Have you ever attended a child’s birthday party and watched the birthday child open presents in front of everyone? If you have, you probably noticed that what was supposed to be a nice gesture celebrating a birthday, quickly turns into a comparison contest. The guest of honor and all of his or her friends begin exclaiming over expensive gifts while basically ignoring presents that don’t compare favorably. You can almost see envy creep into the hearts of many of the children as they begin thinking about the various gifts they want or wish they had given.
Have you ever tried to tell someone something very important to you, only to realize they haven’t really paid attention to anything you have said? It’s incredibly frustrating, and causes many of us to avoid sharing with that person again in the future.
Or have you asked your kids to do something and realized they said, “Sure!” without even hearing what you actually asked? When it happens multiple times a day, it can make even the calmest parent want to scream.
Currently, our society is in the midst of the #MeToo movement. Regardless of what you think of the movement and those involved, a harsh reality remains. The messages our world sends about love and particularly sex are the opposite of what God intended for us. Sadly, Christian parents are often just as guilty of teaching ungodly messages to their children as non-Christians. This seems to be particularly common amongst parents of young men.
When I was a young teen, my older girl friends at church would tell me they often got the most pressure to ignore God’s commands for sexual purity from the Christian guys they dated. I thought it was rather strange at the time, but when I started dating, I found much of the same dynamic. As I dated more, I realized part of the reason why this often happened.
If your children can speak, you probably realize they consider you and anyone else close to your age “old”. I laugh now, because I will talk to friends from home and they will mention someone is “getting older”. In my memory, that person had to be at least in their 60’s or 70’s when I was a child. Inevitably, I will ask “What?! Isn’t she over 125 by now?” Usually, I realize the “old” person had actually been only in their 30’s or 40’s when I was little!
There is something about being young that makes it seem as if anyone older than your peer group is ancient. An arrogance develops as children age. By the time they reach college, many young people have dismissed anyone over the age of 30 as out-of-touch and unable to teach them anything valuable.
There was an interesting article in the New York Post this weekend. The thrust of the article was that parents aren’t doing anything positive by occasionally having lunch with their kids at school. Read closely though, and you will notice the main “source” is someone who seems to resent her child constantly bugging her to come have lunch at school with him or her.
The modern parenting narrative has become one in which the parent’s wants and needs always come before the wants and needs of the child. We pretend there are parents who are overly involved in the lives of their children, but the sad truth is the vast majority of kids don’t get any of the things they really need from their parents. Instead parents provide lots of “stuff” and swoop in to “save the day” if Johnny or Susie becomes unhappy for some reason.