Summary: I think that there are several statements that every one of us would agree on today and here are a few. (1) Parenting has greatly changed. How we parent. What is expected. (2) Parenting is more difficult today than ever before. (3) All of us need
I don’t preach very often from the book of Deuteronomy. But Jesus did. Jesus quoted more from the book of Deuteronomy than any of the OT books. As I began to consider what I would say today I wanted to stay with our current series titled TRAPS. If you are a guest today this is our 3rd week in this series and we are looking at a variety of traps that we all fall into from time to time. Satan sets these traps for us on a daily basis. Some of them are larger than others; some are more obvious than others but they all share one thing in common…they are all dangerous…even deadly. And so I want to speak to you on a topic I have titled the parent trap. I think that there are several statements that every one of us would agree on today and here are a few. (1) Parenting has greatly changed. How we parent. What is expected. (2) Parenting is more difficult today than ever before. (3) All of us need help/wisdom. Can I get an amen? I realize that today I am not speaking to parents who are raising children but also to grandparents who are helping raise them.
In our ministry of over 35 years my wife and I have always tried to keep in touch with the youth and children in every church where we have served. We have always felt that is should be a priority in our ministry. My wife has worked with the teenagers in this church since we started 12 years ago. In fact she started the youth ministry here. The first thing we ever did together in the church was to work with children.
You probably would agree with me that today’s schools have changed. Many classes are overcrowded and I believe that the environment in our schools has gotten worse instead of better. The problems dealt with in today’s schools are not the same problems I dealt with when I was a student.
Years ago teachers in public schools identified these as the top problems in school: talking out of turn, chewing gum, making noise and running in the hall. In a more recent setting they were asked the same question but the top problems are now: drugs and alcohol, teenage pregnancy, suicide and rape.
Now as soon as we hear that it is our inclination to take all of these problems and lay them at the feet of our school system. It’s those teachers, it’s the school board, it’s the principal, it’s the PTA! I realize that our school system is not perfect and there are definitely changes I would like to see take place but it is still not right for us to take all of the problems children face today and lay them at the feet of our teachers and the school system. All 4 of our children were raised in public schools …a 4 are graduates of GHS. And the teachers they had through the years did a good job in a profession that has been heavily criticized. Let me say again it is a mistake for us to lay the problems of today’s youth at the feet of our school system.
For some there is a tendency to say that the problems of today’s youth belong to the government. We have stopped prayer in school. The Bible is no longer read in school. Kids cannot talk about their faith. I asked Heather Fiorentino, school superintendent several questions… (1) if a child/teenager wishes to bow their head and pray at the beginning of the day would they be still be allowed to do so? (2) if a child wanted to carry their Bible to school and even to class and when they are caught up with their studies could they read it in the classroom? (3) if a child wishes to speak openly about their faith with other students would they be allowed to do so? The answer was yes to all 3 questions. I like what one bumper sticker says as long as there are tests in school, there will be prayer in schools. We cannot lay the problems of today’s youth at the feet of the government.
Others blame the church. Through the years I have had parents who were upset about the mistakes their kids were making; perhaps the child has gotten into trouble and they have come to the conclusion that if the church would do their job, their kids would be fine. If the church would train their children properly; if the church would try harder to meet the needs of the kids their kids would be fine.
All of these views; whether you throw the problems of kids today on the schools, the government or the church—all of these views share one thing in common-they are traps that Satan has placed in our path to keep us from being the parent God has called us to be. He sets these traps…if the school would just do what they are supposed to do, if the government would just put prayer back in schools… if the church would raise our kids properly…if, if, if . These are traps that we fall into today. I call them PARENT TRAPS. The trap we fall into of thinking that someone else is supposed to raise our children and that we somehow are not responsible. And that is a lie we have bought into and a trap that has consumed us.