed has been planted.

His glory cannot be contained.

If the worst case scenario is death… Jesus conquered that.  

I chose to believe that He will complete the work I started in them. I trust Him completely to be their deliverer. I am certain; they know His name and they know they can call on Him.

Jesus loves me.

Jesus loves them, this I know,

….for the bible tells me so.

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

Psalm 107:28-30 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven


You might also like: Go and Don’t Believe and An Open Letter to My Children: You’re Not That Great

Check out my friend Kelly Balarie’s new book! Click here!

Photo credits 


Share this post:


  1. Tracy on December 18, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Oh my…you hit home today my friend. My 25 year old daughter has been easing away from God since college. Last Christmas was the first time in her life she wasn’t in church Christmas Eve. My heart hurts but I know believe Proverbs 22:6. God is able.

    • jami_amerine on December 18, 2016 at 9:17 am


  2. June Battles on December 18, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I have missed your blog- was excited to see an entry in my inbox today.
    Our 4 kids are about the same age range as yours. I have a 23 year-old that just got engaged. He has the foundation of faith in Jesus, but is not claiming or acting on that faith at this time. I tend to beat myself up about it- “I should have done this better, we should have done that better”. But then that kinda makes me “God” right? Like his faith is dependent on me?? We did our best with “the loaves and fish”we could offer up at the time he was in our home and now I trust and wait and pray. Thanks for your reminders.

    • jami_amerine on December 18, 2016 at 9:27 am

      God bless…

  3. Julie on December 18, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Wow – so well said my friend!
    While I raised my son in the world, we both surrendered to Him a year apart. I hold His promise that nothing can separate us from God! I love your description of “the seed”!!!
    We plant seeds, He brings the rain.
    Have a marvelous day!

    • jami_amerine on December 18, 2016 at 9:27 am

      You too!

  4. Mary Beth on December 18, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Thank you so much. The Lord knew that I needed to read this today. To Him be the glory in our lives and our children’s lives.

    • jami_amerine on December 18, 2016 at 9:32 am


  5. Ingrid Pino on December 18, 2016 at 9:43 am

    “well except for the 13th year of any given life, which is like a yearlong root canal while sitting on a Lego in an itchy sweater.”


    Love this post!

    • jami_amerine on December 18, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Love you

  6. Edith on December 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    One of my greatest blessings is that most of my kids did NOT have a rebellious year – they were lovely teenagers, and the “rebel” us become a dear friend…. But I pray for the ones who walk away!

  7. Donna on December 18, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    I once got a call from a dear friend to pray for a young man who was helping out on their farm one summer. He told them he was agnostic. She said that he was too smart not to believe. I didn’t know him well at that time but agreed to pray for him with her. Guess what? My daughter fell madly in love with him. I never saw that coming the day she asked me to pray. Today he is a sweet believer who has his own relationship with his Jesus.

  8. Mary on December 18, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Thank you, thank you. I needed this today.

  9. Robinf on December 19, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Crying! Mine are 25, 23, 19. I had no idea. Maybe I was naive. Why wouldn’t they love Jesus.? And what will it take to bring them back? Thank you for your words! It’s been a rough 4 years but I see I’m not alone.

    • jami_amerine on December 19, 2016 at 6:50 am

      You are not. And He didn’t leave them either. It is well.

  10. Sarah on December 19, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Congratulations on having become the mother of a Marine. My 3rd son was a Marine Officer. I am proud of him and myself ever time I think of it.

    I am glad to adore God and I hope my 4 adult children come to adore Him for their own faith reasons.

    • jami_amerine on December 19, 2016 at 7:28 am

      Thank you Sarah.

  11. Kathleen Bates on December 19, 2016 at 8:55 am

    How comforting your words are! Parents seldom if ever have it easy, then we become grandparents with all the joys and fears we already went through with their parents! The scariest thing, I think, is wanting all of these special and deeply loved ones to have Christ in their hearts and lives.

  12. Kim on December 19, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Thank you Jami! Your blog is so comforting to me today!

    • jami_amerine on December 19, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Thank you reading! God Bless You…

  13. Emma on December 19, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Definitely understand where you’re coming from. The trust and belief in God that His seed has been planted in my adult babies is tested and grows stronger day by day.

  14. Mary Ellen Quigley on December 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    To all the parents that have a child who has turned away from God – Don’t worry. Keep praying. I was that child. I hit my 20s, went to college, got hooked up with a crowd of non-believers, and decided that God wasn’t real.

    But I remembered all the things my parents taught me. I remembered their prayers. I remembered what I was taught in Sunday school. After a while, I remembered God, and I found my way back.

    They can too. Just keep praying.

    • jami_amerine on December 19, 2016 at 2:02 pm


  15. When Your Kid Doesn't Believe In God on December 21, 2016 at 10:50 am

    […] post originally appeared at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. Follow Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors on […]

  16. Quitting #ClubJesus on January 4, 2017 at 4:43 am

    […] My adult-babies are quick to lament everything they and their friends despise about Christian culture. Believe me, I completed the steps. We homeschooled, and worshiped, memorized scripture – in Latin no less.  Still, they have sprouted their wings.  […]

  17. Joe Bigliogo on January 7, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Some say that belief in God is like ‘Santa Claus for adults’ because religious claims are no less extraordinary than claims for Santa. People are varied in their approach to epistemological questions and assess the world differently. Some folks ascribe agency to things they don’t know and this is especially true with children. For many young people the transition into adulthood can change this way of thinking whereby their observations of reality don’t have to require a sentient cause and where God theories don’t adequately answer or explain anything.
    The theist vs atheist positions can be distilled down to two contrasting philosophical positions… the ‘primacy of consciousness’ vs the ‘primacy of existence’. Atheists hold to the later position and there is no reason to fret or lament either point of view. The real question is… can both sides coexist peacefully? I think the answer is yes but tolerance and respect are necessary prerequisites. You are a theist, I am an atheist and it’s entirely up to us.

  18. […] post originally appeared at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. Follow Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors on […]

Leave a Comment