Daily Devotionals

A Burden for Change

Pastor Daniel Bramlett

Our society has put way too much freedom in the hands of our kids. They get to choose where they will live (which parent, grandparent, or even friend many times). They get to determine what is right and wrong. It’s their ‘choice’ to decide who God is and what it means to follow Him. Then this same society sits back and complains about the ‘plight’ of our young people. “They have no respect for authority.” When we have not required respect of them. “They have no morals.” We have not held them to a high moral standard, nor have we modeled one for them. “They have no discipline.” Again, we have not disciplined them or displayed a disciplined life for them. “They’ll never survive on their own.” They have already proven this wrong, but their definition of survival and ours are quite different. Are our youth in trouble? Yes. Are they the only ones to blame? Absolutely not. 

It is high time for the Christians in our society to pick up the mantle for the raising of our youth. Education is one thing when it comes to our schools. I am so proud of the work our schools are doing. They are trying. But if we think for a second that the brunt of raising a child rests on the backs of our schools, we have sorely miscalculated something. The HOME is the primary place of education. That has just been lost in our society! The home is where everything good starts. The CHURCH is next. The Church is the place where kids first see the purest aspects of society played out. They hear it and witness it one on one in the home, but they see it full on with the Body of Christ in the Church. The schools take a back seat to these two primary institutions. If we want to see change in the present younger generation it must begin with us.

How does a shift like that begin? It cannot begin in memory. We all have pristine memories of good times and good parenting, but we tend to white out the memories that don’t measure up. Most of us think about our upbringing and smile. For that I am so thankful. But we cannot make our parents or grandparents the standard for raising this next generation. The challenges our teenagers face in one week would be more than the average teen would have faced in all four years of High School in the 50’s, much less 50 years before that. The point of this article is not to highlight all of the challenges the younger generations in our society are facing now. That is a whole other discussion. The goal of my writing today is to get to the point of our raising this generation. How do we do that?

The hands off approach is not working. There are just too many variables. Medication is not the answer. We do not want our children walking around in a drugged stupor. Psychology has offered us little on the large front. [The former two have offered us much, but only on a case by case basis. I am looking at our youth en masse for the purpose of this discussion.] The police are doing a fine job, but we cannot relegate every child with a problem to ‘the system.’ We must begin to equip our families to take care of their own. How do we do that?

I am going to toss one solution into the mix. I realize I am biased, but please hear me out. Our Churches must rise to this challenge. The Church is the only institution in existence that can offer real, tangible hope and lasting peace to society. I would put the Church in the place where it can speak bold, felt words to the people of our communities AND I would call on the Church to rise up and speak. Far too long have we abided by the ‘come and see’ mentality in the Church. We have not compromised the message. The message we preach has not changed since it was first written some 2000+ years ago. But the method must adjust with the changing culture. If the Church can regain a position of standing and respect in the community, I would call upon the Church to seriously evaluate its approach to applying the Gospel in our communities. THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY REAL SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS WE ARE FACING WITH OUR YOUTH. If you accept this as truth, what will you do with it?

I pray this is not offensive to you. It is certainly not meant to be offensive. What it is meant to be is a call to action. Community, will you allow Christians to try our answers to your problems? I know we’ve fumbled the ball more times than we care to remember, but we must try again. Our solution does not lie in our ingenuity or skill. Only God can restore what drugs, media, and our brutal culture have destroyed. Church, will you try something new? Will you be willing to enter neighborhoods and homes that are hurting? Will you go to the suffering instead of expecting them to come to you? The renewal we pray for in our homes will begin when the Church takes the power of the Gospel through the front door. Befriend the hurting mother. Walk a mile with the suffering father. Earn the respect of our teens and a platform will be given you to offer a solution. Then open up your soul and let them see the source of your peace and life!

Our teenagers are in a bad spot. The good news is Jesus is in that same spot. Our youth are not beyond hope. Will we speak the truth of Christ to them or will we just complain about the rotting world and hope it gets better on its own?

*We printed this article in 2018. I felt like it was time to bring it back. How do you respond to these words? Do you believe the Church can equip the home to change a generation of kiddos OR do you believe our society is too far gone and it’s time for us to ‘batten down the hatches’ and ride out the storm? I have no doubt a storm is coming, but I believe we still serve the God who speaks “Peace” in the middle of it. All it comes down to is will you trust Him or run away? I think I’ll keep looking for the man of peace to come walking in on the waves.

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