Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12 NIV)
“Look at him; he ain’t gonna be nothing.” “She’s gonna be just like her mama.” “That young man is just a waste of space!” Have you called your siblings, nieces, nephews, your own teens, or other youth names that spoke stuff over them that you wouldn’t want anyone to speak over you? Have you gotten your “row out” against them just to prove them wrong and you right? Have you looked down on the youth today as if you just fell from heaven this very moment? Don’t worry; the answer is between you and God.
With today’s violence and growing wickedness, the youth have spun out of control. In general, they no longer respect authority, life or each other. They are behaving offensively not only to their parents and their communities, but to God. You hear stories of a young person bringing a knife to school possibly to protect herself or retaliate against another student, a young person getting shot and killed almost every weekend, a girl getting gang-raped, a bunch of kids doing mob-attacks, or a young person mugging an old person. At work, I hear some of the students curse out the teachers, talk about sex, and some students barely come to school or barely take their school work seriously. I have heard of teachers crying, literally breaking down from all they have to endure in the classroom with disrespectful and sometimes violent students. I have literally had to look a student in his eyes after he threw things around the class, cussed, and then decided to delete something I was typing off of my computer, and tell him I would whoop his behind (I know that was not Godly-behavior but that spirit took me there). Lord, help us today!
You now often hear and I have even said, “these kids just don’t respect life anymore” or “it’s just sad how they are.” I agree that this world is increasingly wicked more so today than ever and the children are being tarnished and tainted; they are a “hot mess.” Today at work, I heard a couple of my “good” students complaining about one of the staff persons and that he didn’t have a right to say what he said, and that they were not kids. I always believe that if we just go around waiting for people to respect us first then this world would be even more of a “hot mess.” I also believe that if God said walk in love and love your enemy, He didn’t mean sometimes or conditionally, but that you have to give respect regardless. (My students weren’t hearing the “give respect regardless” part.) I also understood where they were coming from though. Just because they are young doesn’t mean we can disrespect them and look down on them. Let’s not talk to our young people anyway just because we are adults. We should not consider them worthless or dismiss them as a lost cause. Remember at first the devil told us we were lost causes, but Jesus’ blood did what was impossible for man to do and it saved us. Let’s not govern over them with hostility, envy, or prejudice; even though young people can take you there, let us try not to speak curses and death to them. God created them too with a purpose for each one. He loves them and He put them under our authority for us to prepare, guide, minister to, love and nurture them towards their destiny. Joseph’s older brothers didn’t understand his destiny; they were jealous of him and thought he was just a dreamer. (Genesis 37 NIV) David’s older brother Eliab, King Saul and Goliath didn’t understand David’s destiny; they thought he was just a boy. (1 Samuel 17:28-51 NIV) As our youth spiral out of control, try to remember that no child is a mistake or a lost cause, and every one of them was assigned destiny and purpose. With all this said, this does not give our youth a pass to act like plum fools, reject authority, disrespect life and carry on in corrupted wisdom and violence until extinction. Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. (Proverbs 13:24 NIV)
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 NIV)
Thank You for being a Father to the fatherless and thank You for being a helpmate to the single parents. Thank You for having good thoughts towards us and for loving us unconditionally. Thank You that You will never leave us, nor forsake us, and that You will guide parents and every adult that trusts and believes in You to steward these children in the right way onto the right path. Help us to have patience and to not get weary in well doing, and don’t let us give up on someone because You did not give up on us. Now Lord, please intercede for our youth today and help them to love You, others, and themselves. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to see our youth through God’s eyes. Go to your knees in battle and pray for our youth. Be patient with them—I know every button can be pushed—but maintain your faith, patience and cool! Carry a humble attitude even amongst our youth, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Lastly, do not hold back discipline, God’s word and God’s Love, for our youth need all three.
Are you guilty of bad-mouthing the younger generation? How will you change your behavior going forward?
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Remember Where You Came From…
Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing poetry or editing written work for family and friends, she currently works for NEIU Educational Talent Search program. She help assists Chicago public high school students with their reading, writing, etc. as well as helps them consider and prepare for college. God, the Creator and Great Father has also created her to be a Compassion Person and Encourager and so she loves to encourage people according to God’s Word and help them to see, think and become better through her support, actions and writing. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.