What one generation tolerates, the next generation celebrates. This is a common saying and yet is proven true on an almost daily basis. For Christians this could be said a little differently: Half-hearted obedience to God in one generation leads to rebellion in the next generation.
As parents, what is our commitment level to God? How obedient are we and how do our children perceive our obedience? If we are not willing to commit to the simplest commands, such as, “Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together,” then how committed will our children be when they leave our home?
We are already seeing this play out in the church. Millennials are referred to by many as the lost generation because most Millennials, while claiming to be spiritual and open minded, show no interest in the church or in a commitment to Jesus Christ. Many reasons have been given for this including the church’s inability or unwillingness to change and speak to current culture. However, I wonder if much of the blame should be laid at the feet of Christian parents who never modeled a commitment to Christ for their children. Furthermore, we are seeing this half-hearted obedience play out again with Millennial parents who still consider themselves to be Christians and yet seem to live a life uninterrupted by their faith. Could this mean that the next generation, whatever it’s called, will be even more lost if not completely hostile to the church and the Gospel?
We seem to be going out of our way to teach our children that commitment to the church, a.k.a. the Body of Christ, is just not that important. Whether it’s youth sports, time at the lake, or simply wanting to sleep in on Sunday, our children are taught repeatedly that being a “Christian” doesn’t mean much, and it certainly doesn’t involve obedience or commitment.
What would we see in the lives of our children if we as parents committed to modeling Christ for our children and demonstrated to them the importance of being a viable part of the Body of Christ? But why stop there? What would we see in the lives of our children if we as parents committed to praying and reading God’s Word with our children every day? Many of the issues faced by young people today, including gender confusion, homosexuality, lack of direction, cynicism, suicidal thoughts, and the overall meaningless and futility of life, would fade away as they found their identity in Christ. But first, we as parents must confirm our identity in Christ.
“…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” Hebrews 12:1-2
Adam Davis, Senior Pastor FBC Archer City, TX