There’s a lot of talk about the behavior, mentality, instability and direction of the children of our society. Kids are doing a lot of un-childlike things. Strange, crazy, down right evil things. A lot of folks are looking for somewhere to place the blame. On a smaller scale, the church is not exempt from what is going on. Statistically, our kids, literally the cream of the crop, are leaving the church at an alarmingly high rate, once they leave home and become independent. Youth ministers report that when our kids go off to college, a great percentage of them quickly stop attending church services on a faithful basis. The question for all of these situations is, “Why?”
Some say society is to blame, others blame a lowering of moral standards. Some blame the nonsensical obsession to strip all open recognition of God from anything related to government, public schools and public display.
But ultimately, there’s one place where the proverbial “buck” must stop. That place is right in between Mom and Dad. Children are raised, trained, taught, molded, developed and guided primarily by their parents. Consequently, what has gone wrong with our kids is, for the most part, their parents! Most parents probably do not like to hear that, but it’s true nonetheless.
Think about what mixed signals parents send their kids. If a child is born, it is because his mother made a choice to let him be born. She could just as easily have chosen to have him aborted. Just think for a few moments about how that cheapens the value of life. And don’t think kids don’t feel the impact of that cheapness.
A great many of our children’s heroes and role models are media personalities, singers, actors and sports stars who flaunt lifestyles of sexual immorality, drugs, alcohol and violence. How often do parents sit with their children to see what they watch, to hear what music they listen to, to sample the video games they play? If parents don’t take time to correct such flawed messages, how can they expect their kids to grow up doing anything but emulating what they see and hear?
The gay community has successfully sold our society a bill of goods that homosexuality is a good, normal, alternate lifestyle. How many parents realize that our highly impressionable kids today are openly experimenting with the gay lifestyle? It’s cool to be gay or bisexual in many youth circles today. Most parents are probably blind to what’s happening along these lines. Many would be appalled if they knew. But, then, how many parents cheat on their spouses, leave their kids and break up their homes? What message should kids learn in such situations?
Again, the church is not immune. Our parents send mixed messages as well. We teach our kids to believe in and honor God above all else. But we find all kinds of excuses for missing church services designed to honor God and bring us closer to Him. We tell our kids, “God comes first.” But they see us put recreational interests ahead of God on a regular basis. And, we allow our kids, probably encourage them to some extent, to put their own interests- extra-curriculars, recreational sports, even sleeping over at a friend’s house- ahead of commitment to God. We insist that they go to school, but allow them to miss church services. We warn them about sexual predators but look the other way when they themselves dress in a sexually provocative manner.
Of course, there are exceptions to the point of this article. Everyone knows of good kids from bad family situations and kids who went astray even though they came from very Godly homes. Generally speaking, though, the principle is true. The biggest problem with kids is their parents!
Gary L. Hutchens