In recent days some truly disturbing information has been floating across my desk. With each article, with each news clipping my heart grows just a little heavier. The one common thread in all the writings is the state of what will be the future generation of America. If this nation is still here thirty years from now, it will be a very different nation indeed.
The departure from any semblance of morality, the departure from the pursuit of godliness is astounding to behold. We have been so consumed with leaving a material nest egg for our children, that we have neglected the spiritual aspect of their existence thereby leaving them spiritually bankrupt. The outcry in America today should not be ‘save our planet’ but rather ‘save our children’, because evil is never static, and with frightening speed it is going from bad to worse.
In order to see just how much damage the enemy can inflict in one generation, we must go back in time and look at the history of Israel. Barring a few minor setbacks, Joshua’s generation was a generation of excellence. It was a season in Israel’s history when the people served God, and when God prospered them, protected them and defended them. The people remembered what God had done for them, and they lived in obedience to His laws.
Judges 2:7, “So the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord which He had done for Israel.”
It is a great testimony indeed, that not only Joshua, or his household served the Lord, but the people served the Lord as well. But soon, Joshua was gathered to his fathers, and all of his generation gathered to their fathers as well. The old generation was returning back into the dust from which it came, having fought the good fight of faith, and walked in the will of the Lord.
Then something truly tragic happened. Within the span of one generation, the children of Israel went from serving the Lord, to doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
Judges 2:10-13, “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger.”
This is a tragic portrait that repeats itself far too frequently. Although Joshua’s generation was faithful to God, although they knew the work which He had done for Israel, they made one fatal mistake. Joshua’s generation neglected to pass on the baton of righteousness to the next generation. Why didn’t the new generation know the Lord or the work which He had done for Israel? Because it had not been ingrained in them from early youth; no one had taught them the ways of God.
I do not know what distracted Joshua’s generation so. I do not know what kept them from teaching their children the ways of God, and what God had done for their people. Maybe they just took for granted the fact that they were the people of God, and assumed that their children would simply discover God on their own. Maybe they were too busy building houses and barns, and settling into the land that God had given them. Whatever the reason, the consequences of their actions were far reaching, and tragic to behold.
If only they could have seen what would become of their children and grandchildren, if only they could have known that the absence of diligent instruction in the ways of the Lord, would lead their offspring to serving other gods and bowing to them, perhaps they would have taken more time to teach, to mold, and to instruct.
Today’s generation is eerily similar to the generation of Joshua. We were taught the ways of the Lord, we saw His great and mighty works, yet we are woefully neglectful of passing on the love for Jesus to the next generation. We’ve adopted this laisser-faire attitude and this posture of indifference, wherein we look at what is becoming of the next generation, wherein we see the corruption and the vileness of sin surrounding them on all sides, and the best we can do, is shrug our shoulders and say, ‘children will be children.’
We must own up to our responsibility, and acknowledge that in large part, we are responsible and accountable for the spiritual condition of the generation of the future.
‘I’m kind of with you, but our children aren’t worshipping idols or anything.’
Anything that replaces God as preeminent in the heart of man is an idol, and anything that takes up our time and energy more than the pursuit of God is idolatry. Just because there aren’t statues of strange mythical beings, or altars upon which men sacrifice animals anymore, it does not mean that idolatry isn’t alive and well in our modern culture. Our children are just as surrounded by the gods of the people who are all around us as Israel was, and due to our inconsistency and our lack of devotion, due to our being distracted by other things, and not taking a stand for Christ, they are being enticed into bowing to idols just as readily as the children of Israel.
Wake up you are losing your children! Wake up your children are being taken captive by sin and perversity!
I realize it is much easier trying to be your child’s friend than his parent, but somebody has to be the parent. Somebody has to set a standard. Somebody has to define right from wrong, righteousness from sin, acceptable and unacceptable practices. It’s not the teacher’s job, it’s not the guidance counselor’s job, it is your job, and your sovereign duty before an almighty God to raise your children in the righteousness and fear of the Lord. It is with love that I urge you, be the example you desire your children to follow!
What is the spiritual inheritance you are leaving your children? What will the church of America look like in twenty years? These are questions with which we must all be confronted, because raising a child in the ways of God does come about accidentally, but due to a planned and intentional investment in their spiritual future.
I write these lines not as a parent, but as one who was the recipient of being brought up in the ways of the Lord. I can say, with all requisite honesty, that there can be no substitute for Jesus in a young life, and any education or privilege built upon another foundation will crumble into nothingness. Give your children the foundation that will be stable, steadfast and constant throughout their lives, which will be a shelter in the storms of this world, and a source of strength in their time of adversity. Give them Christ first and foremost.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.