Sunday Sermons

Sunday Sermons

Leaving Home

Leaving Home

In the Bible we find examples of young people leaving home for the wrong reasons (Luke 15:13) and completely unprepared to interact with the real world. We also find young people who were forced to leave home, like Daniel and his friends who were taken by the invading Babylonians (Daniel 1:3-4). Leaving home for college or to move out on your own is a great time in life. In this lesson I want to give some practical helps and steps that one can take to make the most of this special time.

Remember Your Preparation

The book of Proverbs is filled with godly advice from a father to a son (1:4,8; 2:1; 3:1). If you were fortunate enough to be born into a family where your mother and father are Christians they have been preparing you since your earliest days for the moment that you would strike out on your own into the world. Parents need to be diligent in this instruction (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4), yet young people need to be fast on the uptake and take advantage of such teaching.

Make Your Own Preparations

Like Daniel who “make up his mind” (Daniel 1:8) and Ezra who had “set his heart” (Ezra 7:10), these are preparations and actions I would take, if I was nearing adulthood,

  • I would have my responses ready for when other people, young and old, offer me alcohol, drugs or to do other things that are sinful.  I would have an answer that glorifies God yet shows I've found better ways to be fun.
  • I would have a single lesson ready for people who ask me why I am a Christian or a member of the church of Christ (1 Peter 3:15).  I would also have lessons ready for those who want to study more. I might even in a file that has my ready response to questions about the existence of God, Creation and Evolution, Jesus, the Bible, what to do to be saved, and how the church of Christ is the church Jesus established.
  • Today young people also need to have a response to those who ask them about homosexuality or gay marriage. When people try to link these topics to the “civil rights” movement, we need to bring the conversation back to the fact we are opposed to homosexuality just as we are opposed to adultery, fornication or any sexual sin, because such is the category in which God places the practice (1 Corinthians 6:9). So, it is not Christians against homosexuals, rather it is Christians against any kind of immorality.
  • With the help of my parents I would research local congregations in the area to which I a moving and be ready to place membership at a sound congregation and immediately get involved. I might also have the preacher or elders at my previous congregation write for me a letter of recommendation and introduction so the new congregation knows immediately who I am and where to beset use me in serving God.

How I Interact With My Parents

At some point my parents will probably visit me and or some of the friends I make might come home with me for winter break or during the summer. Here are some things that I need to do:

  • When you introduce your friends to your parents have your arm around your parents, express affection for them and have a big smile on your face. In this way you are honoring them (Ephesians 6:2) and letting your friends know that you love and appreciate them. 
  • Interview your parents and get a clear understanding of how they heard the gospel and became Christians. I say this because someone might argue that you are a Christian only because your parents are. And if you had been raised in another household, with another faith or non-faith you would simply believe something different. When you know your parents conversion story you have a ready response to such an argument. In many Christian homes, often at least one of the parents was not raised by Christian parents. The story of how they thought before conversion and what impacted them about the gospel message is a powerful way to introduce the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Be Clear

The Bible does talk about believers who sought to keep their faith secret (John 19:38), but many of the great examples in the Bible were people who let others around them know immediately of their relationship with God:

  • Joseph: Genesis 39:9; 40:8; 41:16
  • Daniel: Daniel 1:8, 2:28

There are many advantages and many practical ways in which you can immediately let people know that you are a believer in Jesus. It is so easy to simply introduce into a conversation something like,

  • “I will be available after Bible study or worship.”
  • “I can get together later — I have a men’s Bible study at 5:00”
  • “I need to help someone from church move this morning.”

What I have found is that Christians are so unique in our modern world. If I don’t laugh at dirty jokes, if I can speak without swearing, if I speak about and treat women with respect, if I don’t flirt inappropriately, if I don’t talk about partying and getting drunk — it is not long before people will say, “You are a Christian?” 

There are many advantages to letting your light shine early on in any relationship (Matthew 5:13-16).

  • You will attract people who are looking for the truth.
  • People who are not interested in the truth will tend to drop out of your circle — by their own choice.
  • The friends you do have are people who are willing to be both a friend to you and a friend to the Jesus you serve. They are willing to accept that Jesus is ever-present and in many of your conversations.
  • It helps us be spiritually attentive and is great incentive to set your best example when people know  you are a Christian and are watching to see what that means moment by moment.
  • Letting your light shine early in a relationship will prevent some temptations from ever happening.
  • Being upfront immediately is much more authentic and honest, for people are can be thrown when a believer kind of lures into them a friendship without really telling them who they are, and then springs Jesus on them later.
  • It invites discussion about God, Jesus, the Bible and your faith. Just as when you meet someone who likes motorcycles, and this is clear from the get-go, one of the things you often talk to them about will be motorcycles.

Be a Great Listener: James 1:19

In your new classes and your conversations with people from around the country, or maybe even from around the world, you will be introduced to some new — yet false ideas. This is the time to really listen to what they an individual may be saying, take notes, ask for clarification, ponder awhile and then:

  • Present these arguments to other Christians and work together to see the simplest way to counter it.
  • Start a study group with other Christians your age or create a closed Facebook group to work on such questions and post answers to past questions.
  • Keep your note, and share with the local congregation, preacher or elders so that they can be made aware of the latest arguments that are being presented on Evolution, etc., for whatever is being taught in the classroom today will be in the culture in the near future.
  • Keep a journal of your college experience and be writing down helpful suggestions for when your younger brothers or sisters head off to college.
  • Talk to mom and dad often, asking for their prayers and seeking their advice.


Mark Dunagan |
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017