One of the most famous stories of all time came from the lips of our Lord as He related the parable of the Prodigal (Luke 15:11-32). The problem with the Prodigal was he left home when he was still an adolescent.
Adolescence does not end at a certain age. You become an adult when you are working, earning your own money and paying your own way.
Paying your own way does not mean living at home and paying token board and room. If living at home, a young person should pay what it actually costs. This cost is determined by totaling the household expenses: mortgage, utilities, groceries, repairs and dividing this total by the number of people living in the household.
The Prodigal “squandered his wealth” and finally, “spent everything”. But, what he spent was Other People’s Money! It is much easier to spend someone else’s money than money you have worked for. (Springfield, Washington).
So you see his difficulty was that he quickly spent everything he had received from his father.
As with funds, so with faith.
Many a young person thinks he is a Christian. Has he not gone to church from his early childhood? Did he not go to Sunday School, Awana, sing the songs, learn the Bible verses? Yes, he knows Jesus is the Savior and doesn’t he “believe on Jesus”?
But alas, this is the faith of dad and mom! He has not personally been devastated by his sinfulness, thoroughly repented and personally cast himself on Jesus Christ. He has been compliant, but he has not been converted. When under his father’s roof, he conformed to his father’s faith. But away at school or elsewhere, he kept conforming, but now to the doomed world around him. Some lament that he “has lost his faith”, but really he had none to lose. Why he left the church is adequately explained in I John 2:19.
But, there are other young people who really did believe and entrust their lives to Christ. However, there was no depth of commitment. Having been sheltered from a rotten and debauched society, there’s the notion that something is missing and there might be fun in the “far country”.
This young person rebels against Christian parents and leaves the Lord’s church.
However, when he comes “to his senses” and sees that the fun turned into disaster, then hungry and tired of living with pigs, he returns home (Luke 15:16-18).