Let me finish what I began last week. I wrote about the five things I believe will be the greatest challenges to my grandchildren and your children as they face the future. Last week I addressed 1. Learning to be non-technical in a world of technology and 2. Embracing biblical values in a multi-value world. So here are the final three challenges for the next generation:
3. Embracing the sanctity of marriage in a world that devalues its traditional meaning:
One day, a public school teacher asked her students, “How do you go about choosing a life mate?” Nine- year-old Kally answered, “You flip a nickel. Heads means you stay with him, and tails means you try the next one.”
This is probably not too far off from where our society is heading when it comes to marriage. Not only will our children and grandchildren have to wrestle with the same-sex marriage issue but also with the concept of “till death do us part.”
My wife and I just celebrated our 40th anniversary, and I can’t tell you how many times someone told us, “You don’t see that these days.” What a sad statement on our times. I fear there will be very few godly role models and mentors for our children in the area of biblical marriage.
I want my grandson to know marriage has a much deeper meaning than appearance and sex. Our children need to understand marriage is ultimately about Kingdom work. You choose a life mate with whom you can impact the Kingdom in a greater way than in your singleness. That is one of the themes that run through one of our transformissional mission trips. I want my grandson to know God has a purpose greater than himself when he chooses a life mate.
4. The implosion in our society concerning the concept of authority:
No great society has ever lasted. They have all come to an end in one of two ways, external or internal. Either another country overtakes them, or the culture within shifts and they collapse.
We are concerned about North Korean cyber-attacks, but there is a much greater attack on our society. It is happening right before us in our schools, our homes and on our streets. It is the lack of respect for the rules and authority that establish societal boundaries. We try to teach our children to obey their authority, and then that authority preys upon them. When authority goes bad, you have no authority.
To trust or not trust? That is the question. I was once a military policeman, and later spent seven years as one of the chaplains for the Tulsa Police department. I have seen the decline of trust. As the saying goes, it only takes one bad apple to poison the entire barrel. The Bible clearly teaches that submitting to authority becomes our protection and direction. The challenge for my grandson and your children will be to discern the difference between good authority and people who use their authority to prey on children.
5. The lessening of the warrior spirit among men in our churches:
I believe unless we teach our young men to be warriors, there will be no one left to fight the battles. One of the things we teach the men on our transformissional mission trips is that the man’s job is to guard not only his innocence, but also that of the ladies around him. We men get off the bus first to see if the area is safe for the women. We walk between a woman and oncoming traffic. If there are other men around, we put ourselves between them and a woman. It is our job to guard her mind, her heart and her body.
The brotherhood of believers is a real thing. We only stand as tall as we stand together. I get great joy when I see a group of men who embrace their biblical responsibility. I saw this happening last summer as a team was working in the slums of Panama. The men automatically made a circle around the young ladies as we walked from place to place. Who will teach my grandson and your sons how to be godly men? These concepts are not only taught, but caught.
As you can see, I have great concern about the challenges this upcoming generation will face. That’s why we, as grandparents and parents, need to be on our knees praying for them. We have to become, in a real sense, prayer warriors, fighting for the lives of our children and grandchildren. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom. 12:12). Otherwise, the battle we lose will be . . . theirs.