2 Kings 18–21
Those three reasons we discussed yesterday cause me to reserve my concluding thoughts for you parents who still have your children under your roof. Let me be painfully and firmly honest with you as I offer three suggestions:
First, teach personal responsibility. "Son, even though you are the only one, do what's right. Don't be afraid to stand alone." Then explain how it can be done. Or, "Sweetheart, even though others may be involved, take responsibility for your part in any wrongdoing." Ours is an era where passing the buck is an art form, where seeing oneself as an innocent victim is in vogue. Help your child face up to the hard facts . . . to tell the truth, regardless.
Second, emphasize the erosion principle. Evil is getting increasingly worse but also more cleverly disguised. Point that out. Explain how easy it is to get used to it . . . to shrug it off, rather than identify it and confront it.
Gary Bauer tells the shocking yet true story of a teacher who, twenty-five years ago, used to walk into her fourth grade class and greet them. "Good morning, children," to which they would respond, "Good morning, Miss Jones." She left teaching for many years to have her own family and rear them. She returned recently to the classroom and began the day in her usual way, "Good morning, children." To which a young thug on the front row responded, "Shut up, bó!" That's what I mean by the erosion principle. If your youngster isn't alert, he or she will get swept up in it.
Third, take time. Not just to eat together, or work together around the house, or do homework together, or go to the athletic games together, although those are important, too. Take time to talk together and walk together. To play together. To relax together. To do fun stuff together . . . just to be together.
Want a tip? Start today.
Passing the buck and seeing oneself as an innocent victim is an art form today.