When I was a child, I would spend my summer vacations at my grandparent’s farm or visiting other relatives in Northern Wisconsin. Every moment was filled with time well spent. I can still picture the line of pine trees that stood at attention, leading up to the front door of the farm. I can still smell the fresh air and hear the sounds of laughter at the lake, or get perfectly delicious malts at the hotel in Wabeno, Wisconsin. Oh the blessed days of our youth. When the cares of the world are non-existent and the only thing we really worried about was how we looked in a bathing suit.
Today, my fears of even wearing a swim suit have turned to how I’d squeeze myself into one. Panty hose is another story, but I won’t go there.
Times were simpler in the days of our youth. Today, young people are confronted with so much more. They are exposed to violent behavior – not only through video games, but actual crime in the streets and thoughts of having their schools invaded by terrorists or maniacs. Bullying has become so much more vicious with the advent of the internet and social media. Hatred, division, anger and so many negatives are thrown at them in conversation, in reactions of their parents, from their peer and from the world – because the world is at their fingertips now.
On my grandparent’s farm, the radio would blast with good old country or gospel music. Grandma would sing along and the dog chimed in with his howls. There wasn’t much news in a farm community. I used to think the farm report was really boring, but oh how I long to hear boring news again.
Children hear words like sexual harassment, oral sex and rape in their early years and know what they mean by the time they’re six. Terrorist attacks have become almost the norm and we’re slowly becoming numbed by them. We are no longer shocked by immoral or violent behavior.
We certainly can’t put our children in a bubble and shield them from all that’s out there today, but we can provide shelter for them through God’s Word.
Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”
Mark 9:37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”