I have a growing burden; I have had it for a while, and I want to share it with my Christian friends, particularly the ladies. I hope that you will take time to read this and say a prayer about how you might get involved.
Here’s the problem:
Many of today’s young people, even many who are Christians – have no idea how to be adults – they don’t understand what true love is; they don’t know how to be spouses; they don’t know how to be parents. Every day I teach college and high school-aged young people, and while they are not expected to be more than young adults right now, it only takes a few minutes of watching them to see that many of them are not anywhere near the point in their lives where they should be in regards to reality and maturity – in other words, they don’t act like young adults. Or worse yet, our adult generation is so immature that the young people are acting like younger versions of them. How do I know this? Am I just cynical? Am I just crotchety? Am I like every middle-aged person throughout history, bemoaning our youth? No, I am not. I love my students. I love spending time with them. I love teaching them. I have been doing it for nearly twenty years now (on and off) – And, every day in my life, I see the same thing; I see a generation lost. They have been raised mostly by the television, movies, and music. They have been far more influenced by friends than by family. They have learned what they know of relationships from reality TV and teenage “love novels.” They have basically been taught exactly the opposite of what God, in his Holy Word teaches. After all, who is trying to steal them? The Devil is – and the Devil is the master counterfeiter. He takes everything God has and makes a broken, wretched replica of it – then convinces people – sometimes even the believer – that his replica is the “real thing.”
At this point, some of you may be giving a few arguments to my claim. I imagine there are those of you who are saying, “Now, wait a minute, MY kids are NOT like that, I TAUGHT them…” Yes, I’m sure you did. I did not say every young person in the world is suffering from this problem – I said “many.” I imagine there are those of you who are saying, “Aw, come on, today’s kids are no worse than any other generation; throughout the ages, all older people have complained about the youth.” Yes, you’re right, but I contend this generation is in a much more precarious position than any generation of American teens have ever been. For the sake of argument, I am not going any deeper into history than the past two hundred years; because this is not an argument of comparison – of which time era or society is “worse,” but rather an argument of where this current generation is - period.
I do not want this to be an indictment of this generation. In fact, if I want to indict anyone, it is us – the adults – who have failed to do the things we should according to God’s Word. This is where I shift to my true burden – the girls of this generation – as an elder woman, I have a heavy burden for our young women.
“…the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5
It is necessary, in order to show my burden, to be more specific in what is lacking, what is misunderstood, what I see as a problem.
Love is misunderstood. Girls have accepted that love is merely a feeling, an emotion that one cannot control. Every day you will hear someone say, “Well, I can’t help who I fall in love with.” Or perhaps, “We just fell out of love.” That is a fallacy – a lie of Satan. Love is not a feeling – it is a choice. Infatuation is a feeling; attraction is a feeling; butterflies in your stomach and goose bumps are feelings that often accompany emotions tied to infatuation and attraction – but none of those things are love. Love, as defined in the Word of God is deliberate…in short, it is a choice. Tell someone that today, and not only will you be looked at like you have two heads, but you might get slapped. The idea of love as a choice is mocked.
Forgiveness is nearly non-existent – Girls have accepted the world’s view that forgiveness is weakness. They have accepted the feminist notion that a woman who forgives a man for something he did wrong is welcoming abuse or disempowering oneself.
“Fairness” is misinterpreted – Girls today have the idea that, “If he did it; I get to do it too.” “If he says this to me, I have to say it to him.” While in one way, we are all like this in regards to “fairness” – the current definition of “fair” is not Godly. Besides, God is not about “fair”; he’s about justice. Fairness and justice are two distinctly different things in God’s book. In fact, I would contend that as far as today’s definition of fairness is concerned, God doesn’t care about it very much.
Run away is the norm – When things get touch, our first instinct is to run away, and that is so true of today’s girls. If things don’t go their way – they talk about leaving. If something difficult happens, they throw out the word ‘divorce.’ While it’s true that women have done this for decades, the fact remains that today; more women mean it than ever before. The divorce rate is America is over 50%, and more shockingly, the divorce rate among American self-professed Christians is nearly 75%.
Pleasure is the ultimate goal – Whether it’s spending too much money to buy things for oneself; whether it’s seeking sexual satisfaction in nearly any place possible; whether it’s drugs or alcohol; whether it’s laziness – pleasure and comfort is the ultimate goal of today’s world. Again, while that may have been true of other generations, today it manifests itself in neglected children, neglected homes, neglected marriages, and more. It’s easier to sit a child in front of hours of children’s TV than it is to make crafts with them, to play with them, to read to them.
Beauty is misjudged – Today’s idea of beauty or attractiveness is completely twisted. It is based on Hollywood, on magazine covers, on the music industry. The thinner a girl is the better. The fewer clothes she wears, the sexier she is. Girls look at magazine covers and photos and compare themselves to those pictures and hate themselves, more than ever are dealing with eating disorders. One of the biggest things the girls never realize – or even if they realize it, it doesn’t seem to affect them – is that the photos they see are heavily photo shopped. The pictures are not anywhere near a realistic depiction of the model – it has been retouched, her skin-tone fixed, her curves cut the way the editor wants, the flaws erased, the faces thinned, the butts and breasts made larger…there have been so many changes, the pictures are not realistic, yet we allow these photos to set the standard for our reality? And I might as well not even mention ‘inner beauty’ – today that is literally a phrase that is used to tell a girl she’s really ugly.
I plan on writing much more about this in the coming weeks. In fact, this is actually my next major writing project. I’m not sure where it will go, and I ask your prayers for that, but I am going to stop here because I want this to be a readable blog post and not a dissertation.
The point is – look around you, women. Look at the girls, the teens, the young women that God has placed in your life – not just your daughters, but your daughter-in-laws, your nieces, your friends children, young women at your church, young woman with which you work, etc. What is their idea of love? What is their idea of forgiveness? What is their idea of “fairness”? How much pleasure and comfort do they seek? Is their first instinct in the face of tribulation to run? Do they have a realistic view of the hard work and sacrifice that real love takes – not only with husbands, but with children? What is their idea of real beauty?
Will you share my burden for this generation? Will you pray? Will you become a small group leader? Will you take up the slack in your church and step in to create a ministry for these women? I am not sure what God will put on your heart in regards to this, but I can tell you one thing – if we do not “stand in the gap” – no one will, and even our Christian homes – are doomed.
“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.” – Ezekiel 22:30.