Recently, I led a group of high school students on a shopping/sightseeing/bigger & better trip to downtown Chicago. Many of you would be familiar with the so-called “Magnificent Mile” and all of its lures and attractions. Well, being that we are heading quickly to Christmas, the streets and sidewalks were filled with people. All shapes, sizes, colors, ages…ages. It stood out to me how many children there were.
Why, you may ask? Well, the children…groups of three to five…usually pre-teen girls…were weaving their way through the crowds. Close behind them…were the parents…on their cell phones…with their arms full of bags. Of course, these bags were remnants of many purchases for the children. The children were dressed and “made up” to look much older than they are and the parents dressed and “made up” to look much younger than they are. The parents followed the lead of the child…willingly letting them go wherever they pleased.
I believe them. I believe that what I see on the streets of Chicago is a picture of reality. I believe them. I believe that the order of things, the way God has established authority and submission to that authority has been put aside.
We worship youth. We want to stay young. We want the young to lead us. The kids themselves are stepping up and taking the lead and telling the parents how they are to parent….and the parents are ready to comply.
What else are the children to do? The door is being opened for them to get what they want…claiming that it is what they deserve….and the parents are supplying to means to keep it as reality.
Brothers and Sisters, this must not be so. Our children need to be led, to be taught and admonished, to be shown that something greater than themselves exists and has established a rule, an order, and authority.
This world belongs to God. It is His. He has established it by his own Word. He has set within it His unseen qualities. None of us are without excuse. We see it.
We also see that we have perverted and tarnished His handiwork by believing the lies of Satan. We have said to God, I see that you have offered me the good of your Trinity…but I’ll take my own…and claim the flesh, the world, and the devil as my God. I would rather live to me and die to you forever than die to myself and see you live in me forever.
It should be no surprise to us, that this is still the case and that parents are following the same pattern.
I guess my point is this. We, if we call ourselves Christians. If we claim that Christ has captured us with His irresistible grace, calling us out of darkness and into his holy light…then our lives should more and more be restoring the order that God has set. His rule and authority is for our own good. The fact that we get to glorify God, live for him, die to self, live as those redeemed by the blood of Christ is a great and mysterious privilege. It caries with it a great responsibility to lead our children to see this and know this in us and through us. We don’t parent to call our children to merely follow us, to submit to our demands. Ultimately, we are calling them to be destroyed by the holiness of God, restored by the atoning death of Christ, and filled with his Spirit, working through us for His divine purposes and Glory.
We must let this light shine before men, and especially before our children.
I believe that our world has it wrong.
But I believe that God is making it right through his faithful ones…his children.