Kids & Parenting
Entitlement is Wreaking Havoc
by Sherry Hoffcastel
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The inevitable has happened. Our seventeen year old child has finally made a decision about where he stands with God. No longer is he on the fence with one foot in church and one foot in the world. He has completely crossed over. Unfortunately, the side he chose is not the side we had hoped for. He has decided to walk away from God, from his dad, and from any sort of accountability and love. He has chosen to serve flesh rather than the Father, self rather than salvation. He has decided that he will no longer go to church, he will no longer serve God, and he will no longer be close to the man who raised him, cared for him, and taught him right from wrong. He is fully aware of his choices and the consequences they will inevitably bring. In his words, “Hopefully I’ll come back to God before I got to hell, but who knows?” Apparently, we can no longer compete with what the world has to offer. We have lost this battle and all we have left is our prayers.
Matthew 24:12 says this-
“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
In the last 48 hours I have heard more stories of wayward young people running off after the pig slop than I have ever thought was possible. Everywhere I turn there is another angry teenager or young adult that has made the choice. The only thing that is important to Johnny is Johnny. It is so heartbreaking. How has this epidemic of self servitude swept its way into our households? Just today I was speaking with a young woman going through chemotherapy and radiation for thyroid cancer. Understandably she’s angry. She feels that she has gotten a bad lot in life. When I asked her why that was, she had one answer. God did not give her what she wanted. Say what?
Since when did we deserve any of the things we’ve been given from God? Since when did we have the right to decide that God was unfair because he didn’t give us something we thought we needed? I do believe this is much of the source of the discomfort among our young today. There is a feeling of entitlement. The child wants what he wants and if he doesn’t get it, he will go somewhere else until he gets it. It makes me wonder where I went wrong as a step-mother. Did I demand so much from this child that I drove him away? He is used to having every need met and then some. Did my need to have the bathroom scrubbed supersede the need for him to have fun? Did I give him too much? Because he has never known the pain of being in need on any scale, has this sense of entitlement come from never needing anything? Perhaps this choice to run has nothing to do with any of these things. He has simply chosen the world because the world will not tell him that he is doing anything wrong. The world will embrace his bad choices and even glorify them.
I am sensing that there is a real, gut wrenching restlessness that is blowing through our homes and neighborhoods. God and his sovereignty are no longer enough. His laws are outdated and rapidly becoming obsolete. The days of loving thy neighbor have passed. Survival of the fittest has resurrected and taken over. Every man for himself and every child entitled to what he wants. God help us all.
Where is my hope? The only thing I have left to stand on is the promise in Proverbs 22:6. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. My husband and I might have to wait until our child is old before he really gets it. I am ok with this because I know in my heart that as parents, we have done everything humanly possible to point him in the right direction. We have given him guidance and love, patient instruction and discipline. The fact is, the weight is off our shoulders now. He is free to make his own choices and I am confident that some day down the road after he has reached his bottom, he’ll find the Light. Until then, my knees will remain dirty and sore from the endless prayers offered up to a God who truly understands. After all, if he can wait for me to get a clue, I can do it for Cody.
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