You and I know the Bible is real and was written by men whom God used as scribes. Completely God driven and directed... His words. The Word.
But today, youth are turning away from the Bible at an alarming rate. It's up to us to show them the truth.
In the Beginning
When our children are small, we teach them the correct way to live. We're instructed to raise our children, to show them right from wrong, and we try to do our best. This includes going to church at least once a week.
"Train up a child in the way he should go,and when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
As our children grow up, they learn to investigate just about everything... information is at their fingertips. Anything, and I mean anything, they need to know or learn is on the Internet. This is the first generation that hasn't needed adults to get information. While children try to understand what they read, adults need to be available to evaluate this information for them. Because, despite what some think, just because it's on the internet, does not mean it's true.
The danger here is that this next generation's evaluation of information and situations has changed its view of the world and how it should be. It's no longer biblically based. Acceptance and affirmation have become interchangeable, and tolerance with everything is the norm.
It doesn't matter if the Bible says something is wrong. In these kid's eyes, it's okay. Your word as a parent is no longer law, and the Bible has become "just another book written by men."
The Enemy is on the Warpath for our Children
In this day and age, things have changed. Times have gotten much tougher for parents... the world is a whole lot different than when we were growing up. The Internet and social media are a double-edged sword and, in many cases, have made it worse for our children.
The internet and social media have become the easiest outlets for the enemy to push his agenda to our children. He will use whatever it takes – beautiful things, even good things, to "steal, kill, and destroy" (John 10:10).
We need to remember that Lucifer is not the ugly guy you see on TV and movies. He's a beautiful angel. So, when he goes after people, one of his tactics is to use everything appealing to us, and to our children. And he's hitting this generation very hard – he knows exactly what buttons to push to take them over the edge.
They're distracted by all the new games, and YouTubers they follow (more like idolize) are where they get their "gospel" from... to the point of taking YouTuber's words as scientific fact. What's sad is that most of what the YouTubers talk about are just opinions, and their followers now believe these opinions because the YouTuber is famous.
Old-School Methods Don't Work
This generation has a completely different thought process than those of us adults in our generation. Fear constantly grips them – on the internet and social media there's always breaking news, and it's usually negative.
When we were young and our parents told us what to do, we did it. Nowadays, with the world of information out there, kids instead need explanations for what's happening, for example, why are giving them boundaries. Even if it's as simple as sharing with them the reason we are blocking them from a certain television show.
No one said parenting was easy, and if they did, they're not doing it right. It's your responsibility to keep tabs on what they watch and who they hang with. Parental controls were invented for a reason, and you're the main parental control.
You are their parents, and yes, you can force them to go to church with you. And there's a good chance they'll become bitter and resent you for years to come (because to them, the church and religion are very hypocritical). But isn't doing the right thing according to the Bible more important?
Here are three things to remember when working with your children:
- You can't be mad at this generation – you will not be effective.
- You can't be married to a method. Just because it worked for you doesn't mean it will work for them. Learn to connect with them.
- You can't make yourself right all the time.
"And now a word to you parents. Don't keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice." – Ephesians 6:4 TLB
What to Do
We need to keep our pulse on the next generation... as I mentioned above, their thought process is much different. Especially if they've turned away from the Bible.
- Show what the Bible says through your actions and guidance (right from wrong) – we need to equip our children for the battle being fought (even when they don't believe it).
- Don't be rule based, be equation based. They need to know why. "Because I said so" doesn't work anymore. Discipling works through proper discipline.
"Fathers [parents], do not nag your children. If you are too hard to please, they may want to stop trying."– Colossians 3:21 ICB
- Monitor Internet/screen time usage – reports show too much screen time is hazardous to your health, more so for children.
- You're still their parents – there are lessons to be learned and boundaries to be set. Yes, this will probably cause resentment (ie, a curfew is still a curfew, and they're too young to watch that "R" rated movie).
We all know it goes much deeper than this. It's like that analogy about leading a horse to water. There's no way we can force the Bible down their throats. This generation has to be shown... we must prove the Bible is for real and not just another book written by men.
In a perfect world, starting your children in church at a very young age will keep them on the right track. But as they get older, we come to realize we don't live in a perfect world.
Pray this for your child(ren):
"Though you have made (your child) see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore (your child)'s life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring (your child) up. You will increase (your child)'s honor and comfort (your child) once again." - Psalm 71:20-21
NEVER underestimate or minimize the power of God.
—Kellie L. Craft is a single mother of a teenage daughter and two funny dogs. She's a devout Christian and founder of Frog Communications, a certified SEO Copywriting and Consulting business. Protecting our children is a top priority for her. She's currently working on a book that will help support her friend's dream of opening a God-driven orphanage one day. To learn more about Kellie's work, visit http://www.FrogCommunications.com and http://www.KellieCraft.com.