Y is for Youth
There are some very famous Bible verses on the subject of youth. Probably the best known is this one:
Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord. (Colossians 3;20, NLT)
Hmm, wouldn’t that be nice if put into practice? God’s Word acknowledges that obedience isn’t inevitable behaviour (remember the story of Adam and Eve?), but requires some teaching/correction/ discipline on the part of parents:
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline [correction administered with godly wisdom and lovingkindness] will remove it far from him. (Proverbs 22:15, AMP)
I love how the Amplified Bible puts it. The discipline isn’t excessive or abusive, it’s given from a place of wisdom and love. Parents who correct their children this way often say that it hurts them more than those on the receiving end and it’s true. As Hebrews 12:11 says
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (NIV)
In a completely different vein, the Bible addresses youthful believers:
Don’t let anyone make fun of you, just because you are young. Set an example for other followers by what you say and do, as well as by your love, faith, and purity. (1 Timothy 4:12, CEV)
At times as I’ve watched my own children, I’ve thought ‘and a little child shall lead them.’ I know this is out of context from Isaiah 11:6, but it resonates. Just because someone is young doesn’t mean they don’t have something of value to offer their elders. The old saying that ‘children should be seen and not heard’ is a fallacy – don’t believe it! Instead encourage your children to follow God’s ways and don’t be surprised when they set an example for you and for others.
When we become adults, though, or when we reach the ‘age of understanding’ (which some believe to be 12-13 or 20, and my husband and I believe to be that point when the prefrontal cortex is fully developed), we ought to think and act accordingly.
It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things. (1 Corinthians 13:11, TLB)
Is it just me, or is anyone else appalled when they see grown-ups (usually men) hanging around aimlessly or riding around on skateboards and modified bicycles with nothing more profitable to do with their time? Perhaps it is how they were raised or what they were taught, but let this be a reminder to hold our children to higher expectations, believing that they are more capable than society would say. I highly recommend Alex Harris’s books, Do Hard Things and Start Here, for young people and for parents who want to give their children and teens the best possible start.
Today’s Prayer: Thank You, God, for parents who raise their children according to Your Word. What a difference they can make in our world! Thank You for children who are able to set a godly example for others. Help us to encourage them in Your ways. Give both children and parents wisdom to accept and mete out correction as it is needed and teach us to put away childish pursuits when we become men and women.
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