To parents, concerning youth

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Much has been said about the gap between parents and youth. The gap in question is hardly one that is insurmountable. Different attitudes can be explained in the light of different backgrounds in childhood, education, experience and lack of experience.

The more radical that changes in matters such as these, or in similar matters, are, the deeper the "gap". Mere differences do not have to lead to conflict. When the gap between generations is deep, the reasons for it demand a deeper probe, but at the same time the matter must be considered in the light of the conditions in which the parents and youth are currently living. According to God's Word parents are to bring up their children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4), teach them to obey and respect their parents, teach them to work, to be diligent, etc. Parents are to do all this in a manner that does not "provoke your children to anger" (Eph. 6:4), hence, in love guiding and advising them. In this way a child grows in the proper fear of God and experiences the home as a secure place.

We parents are asked: Have we done our duty? Or have we been influenced by new educational trends to such a degree that we have forgotten to offer our children that which is temporally the most important, that is, a home, and that which is eternally the most important, an upbringing in the fear of God? And if we have done this, have we done it for conscience sake in God's sight or in a selfrighteous spirit?

In writing about this subject, it feels as if the world is being rent asunder, and cannot bear to hear it. But do not criticize the youth, if you have abandoned them without a foundation and without the right direction for their lives.

We are all aware of the fact that in our time there is a great deal of division, weakness and ignorance. There are broken homes, unwed mothers, lonely widows, children must be sent to day care so that families can make ends meet. There is no lack of difficulties. But they must not prevent us from striving to give our children a Christian education. We must also seek help for those who are in trouble. The significance of the home, in particular the Christian home, must be understood anew, otherwise we are headed for destruction.

Youth have their faults, which we can see and which we do not like. But they have inherited their nature from us. However, we must neither minimize or exaggerate their faults. Trees produce good fruit through grafting. The physical development of youth occurs rapidly, but their spiritual development is a slow process. We have a tendency either to expect more than we should from youth or to expect nothing at all. Youth must develop a sense of responsibility before God and men.

Let us commend our youth to God in our fervent prayers. God will hear our prayers and answer them in His time.