Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6
Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype and smartphones have radically transformed the way we communicate with each other and while some of us couldn’t be bothered to use them, our children are manipulating them with ease.
Against this backdrop, some persons believe that the Bible’s redemptive message of Jesus Christ is no longer relevant. Parents, even the Church, are being pressured to “get with the times” to reach the youth.
Methods of evangelism and discipleship may change. What should never change is the Message of the Gospel.
When I was a teenager, I followed friends in securing posters of popular male artists at the time. I stuck these posters on my bedroom wall, thinking nothing wrong with images of these “sexy” guys with the “sweetest” voices.
That same night as I prepared to sleep, I heard distinctly “take down that poster”. The thought came so quickly, I knew it could not be from me. I ignored it, even though I had a deep sense of where the thought came from. “Why on earth would I want to remove posters I had only just received?” I tried to rationalise away an inner conviction from the Holy Spirit.
That weekend, I questioned my Sunday School teacher about what I had done, again, trying to convince myself that God would understand why a typical teen would want to have these posters. My teacher knew nothing about the singers. But she asked me, “the songs, do glorify to God? Does this person’s life honour God?”, encouraging me to measure their lives against God’s standards.
Apart from childhood folly, I can give no reason why I figured God would have been pleased with my embrace of songs like “The Thong Song” and “Unleash the Dragon”. Children really do need to be saved from themselves sometimes.
Older, wiser and positioned to influence young persons, I see now that parents and guardians need not shy away from steering their children according to the Word of God. By all means, acquaint yourself with elements of youth culture. But rely on God-breathed scripture and on the Holy Spirit who empowers us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness, to help navigate them through life.
Prayer: Lord, in whatever method I use to reach my children, may it point them to knowing and obeying You.