Sweet mom—do you know how important your job is? The questions this generation is asking are big.
They’re soul-altering big.
They’re too big to ignore. I believe the questions this generation is asking will define our culture.
Several years ago, I found this soul-nugget in the book of Luke:
“When a child is fully trained, he will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40
Little children who are playing blocks on the kitchen floor will soon be standing on the Senate floor—sent there by another generation of children who are, at this moment, sitting on the laps of their mothers.
Many years ago, I sat and listened as a tearful mom from a small Illinois town told me a cautionary tale about her daughter. Christian home. Good parents. Church-going. All-the-right-stuff … and her daughter was gone. Anne’s daughter, heavily influenced by a school counselor and deeply entrenched in a community of kids who did not share her family’s faith, had decided to walk away from God, and from everything their family held dear. She moved out shortly before graduating from high school.
… when a student is fully trained, he will be like his teacher.
Anne felt blind-sided. “We sent her to youth group every Wednesday! She was at every youth event they had! Our youth pastor knew my daughter better than I did! Why didn’t he say something?”
Devastated, Anne struggled with voices that echoed in her soul. She felt the familiar sting of guilt, a favorite tool of the enemy, as it spoke condemnation into her life, carried along by a cruel consequence of poor choices: regret. Anne regretted not being more involved in her daughter’s spiritual life—but even more than that, she regretting believing that her pastor could take her place in the life of her daughter.
She was telling me a story I had heard many times in my seventeen years as a pastor’s wife—and I share it with you, because I want to speak for your pastor: He wants you to know that he doesn’t want to raise your kids. In fact, he can’t.
Parents, there’s no substitute for being in the Word of God. Your pastor’s job is to rally the troops—to teach, to admonish, to encourage you to do what only you can do: walk with God daily on your own. A youth pastor’s job is to encourage your children toward right thinking and right relationship with God—but he’s no substitute for you.
I have heard it said that we have “lost” this generation of kids, but I don’t believe it. You don’t just “lose” kids. You lose their parents first. Parents are lost to discouragement, disillusionment and fear—but we must not give in to fear. We can’t simply drop our kids off at school or church and leave the parenting up to others. It is our responsibility alone. Now is the time. My generation of parents is fully up to bat. We must not fail in teaching our children what it means to live our lives for Christ. We do that by modeling.
Words are not enough.
Our kids need to see us taking God at His Word by being IN His Word. I love my pastor but I don’t want to take his word for God’s Word … I want to read it for myself—and that’s what any pastor worth his salt would want me to do.
Today’s parents need to be in the Word of God. We need to know it. To live it. To teach it to our kids.
The questions that are being asked right now need an answer. Sit down with your kids and take them to God’s Word for the answers.
Sweet tired mom—you are not alone. It’s tiring work, this business of shepherding the next generation. God will give you strength.
“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.”
This generation of children and young adults need God’s truth in them now more than ever —to be dug down deep, planted in the rich soil of God’s Word. Stay in there. The work is too important to pass off to someone else, even if that someone else is your pastor.
Your work carries eternal significance with it. It carries the weight of glory—the hope of things to come. Your work carries Jesus to the next generation.