I not only work with very young children, I also work with teenagers and young adults. These older kids who are devoted to living a Godly life have told me that its difficult in academic settings to maintain their stance on the Christian faith. They are like fish swimming upstream when everyone else is swimming downstream. Everywhere they look, kids are breaking rules, being disrespectful, lying and cheating, and even making fun of them. What is surprising is that some of these kids attend private schools, where the behavior (though better) is still not ideal. Our world is quickly becoming a dangerous place for Christians who want to live the way that Christ did.
What is also sad for me to hear is that many of these older kids have little to no knowledge of the great Bible stories that help build our faith. Stories about Elisha’s servant (2 Kings 6:11-17) who was given sight to see the army of God encamped around his enemies; or David’s great sin and God’s great forgiveness (2 Samuel 11 & 12). For a better listing of the great people of faith, look at the Who’s Who listing in Hebrews 11 and read about all of these regular people who did great things because of their faith in God.
What God can do with one heart turned over to Him is amazing. But just making a commitment to follow God is not enough. These kids need to be strengthened in their faith and held up by our prayers for them. The parents that I meet with have a desire to help their kids, but many of them admit that they do not go to church regularly nor do they read their Bibles. I tell them it’s like flying on an airplane that is running low on oxygen. When the masks come down, they will give the oxygen to their kids, while they don’t get the oxygen they need to help their kids.
Teenagers are very confused with our world today. Parents need to be able to answer their questions with truth. But what I am seeing is that the parents can be just as confused as their children are. I’ve even heard some parents say that they want their kids to find their own way spiritually - so the best thing they can do is to let them figure it out on their own.
The one thing that is certain: God loves us and is still working miracles today. The devil is doing his best to gain control of our world. All the hatred and killing is not the work of God, but the devil. If we don’t educate our kids to know the difference, they will end up “going their own way” and never learn the truth about God’s tremendous love for them. Every child is born with certain gifts that God can use. When kids come to me with serious depression or suicidal thoughts, I remind them of this fact. This encourages them because it’s something they don’t often hear.
If you feel that you are struggling as a parent, please know that you are not alone. Raising kids in today’s world is extremely difficult. But know that God wants to help you by equipping you to stand firm against the evil winds that blow your way. Go to church, pray continually for help, read your Bible (and get one that you understand). Or go to a counselor who can help you (and your children). In spite of all we see in our world today, God still gives us peace.