The Effects of Not Having a Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ During Childhood
Without Christ, growing up is an incredibly challenging process. I didn’t come to know Christ until I was a young adult; I spent my childhood and adolescent years without a relationship with God. Most of my classmates at Bible college were raised in Christian households and were taught about Christ at an early age, while I had a more secular, worldly upbringing and was not exposed to Christianity until much later in life.
Without Christ, a person may form false notions about the nature of the world, their place in it, and God himself.
Consequences of a Christ-less Upbringing
My two older sisters and I were all negatively impacted by our shared upbringing apart from Christ. Both my mom and dad were born-again Christians, but dad didn’t share her faith. Although she professed Christianity, my mom was not a particularly savvy Biblical scholar. Growing up, my sisters and I were exposed to numerous non-biblical teachings, including astrology. It can mislead young people into erroneous conclusions about themselves because of the book’s emphasis on astrological signs rather than one’s identity in Christ.
Although I am confident in my mother’s love for and faith in the Lord, I struggled greatly with self-hatred as a child because of the importance our family placed on astrology. My mother would argue that “Pisces are simply too emotional,” thus I shouldn’t be unhappy or depressed, rather than encouraging me to talk about how I felt. Since it is not supported in the Bible, and since God expressly forbids it, I do not recommend astrology (Deuteronomy 18:10-14).
As a child, I developed a pessimistic self-image since my mother incorrectly attributed my feelings to my astrological sign, “Pisces.” Now that I have some distance from my mother, I can understand the harm that astrology brought in our relationship.
According to horoscopes, my mom was a “Leo,” and since Leos and Pisces don’t get along, I never met my future husband. My mom made it a point to tell me that multiple times a day. My mother once expressed her regret that I was born a Pisces rather than an Aquarius.
My mother expressed a wish that I was different from what I am. As you might imagine, hearing something like this when you’re a teenager may have a serious influence on your sense of self and others.
As a Pisces, I was bound to a life of drugs, drink, and suicide, according to my mother’s compulsive horoscope reading.
If you were raised with horoscopes and astrology, I have some bad news for you: your birth date has nothing to do with who you are or where you’re heading in life. Christ alone, and not your zodiac sign, is who you are. More importantly, no astrological tome or podcast can predict the future like God can. Only you in all the world, since God created you to be you in particular (Psalm 139:13-16). God created you for a specific reason; He wants no one else on Earth to accomplish what you can.
Without Christ and a firm grasp on one’s identity in Christ, a person is vulnerable to incorrect teachings and harmful worldviews that can have a devastating effect on their psyche as they mature.
All three of my sisters and I were greatly impacted as youngsters and teenagers by the belief that your identity is put in your astrological sign rather than in Christ. Once we came to know Christ, we realized that our worth was tied to what He said about us, and that without from Him, we had no real identity. You may not have been raised with an astrologically-focused culture, but you may have been taught that your value is determined by external factors like your output, how you look, and how successful you are.
Without Christ in our lives, we may look to these things for validation, and as a result, we may spend our entire lives trying to prove our “worth” to others.
You are valuable just as you are since you were created in God’s likeness (Genesis 1:27). Knowing Christ makes you entirely deserving, as the Bible teaches us that in Him we have everything we need (Colossians 2:10).
Our worth is not determined by our horoscope, our resumes, our physical attributes, or anything else the anxiety industry would have us believe.
Acquiring a Faith in Christ Later in Life
I am immensely glad for getting to know Christ in my late teens and learning more about him throughout Bible college and seminary, despite the fact that I did not grow up in a Christian home and I did not grow up knowing the Bible.
My upbringing outside of a Christian environment has given me insight into the minds of nonbelievers that many of my Christian friends lack.
Know that you are equally valued and deeply loved by God whether you put your faith in Christ as a child or as an adult. It’s also liberating to realize that your identity and worth lie in Christ alone, and not in your horoscope, your career, or your physical looks.
Not everyone who is raised in an unchurched environment will eventually come to recognize Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. As I’ve mentioned, I didn’t always have a biblical perspective but I ultimately came to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
If you, like me, grew up without Christ, you understand the daily struggle to fill the yawning chasm in your heart. Before coming to know Christ, you had a nagging feeling that something was lacking from your life.
If we embrace Jesus as our Savior and Lord, He will fill the emptiness in our hearts with His love and the certainty that we will spend eternity with Him in heaven.
When I was a kid and a teenager, my sisters and I would feel this emptiness in our hearts, but we couldn’t put our finger on what was missing. From this perspective, we can see that Christ was truly the missing link.
Those who don’t know Christ may look to hedonism, drugs, or alcohol to fill the emptiness in their lives. Especially among the young and impressionable, it is crucial that we introduce them to Christ.
Christians have a responsibility to share the gospel with everyone, regardless of age or social status (Matthew 28:18-20).
A kid, teen, or young adult who does not grow up in a Christian household or environment can benefit greatly from your kindness, support, and love.
Everyone longs to be loved and appreciated, and the good news is that God feels the same way about everyone of us. If you can get the word out, you may be the one to help another individual make a life-altering decision.
But why does this really matter?
If you were raised in a non-Christian household, consider the advice you might have appreciated receiving when you were younger.
If I were a child, I would have appreciated hearing that I was accepted just the way I was, that I was valuable because God created me, and that God would be at my side even if no one else was.
Aim to be that person who brings light, life, and love into the world by expressing truth into the lives of those around you. With someone who does not know Christ, your sympathy and kindness will go a long way.