Once again our nation is wrestling with devastating news, this time out of Texas. Another school shooting. And once again people immediately start demanding more gun control, more legislation, more security measures, more mental-health screenings. All these knee-jerk reactions are common in the wake of a tragedy such as this. But sadly, this type of horrible event is going to happen again. Why? Because we have a generation of parents who have relinquished the responsibility of raising their children to others.
We have a generation of parents who are convinced that their children need more things rather than more of their parents’ time in order to be content—and as a result, we have children who are ungrateful and believe they are entitled to whatever they want.
We have a generation of parents who have been told by a consumer-driven culture that in order to be successful, they need a bigger house, a newer car, and the most up-to-date phones. With that comes larger debt, strained schedules, and two parents working outside the home just to make ends meet.
We have a generation of mothers who are no longer content to stay home and raise their children. They have believed the lie that being a stay-at-home mom is not a noble and fulfilling occupation. As a result, children are farmed out to daycares and public schools, raised by strangers just so parents can pursue equality and self-worth through a career or position.
We have a generation of fathers who have decided it’s ok to leave their families in order to follow their own lusts and desires; all because sometimes family life is hard and the pressure is too much.
We have a generation of parents who are so tired and stressed out that they allow devices to babysit their kids.
We have a generation of parents who insist God be taken out of their everyday lives, but then want to blame Him during times of crisis.
We have a generation of parents who believe their teenagers want nothing to do with them, when the reality is they need them more than ever.
We have a generation of parents who are ignorant of the dangers of social media and the depth of their children’s involvement in it. “All the kids do it,” they say. “It’s no big deal.” Parents fail to see that oftentimes social media becomes an outlet for their kids because it’s somewhat anonymous, a place where our kids don’t have to face reality. Children find belonging and family among strangers rather than the people in their own homes.
We have a generation of parents who are content with the average of thirty-four minutes of meaningful conversation per week they have with their children. Yes, you read that right—thirty-four minutes per week!
We have a generation of parents who sit in churches all over America being taught that it’s ok to fit in with the culture; that biblical parenting is now old fashioned, irrelevant and offensive.
We have a generation of parents who are overweight, tired, and unhealthy, who simply do not have the energy to get out of their chairs and engage in activities with their children. Instead, they over-schedule their kids with activities so they don’t have to deal.
We have a generation of drive-through parents who don’t have time to cook meals, sit at the table, and connect with their children.
We have a generation of parents who have bought into the lie that they should be friends with their children instead of parents. Discipline has become abuse, and punishment is seen as an infringement on children’s rights. So children are being raised with no boundaries or limits, and as such, they are unable to handle disappointment or hardship. It’s nonsense!
We have a generation of parents who are so concerned with selfies, status updates, and sports scores that they don’t take the time to look up from their phones on the odd occasion that their children do try to engage them. I’m preaching to the choir here, folks!
Parents, we have to do better. We can no longer push the blame onto guns, schools, organizations, politicians.
Newsflash: our children are our responsibility. It is our responsibility to be intimately involved in their lives. We have to do whatever it takes to connect with them.
If it means downgrading our cars and our houses to lessen our debt, so be it.
If it means saying no to our children’s wants or activities so we can spend more time engaging in conversation as a family, then we need to say no.
If it means sacrificing material desires so Mom can stay home, we have to do it.
If it means pulling our kids out of school to teach them at home, we need to get over ourselves and do it!
If it means turning off our phones and placing them in a drawer so we can’t see them, then we need to turn them off!
If it means looking at your teenagers social media, email and texts, look at it! You pay the bills, don’t you?
We are losing a generation, and it isn’t anything’s or anybody’s fault but ours. Rise up, parents! We need to stop pointing the finger and do our jobs!
Lord, we need You so desperately as we raise our children in this day and age. Help us rise up and take responsibility. Help us put aside our own needs and wants, and live sacrificially for the children You have placed in our care. Forgive us for pointing the finger of blame at others, and help us do whatever it takes to engage with our children—love them, discipline them, and nurture them so they can grow to be the people You designed them to be. Amen.