What is it that brought millions of immigrants to our shores? I’m sure there were many reasons, but we can all agree that one predominant aspiration was that many mothers and fathers who found their way to Ellis Island came because they wanted new hope and a brighter future for their children.
My grave concern is that the very reason many came to these shores (our children) is about to be lost forever. Let me explain it another way. We’ve had great hope for our children’s economic prosperity. That hope today is fading like a setting sun. We are selfishly saddling them with a national debt they will never be able to bear. We long to have our children enjoy a healthy spiritual and social life. Those values we feel important for a healthy society are constantly under attack from many fronts and we are rapidly losing ground in that battle.
Did you know that 75% of our youth believe there is no such thing as “absolute truth” and that all truth is relative? Did you know that 83% of our High School students have been sexually active? Did you know that 40% of our 8th graders have used illicit drugs? Did you know that 78% of our inmates grew up in a single parent or no parent home?
We are told by the Psalmist that “children are a gift from God,” yet we have aborted 55 million since 1973. If the child survives the mother’s womb, many of our young ones feel they are a burden to their parents, not a blessing from God. The main reason we are gradually increasing in our population is not because of the natural pro-creation of the American family but because of immigration, both legal and not. Couples living together outside of marriage is a growing trend that keeps the divorce rate at about 55%. We can agree that divorce or illegitimacy is not a healthy upbringing for any child.
Children are more afraid of the divorce of their parents than they are of the drug dealer or physical abuse. Some researchers on the family feel that divorce is more damaging to a child’s heart than even sexual abuse. I don’t know if I agree with that, but nevertheless, such findings reveal the seriousness of a broken home. Divorce is a sin against the child but few parents seek the forgiveness of their children after the home has been broken apart.
Today’s child is forced to grow up too quickly. By the influence of the media, peer pressure and lack of a healthy family environment, today’s child loses their innocence and becomes a product of society’s demoralization. Suicide, addiction, self abuse and violence are too often the outcome for the children God has blessed us with!
We have a wonderful missionary outreach program called “Save the Children” that encourages us to sponsor a child in a developing country, but what about our own? Do we spend the time, show interest in their lives and equip them with spiritual and moral safeguards that will enable them to survive the constant attacks on their mind, spirit and body? What is invading or permeating the mind and heart of your child? Too many parents provide the sports, dance lessons and other club involvements for their children but neglect the most important need – the spiritual. These parents run their children all around during the week for these appointments but fail to bring them to church! Doesn’t the Proverb exhort parents to “Train up a child in the way they should go?”
What can we do to raise our sons and daughters the way God would have us? First of all, have them! Many parents don’t want the responsibility of any children so they choose not to have a child. The root problem here is “fear” and “lack of responsibility.” Secondly, teach them! Do not leave that responsibility to other people or influences that may not embrace your belief system. Thirdly, demonstrate to them that they are secure in their family life and you will always be there for them when they need your help and advice. Lastly, learn from them. Didn’t Jesus constantly use children as an object lesson to teach profound truths to the adult? “For such is the kingdom of heaven!”
Our children need not be part of the sad statistics I quoted before. Our children must be special and equipped to make a difference in their generation. The other day I asked my 24 year old 6th child if she believed she was part of the “terminal generation.” She indicated that she was determined to be a beacon of hope to her generation and leave the time table of God’s coming to Him. May God help us to raise sons and daughters as sharp arrows who are able to pierce the darkness and turn many of their generation to righteousness!”
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