As a parent of three young 'uns, I shake in mortal terror when every so often, the overwhelming responsibility with which I am entrusted hits me.
Today in our Sunday School class at church, our group had a good discussion about our kids - raising them, teaching them, advising them, instilling a love of God in them. We talked about the disconnect between the current young adult generation (20 to 30 year old's) who in large part have bowed out of traditional church, instead choosing a very passive form of belief... "I don't know what to believe or who to believe in."
We started asking ourselves, what is the disconnect? Is it because we push our kids too hard to believe what we have always believed and what our parents have pushed on us?
And yet (for the most part, exceptions always present), our generation (the 30's to 40's) that were brought up by believing parents and lovingly guided in that direction may have messed around a bit in our younger days, but have largely come back to solid relationships with God.
According to some of the statistics we looked at, the 20 to 30 generation is one of the first generations who is not necessarily following the trend of each generation (returning to the church).
So what's going on? What has changed that makes such a difference in belief mentality?
Mulling this over in my mind while I was washing dishes this afternoon, I thought of something. Who knows if it's correct, but I'll throw it out there anyway.
I wonder if we've become such an "instant gratification" culture, that young people don't have time, or want to make time anymore, to search for God... to wait on Him.
When I look at the big picture, overall (it seems to me), America has become spiritually stagnant. And then I look at "missionary kids." They live in other cultures, many of them far removed from instant gratification. They are taught in much the same manner we teach our kids, but - and it's a big but - the surrounding culture is so different. They return to the States on furloughs, and many times, these MK's have a hard time finding their slot in society. Why? Because society and cultural norms are almost opposite the culture in which they've been brought up, even though their American parents are teaching them relatively the same values that we are teaching our kids.
These kids are also taught to think, to defend the way they believe, in a way that our American, nearly post-Christian culture rarely teaches our kids to think.
So... going back to my three young 'uns. Of course I want them to believe the way I believe. More than anything else, I want my kids to have deep, thriving relationships with God - not just a shrug-sure-I-believe-in-God-'cause-what-else-is-there kind of thing.
But this discussion really challenged me to do less telling my kids how to believe and more helping them find their own answers (guided by the Word of God, of course). Knowing why they believe what they do rather than just spouting off rhetoric because my-mama-told-me-so.
I pray every day that my kids recover from my mistakes, because I sure make a lot of them. I pray that in God's grace, He'll pull them to Him in spite of my silly human nature.