While some Christian children "lose their faith" and turn away from God and the church, they must realize their faith needs time and effort to grow, the Rev. Billy Graham said Tuesday.

In response to a question regarding lost faith in The Kansas City Star, the 97-year-old evangelical leader says that while there are many reasons why a young Christian might turn away from God, one of the main causes is they don't realize their relationship with Him needs to grow.

"Like the seed in one of Jesus' parables, a plant with no roots eventually withers and dies — and the same is true of faith," Graham writes.

Young people also turn away from their faith because they lack commitment, or they get distracted with other values and friend groups, ultimately making the decision that there is no room for God in their adult life.

Even though children may lack commitment, this doesn't mean they don't understand the meaning behind it.

"Children may not understand everything — but they can understand that God loves them, and Jesus Christ came into the world to offer them the gift of eternal life," Graham writes. "Moreover, they can understand that they need to commit their lives to Jesus by inviting Him to come into their lives. Faith and commitment go hand in hand."

This basic understanding of commitment equips children with the ability to grow in their faith, but they must make an active effort to do so.

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