Growing Up

Growing Up

Who knows that growing up isn’t easy?

Adults who grew up in the 20th Century thought they had it tough, yet how many of them are now glad that their adolescent and teenage years – whether good or bad – weren’t played out on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or whatever other crazy social media platforms there are out there.

That is what our young people today are faced with, on a daily basis, and many parents probably don’t even know the half of it, even if they think they do.

But the fact is, children are faced with many different things these days to what their parents were. And it’s not just technology that has developed. Sex education – or SRE (Sex and Relationship Education) to give it its correct title – will become a statutory subject in all schools from September 2019. To be honest that’s probably not a bad thing – how many parents shudder at the thought of having to teach their children about (whisper) “sex”, or the “facts of life”, so if the schools don’t do it then how else will the children find out?? Don’t answer that!!

Of course whilst it is a good thing that schools are bringing this into the curriculum as standard, as Christians there will be some subjects taught in a way that is counter to what we read in the Bible. In an ever changing world of human rights, political correctness, sexual identity, freedom of speech, etc, our children are growing up at a time where society’s ideas will be pushed upon them, and if they dare to use their “freedom of speech” then they could be the ones told they are in the wrong!

We’re surrounded by teenagers who are confused! Confused about just who they are; confused about what they are; confused about who or what they should be; confused about their gender; confused about who they can or can’t love; confused about whether they should have feelings for someone; confused about whether they should be having sex by now; confused about what or who they should believe; the list could go on.

For children brought up in Christian families this is no different – confusion can still reign, in fact maybe even more so. Their peers, their teachers, society in general are all telling them “it’s ok to feel like that”; “love whoever you want”; “it doesn’t matter if you have feelings for that person, even if they’re the same gender as you”; “it’s ok to sleep with whomever you want, just make sure you use protection”. The pressure that our teenagers are under is unreal!

As parents we need to be ready to face issues that our children may come home from school with, and possibly issues that may rip us to our very core. We need to be ready to listen to their concerns, not to block them out as we can’t believe they would feel like that; to give words of encouragement, wisdom, love and support, not to shut them up with words of anger and rebuke; to provide a loving arm around a shoulder, not to push them away and make them feel dirty and ashamed; and – most importantly – to pray with them and share with them the Word of God, not to shove our opinions on them, but to help them realise the truth themselves.

I’m sure our parents would say the same, but it’s also not easy being a parent in the 21st Century!!

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