You know what they say about hindsight. (It's 20/20.)
Looking back, the signs are so clear.
Now. They're clear now.
When we were in the middle of it, we didn't see it. Or rather, we put another interpretation on it, the interpretation that we had been taught, the interpretation that fitted the community we'd been living in for two decades, the Christian homeschool community.
What were the signs, you ask? (What am I talking about, you ask. Well, I'll tell you.)
The teens didn't want to go to church. Actually, they'd been reluctant to go to church even before turning teen, but their clueless parents (yes, raising hand) didn't realize that it was because of the poisonous social situation we had elected for their immersion.
(We had been taught by various persuasive and entertaining speakers that there is no such thing as a teen, and also that any kind of resistance on the part of our children is rebellion and needs to be stamped out. Do you recognize that teaching? But that's a post for another time.)
One of them, whose health is truly a concern (asthma, migraines, to start), was sick. A lot. And often the sickness happened on Sunday. Oh, it was explainable, because our schedule had us in a large crowd of people with just the right incubation time to wake up sick on Sunday. So it wasn't until she confessed, after we'd left the church for good, that a part of the time she'd faked it, or exaggerated her symptoms. Sadly, as a result of what might be PTSD (not diagnosed by a professional, but fitting the anecdotal evidence provided by others coming from similar situations, and online checklists... okay, so sue me for diagnosing via internet search engine), even when we were trying new churches, and she really wanted to go, she still woke up sick -- I mean, with real, physical symptoms, like vomiting.
We knew they were reluctant to go to church, though it wasn't acceptable for them to express those sentiments too strongly. (See italicized paragraph above.)
Let's cut to the chase, shall we? It's a beautiful Monday morning, the sun is shining, I've got lots to do before the "winter precipitation" predicted to slam us in a day or two arrives. Here is the upshot:
If your children don't want to go to church, maybe the problem is not with them. Maybe it's not rebellion, or sin. Maybe there's a problem with the church.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? Sounds obvious. Perhaps you're even asking, How could she be so stupid?
Or, perhaps you're thinking I'm deluded. Sounds like we've let our teens take control of our household. Either that, or we've been remiss in winning the hearts of our teens so that they would happily go along to our solid, Bible-teaching church with us.
Perhaps you have another think coming.