On Rod Deher’s blog, a youth leader, Craig, writes: (My emphasis)
I am a youth group leader in an evangelical church in a Southern state and I can absolutely attest to this.
In my youth group, there are roughly three different types of teens: those who have both parents active and involved in the church; those who have one parent (always the mom) involved with one parent indifferent/apathetic (always the dad); and those who come on their own and have no parents involved.
The first and third groups are some of the finest young people I have ever met. They are committed to living out Christian principles, they love the Lord with all of their heart and they engage in outreach — several of those students have started bible study clubs in their public schools. They give me a sliver of hope for revival in this generation. The first group sees their parents living out an authentic faith and emulates it. The third group has grown up in broken homes with broken lives (their stories will absolutely crush you) and they cling to the life raft that authentic faith provides.
The second group — where one parent is going through the motions — are the most indifferent teens I have ever seen. There is nothing I can do to engage them on a spiritual level. They’ll play games with our group and eat our food, but they mentally check out as soon as any teaching begins.
Dad is telling them to “live as I say, not as I do” and it is working about as well as you would expect.