Okay, this is something that’s been on my mind for awhile but I haven’t written about because it’s a biggun. This will be a topic that will be returned to over the coming months as I mull it all over.
As you know, I work with the Wednesday night Club that includes the little guys. These kids are 4 years through 6th grade. I have noticed a bit of a “we’re too cool for this” – “I’m not interested” attitude from a couple of the older ones, but have been praying for them & working that out. Soon, some of these children will be moving up to the youth group which Keith works with. He, too, has noticed the same attitude up there in a few of the kids. We are praying that down as well. The irony about all this is that the two or three who act like they are too old for whatever or that they are “bored” are in actuality the immature ones of the bunch which is why they behave that way. We are praying for their attitudes, but also that it doesn’t spread or drag down the others in the groups.
None of this is “abnormal”, but we cannot have as our goal to just raise “normal” kids!!!! We are very concerned that our churched children go off to college or on their own not just staying out of trouble, but are “planted like a tree by the water”, their roots will not be shaken when they head out in this world. Their faith is THEIRS, not their parents, & they can verbalize what they believe & why any time they would be asked. They should be able to do that when they leave the nest of the church & their parents’ home. The church should be helping to equip the parents to get that task accomplished in the 18 or so years we have those little arrows in our quiver. If we fail them in this task, we have failed to do what God has commanded of us just like the Israelites who wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years & then it seems every time they turned around (see the whole book of Judges!) they forgot & turned from God!
Judges 2:10 – “After that generation died, another grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things He had done for Israel.”
How sad & awful!! As Keith & I head into the teenage years with Nate (we have a few years left in the boyhood stage, but it’s coming quickly!), we are looking to avoid those pitfalls. So many good Christian homes “lose” at least one of their children for a time of foolishness if not forever. We will fight with everything that is in us by God’s grace & mercy to keep that from happening to one of ours. (I can’t even write that without tears welling in my eyes – it is very close to my heart.) But because the Lord gave me the spiritual gift of shepherding children, I see those in the Club as mine as well to a point. I realize their parents stand before God for them, but as the family of God, I stand beside them & pray & weep & fight right along with them. I want to see all of our children bringing forth fruit in each season, not squandering the wonderful life God gave them or have to come crawling back to Him after years of wallowing in the mud of this ole’ world! The thing is, & Satan knows this, the college age years are when they are making decisions that will follow them the rest of their lives. God always forgives repentant hearts, but some things carry lifelong consequences & many of those choices are made in the key college years. Are they going prepared? It takes years – doesn’t happen overnight.
The last article Dad & I discussed before God took him home was on this topic; Jumping Ship – What to do so your children don’t jump ship to the world when they get older. I invite you to read the five parter (it’s lengthy, but well worth the time to read) as you get time.
This week, as God would have it while all this has been heavy on our hearts lately, Dr. Dobson has Josh McDowell on to talk about the shift in our culture with youth today. If you are still with me on this post & at all on the same page with what I am saying, you have to listen to the May 21 & 22 broadcast. We are in a spiritual battle to keep the hearts of the next generation. We have to win!
Ephesians 6:12 – “For we are not fighting against people made of flesh & blood, but against the evil rulers & authorities of the unseen world…”
1 John 4:4 – “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.”