Haven’t they? Seriously. What tops your list of gripes about today’s youth? They want it all given to them. They don’t want to work. They don’t respect people. They’re addicted to their phones and social media. They don’t hold conversations with people and have meaningful two way dialogue. They’re not interested in church. They don’t engage in many social groups. They tend to bully or get bullied a lot. Have you thought or considered any of these yourself?
I ponder things like those mentioned above all the time. The “bully” thing is a hot button for me, but I’ll save my rant on the misuse and inappropriate application of that word and all it entails for another day. I’d like to stick to the shear disappointment we seem to universally agree has become today’s youth.
Do you ever just lean back, lock your fingers behind your head, and wonder where things went wrong? What is it within these kids that is so different than when we grew up? If you haven’t experienced my set up with a couple quick lefty jabs in order to land my right uppercut, consider yourself warned.
What’s wrong with kids these days you ask? NOTHING. Nothing that parenting can’t cure with a healthy dose of God. Coach Frank Martin took some heat for his comments on this subject nearly a year ago. Here’s the quote: “You know what makes me sick to my stomach? When I hear grown people say that kids have changed. Kids haven’t changed. Kids don’t know anything about anything. We’ve changed as adults. We demand less of kids. We expect less of kids. We make their lives easier instead of preparing them for what life is truly about. We’re the ones that have changed. To blame kids is a cop-out.”
I’ll admit, broad brush strokes work well for the Almighty. Why? Because He’s God and He’s right. When I do it, I usually find myself with at least some small regret here or there over a monster generalization. Yet, I can’t find a lot wrong with Martin’s sentiment. Sure, I read rebuttal to his statements that included, but weren’t limited to attacks from the premise of race (Martin is white), notions of how the public school is a battleground for most children, broken homes, many without in-home fathers, and the list goes on. The question still remains from Martin’s statement, “Aren’t we as parents supposed to be shaping our children?”
The more I clued in on the rebuttal the more I came to realize the arguments against Martin’s statement were largely two things. Either they were the explanation of asserting victim-status on the part of the downtrodden, or justification for bad choices that directly led to the status of the family. I’d say both of those can be drastically improved when we import the Lord into the equation. I think it’s false dichotomy to label these somehow as not completely bound to one another. In essence, I’m saying when you let God in, you’re better than before. No question. I’m not under the false impression, nor should you be, that you’re now on “Easy Street” as some would have you believe because you’re a practicing Christian. Nowhere is that written. Nobody can argue that you aren’t improved however. 😉
Are you inviting God into your hearts? Is He guiding your decisions and aiding your thoughts? Are you showing your children how to welcome God into your lives? Did you practice reading from the Bible today? Exactly how biblically literate are you and your children?
When we start to answer those questions properly and make honest changes based on honest answers, the idea that we’re failing our kids because we don’t guide, challenge, or prepare them seems to nearly vanish. We’re not sparing them from trouble. Instead, we’re training them on the methods to deal with trouble in a healthy fashion.
Why don’t kids die in school building fires anymore? Because we run fire drills, right? We lost hundreds of kids until the 60s when we opted to put a plan in place and practice it. Since then you ask? Countless lives saved. We thought through the problem, researched the solution, knew what to do when it happened, and executed upon the problem arising. Instructing your children on the biblical methods to not only survive, but survive best, is vital. Do you want your little boy to be the one who stops a fight, or stands up for another kid when they know they need it? Do you want your daughter to leave the group when they’re picking on the poor kid who has a tattered dress on the playground to find someone to help? Certainly. As do I. If you intend on this kind of outcome, you better snag the Good Book and get crackin’ because children aren’t the problem. They’re more a reflection of you when they’re younger than themselves. Are they not?
Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Make your time count. This isn’t baseball, when you strike out, you don’t come back to bat later in the game… Be salt and seek light my friends.