When Your Teen is Resitant to TorahRecently, a reader asked me this question, “I’m a Messianic Jew Torah Observant for 7 years now, and I really would like to see information how you parents do the transition from Pentecostal , or Christian to be Messianic Jew Torah Observant, with their older children?, For me be hard to force my son today 15 years old ,and I do not want he hate go to the congregation. I would like to see about Torah and teenagers information.”

I personally do not have older children, so I posted her question to our loving community that follows our Facebook Page.  The Sisters came through with several answers to help their Sister. I’m compiling their answers below to be a source of encouragement to other women asking the same question.

“My daughters were teens when I became torah observant, I laid the rules straight away. I told them what I was doing and why, and asked them to respect it and me by not bringing unclean foods into the house. I also said if they wanted to continue to do Christmas etc then we have plenty of family members they can celebrate with. I invited them to join the biblical feasts with me and Shabbat worship etc, answered questions when asked and led by example. I now have 1 torah observant daughter and 1 not. It wasn’t all plain sailing. Trust YHWH and give kids the choice.”

“We have been following Torah for about 1yr and 1/2 and it is hard. I have a 16yr that is set in her ways but she has to follow His laws while under our roof. We do not push or argue. She has to come to terms on her own. Prayer and understanding. along with teaching and discussing it to make sure they really understand the changes we are making and why. I found that if we do not keep up with a normal shabbat night makes it hard for my son (6) to know what day it is. My other 3 children understand and want to follow His Torah as best they can. My husband fallowed but wasn’t all there yet. But after really reading the scriptures over time he made the choice of committing to obey the Torah. Just takes time, reading, and prayer.”

“Just say you’re coming with me, you can go back to a Sunday Church if you choose after you are 18 period. It is for his own good.”

“Also, check out Torahfamily.org. Steve (previously with 119 ministries) has a heart for the whole family and just started youth geared teachings called “Let’s Go” and his “Off the Cuff” teachings are also great for teens. Hope your son likes these as much as mine!”

“Sometimes it is better a little at a time. Thanks instant break. Also look for a Messianic or even a Hebraic roots style congregation. I recently heard that there’s a youth conference put on by the MJAA as well as a family conference through Hebraic Roots network”

“My sister has a 27 year old son and through her walk and talk, seeds planted and letting the Holy Spirit do the rest and he’s now reading the Torah and worshiping on The 7th day Sabbath.”

“We have been striving towards Torah observance for four years now. My oldest will be 14 in August. He, plus my 12yo daughter, and 10yo son are from my previous relationship. Their dad is not a believer. So we have a battle no matter what. We just try our best to teach, answer honestly, and explain truth. Then let them decide. They still do Christmas and Easter at their dad’s. But last year my son decided to stop eating pork even at his dad’s. That was a hard decision and I was proud of him. This year I gave my ex all secular holidays if I could have all biblical holidays. With a stipulation that the kids will have the option to choose if they want to observe a religious holiday or not. Obviously this could backfire on me, but I wanted them to have the option not to do Christmas and Easter if they choose that, without pressure or custody rules. The truth will set them free, and the ruach will convict their hearts. Lots of prayer.”

“We came from a Pentecostal background. We were even in ministry. We had always taught the Hebrew context of most things but didn’t walk in Torah fully until last year. Our kids living at home were 18, 17, 17, 7, and 6. The thing I did was explain to them what YAH had been sharing with me about our walk. The next thing I did was sat them down and watched Identity Crisis by Passion for Truth Ministries. It instantly clicked with my sons (both 17). My daughter (18) took it a little harder. It meant not doing the traditions we were used to like xmas or eating certain foods and things like that. She eventually came full on board. We just started with the feasts…they loved them…and as we learn more we implement them. Don’t be afraid to tell them all you have learned was either wrong or not the whole story. They just want honesty. And mine are so much more happy participating in feast days and Sabbath things than sitting in a Sunday church being talked at. They tell me this walk makes so much more sense then the one we were on.”

“I’m in the same boat. We do studies together from 119 ministries. We believe that if our oldest has an actual relationship with Yahweh, he will be convicted by His Spirit in His time. You can never force someone to love or obey Him. As long as they are expressed to the truth and see us live it we have done what we can. The rest is in His hands.”

“We made the change and began teaching our children why as we made it. Our older kids, we kept telling them that they would have to decided if it was true for themselves, and the TRUTH has prevailed every time. Our oldest son, now lives where he can not worship on Sabbath with others, but he stands up for his beliefs and is influencing those around him in love. We just realized that as we discovered and understood things in scripture we had to walk in obedience and hope our children would see the truth with us. It isn’t always easy, but they like us have no desire to deny that YHVH has lead us to this place in our lives. We started by reading the Torah portions as a family and discussing them and then studying the feasts (including Sabbath) in depth. We have family Bible study every night. This gives our kids opportunities often tp question and express their doubts. Now, we have a congregation that we meet with on Sabbath. IT is small and our kids do sometimes want for more like minded friends and relationships. But they are trusting in YHVH. My kids are 20,20, 18,17,17, 16, 13,12,11,9,7,6,4, and 2. We as a family have only been all in for less than 3 years. Myself and some of my kids saw the beauty of Torah before my husband and other children, we just prayed and prayed and trusted YHVH to bring us all to unity. And He has been faithful.”

“Step By Step.. A little everyday with Lots of Prayer.. Listen to the Teachings on Yahweh’s Word with him.. Don’t force anything but make sure he knows that Yahuah wants us to keep his laws so that we may live, and that is how we prove our love to Yahuah.. Gently Lead him little by little and Let Yahuah do the rest.”

“I totally understand this concern. Ours were just entering teen years 5 years when we started keeping Torah and we were attending a United Pentecostal Church. We kept Sabbath for 2 years and fellowshipped with Sunday keepers. It was very difficult. We prayed about it and the Lord helped cause a divide that lead our children away from the tight bonds of friendship…and ridicule. But now as they are entering courtship ages…now what? With so few Torah keeping families. They do not have one friend who believe like we do and that is very concerning. They are wanting to get jobs etc….it is all hard. But we are blessed by kids who put the Word above all else…so far…”

“We just showed them the truth in the word and explained it as we understood it. They got it and went with us…”