by paul hoffmaster
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Every year in the United States 38,000 people commit suicide. The third leading cause of deaths among people between the ages of 15 and 24 is suicide. Every two hours and eleven minutes someone under the age of 25 commits suicide. 85% of those had claimed that “life seemed meaningless.” (Save.org)
I am concerned with the attitude of many young people today. So many times I hear the phrase, “I am bored.” There is a tremendous responsibility for parents to be involved, not just as a custodial figure, but as an activist in the life of their children. The Bible states that fathers should bring up their children “…in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4) In other words, bring them up around Jesus. So many parents just tolerate their children with the goal of getting them to the age of independence and adulthood. To many children, the growing up process is learning how to conquer every electronic and video game as well as memorizing the lyrics of every secular song. Yelling at their children, instead of telling them the truth of God’s Word, has become a norm among so many parents. Children hear from parents how bad their country is and how the President is failing to be the leader he should be. They hear their “role models” exposing the flaws of family friends. Little children have big ears. Fill them with garbage and garbage will come out. A good projection of what a child will turn out to be is for their parents to take a good look at themselves. Children are great imitators.
Parents must realize that they are responsible for the spiritual and societal upbringing of their “loan” from God. Too many fathers and mothers push off this responsibility to the church and the school. They expect the Sunday School Teacher or the Youth Director to take care of the spiritual upbringing of their children. The parents want the school teacher to be the “foster parent” to their children. No matter how hard the church tries to instill Biblical truths in young people, it can be quickly nullified by no reinforcement of these truths at home. Some of the greatest spiritual principles can be displayed at home by parents being “living epistles” to their children. (II Cor. 3:2) Kids can be taught at church, but it is seeing those Truths exemplified through their parents that make the real difference. Too many parents adopt the phrase, “Do as I tell you, not what you see me do.” When is the last time children saw their parents read the Bible or pray? The school teachers are expected to teach social and intellectual skills so as to ensure success in the world. Where is the parental responsibility?
The Bible says “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6) In the training process, there will be many mistakes and setbacks, but you get up and keep on trying until you conquer the challenge. Parents must realize bringing up their children is a continuing process, not an instant happening. It takes unlimited patience and commitment to raise a child, but the reward is worth the effort, both earthly and eternally. Parents must establish the right circle of friends for their families. Horizontal fellowship is important as an illustrator of Truth. Having the right type of people to fellowship with is a visual aid to the children, in that they see others are being directed and living by Biblical concepts.
Being a single parent brings another challenge. It is here where the Christian community must step up. The Church needs to be the spiritual side of the Big Brother/Sister organization. It needs to be playing an active role in supporting the single mother or father. It is more than just praying for the situation, but being involved in every aspect of the family challenges. The Church must come out of its walls and offer their hands as the hand of God.
Our next generation will be molded by the degree of involvement of the parents. If the parents fail to exhibit their responsibility, the children will suffer. If they realize their God given calling, the children will not only be a blessing, but will pass it on to their children.
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Very good article. There is a need for all parents to realize the responsibility that they have as parents. The family is the foundation of societies and if the foundation is destroyed then we are in a lot of trouble, unless that foundation gets rebuilt. There is hope in Christ. God can rebuild the family; He can turn a wreck into a witness! Thank you for the reminder.