EDITORIAL: Better caught than taught
Every day, American children watch 20 violent acts on television. Every day, 2,000 teenage girls become pregnant. Every day, 1,106 of those girls obtains an abortion. About eight out of every 100,000 teenagers committed suicide in 2000. By the time they have graduated from high school, 54 percent of teenagers acknowledge they have used one or more illegal drugs.
One out of every four girls, and one out of every six boys in the United States, will be sexually molested by the time they reach their 16th birthday. Approximately 20 percent of Americans between the ages of 15 and 55 are currently infected with one or more sexually transmitted diseases.
Despite these alarming facts, it is clear many Christian parents are ignoring the signs of the times. A recent survey conducted by researcher George Barna indicates that while parents are frustrated with the corrupt culture in which they are trying to raise moral children, four out of 10 Christian parents of children between the ages of three and 18 say they do not face any spiritual challenges in their life.
Barna expected the study of exclusively Christian parents with young children to yield a broader emphasis on the challenges related to raising spiritually healthy offspring.
“Children rarely embrace spiritual principles and practices that their parents fail to demonstrate in their lifestyle,” he pointed out.
The study indicates that personal spiritual development is a secondary consideration for millions of Americans.
“Many of the same people who claim that their faith is very important to them, and that they are absolutely committed to Christianity, also say that they face no spiritual challenges in life,” Barna said.
“Americans focus on what they consider to be the most important matters; faith maturity is not one of them. The dominant spiritual change that we have seen-Americans becoming less engaged in matters of faith-helps to explain the surging secularization of our culture.”
Let this be a wake up call for Oklahoma Baptists. The person your child becomes starts at home. It’s time our children start catching their parents in the act of Christian character. Biblical character is better caught than taught.