n indication that we live in a post-God generation is all around us, the current president of the United States calls (on the phone) gay people that come out of the closet to congratulate them, but his DOJ would not defend DOMA, he will not defend the plight of persecuted Christians, but would threaten countries (Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Dominican Republic) with fund withdrawal if they donít sign on to the LGBT agenda.
The most watched sports channel in the world ESPN, condemned Tim Tebow for always praying on the field and wearing his faith on his sleeve, yet they had no problem showing two men kissing (with cake on their face) on national television during a primetime family event (NFL draft). The church is not left out in this post-God crap, the largest churches are now ones that teach the "your God your way" gospel because bible truth is now deem judgmental and some western countries even consider aspects of the bible hate speech (ask Canadians or British Christians).
In world history post-God eras are nothing new, in-fact biblical scholars often point to the life and history of the Jews. When they are in trouble they often seek God to help them out, at such times they cry to heaven to send a deliverer, but when they have peace, they soon forget God and do their own thing, until they sin and judgment comes again. It happened during the life of Joshua, it happened during the reign of Solomon, it happened to Israel after the brutal reign of Epiphanies Antiochus IV just (about 200 years) before Jesus came. In modern world we have seen the rise and fall of empires, such as the Greek, the Romans, and the British, all collapsing from within (before military overthrow) due to lack of godly moral. It seems humans, don't do too well when we have relative peace nor do we learn well from history?
If you have a child going to any public school (elementary, middle, high and college), anywhere in America, and you go through their curriculum, you must have at least had a talk or two with the teachers about either the examples or in many cases the direct and in your face indoctrination, rewriting or retelling history to favor a particular point of view (revisionist history they call it). If you have television in your home (time does not matter anymore), you must have at least had "the talk", after KY Jelly commercial or advert for one of the crazy reality shows, with your children. Worst still, if your children like to read or play games, they are either evil looking or are about demons, simply amazing.
So what is a true believer to do in such a crazy world, when surrounded by falsehood parading as goodness? First, you accept the reality that we live in a post-God (really anti-True Believers) and figure out how bad the situation is where you are, second, recognize that on your own, you can achieve little, but with God you can achieve a lot more. Thirdly, set strategies (perhaps before marriage or even having the children) of what you are going to do before your kids are born, if you are keeping them in public school then you better be ready to counter the falsehood etc.
What do you believe and teach?
As a parent what you believe and hang around would have tremendous influence on your Children. I was recently asked by a friend to accompany him to a reformed synagogue, he was asked to share on "Pentecostals view Jews", this temple was brand new (really gorgeous) and there were lots of high schoolers hanging around for classes I believe. When we started to share believes, I could not believe my ears on the doctrines of these so called Jews (in my opinion, they were more loyal to the PC of liberalism than to the teachings of the Torah, or laws of Moses) - yet this is what they are passing down.
It is important as a parent to determine what you believe and not only live it but ensures that it is taught and your resource goes towards your children being ingrained with such truth and belief. Our family used to attend a Christian school, we left for a while, but we came back abruptly, primarily because we could not deal with the indoctrination anymore, particularly because of the nature of our last two kids. Summer camps and after school activities must reflect the values we as parents want to send, we cannot cave and allow things that are dangerous in the name of everybody is doing it.
One of the most difficult things to maintain in life is spirituality, personal or family prayer time, things always come up to distract our attention from it, yet it could also become a stale routine or habit, if we are not careful, so maintaining a vibrant family prayer-time is a must and something that must be worked out and accepted by everybody.
As parents we cannot be seen by our kids to be hypocrites, we act and say things different depending on the place and time, in church we behave different than home, at home we say things different than at church, we tell the kids, not to say certain things outside the home. With the help of God, we must remain pure, letting our kids see our strength and our weakness, it is important for them to see that we apologize when we blow it, at the same time be strict with maintaining drawn boundaries meant to teach them lessons. More importantly, we must teach them the entire belief/doctrine of the faith we profess while pointing out falsehood, not only spiritually but intellectually (and emotionally if need be).
Teaching as a way of Life
In my studies, I have discovered that certain things are critical at certain time of development, for instance, I have read that emotional development is very critical between 0-5 years, kids without strong emotional bond at those early ages often develop some form of emotional disorder. I've learnt that intellectual knowledge is critical from ages 8-11 years as they absorb and store (in the hippocampus) whatever they are taught - this is when a lot of indoctrination takes place, what you teach (or they learn) at this time is critical. From here on they are learning, fine tuning and applying principles of life through the tough teenage years (emotional roller coaster).
As parents we must be strategic, in the path we lead or direct our children. When I arrived America, I was very sure my children would attend an Ivy League school for college (particularly Harvard, Princeton etc.), but by the time one of them was ready, I had determined even my dog would not attend such schools, because of their anti-God policies, even though they all started as seminaries (every single one of them), they now are bastions of political correctness and hotbed of the post-God era. I'll rather my child go to an average school than be indoctrinated with principles from the pit of hell, funded by me.
Directing their path include, carefully selecting their activities, from kindergarten all the way to college, the church you attend - does it have children activities like royal gangers or Awana, that actually teach them instead of playtime. Do they attend Christian camps or hang around other kids whose parents share your values, if and when they interact with unbelievers, are you around to share truth and teach them how to react or act in such situations.
As our culture change, our style of parenting must change as well (principles don't change - Hebrews 8:13), for instance, in my generation parents tell you something and simply say "because I say so", that would not cut it in a world where they have information on their finger tip, and the world is eager to teach them perversion. I have struggled and taken every opportunity, to teach my children, why we take care of our neighbors, not because we are giving back of forward, but because we are a vessel in the hand of a good God, who wants to produce fruit through us to His Glory, and that good is not necessarily what the world call good (it is an uphill task, because even churches use the stupid lingo of the world - sound good but it is a subtle perversion of God's truth).
Persevere in your engaging
I heard Dr. James Dobson; many years ago describe the activities in the brain of a teenager, as like having a V8 engine mustang (ford) but being told to drive at 40mph? This is so true when one understands the brain activity of a teenager between the ages of 15-19 (really till 25 when the brain is fully developed). In a NIH (National Institute of Health) study couple of years back, we now know that human brain is not fully developed till around age 25, and that it develops from the back forward, which means, the area of the brain that processes information (frontal lobe) is not fully develop (explains a lot, doesn't it).
In the later teen years, the kids are acting out what they've been taught and what they have stored, with a little attitude (based on personality), with the wrong crowd this season of a teenager's life could be really stressful not only for them but for the parent (what you teach them early is very very important). With hormones raging in their body, they feel invincible - they think Iíll have sex and nothing would happen (it only happen to other people not me), Iíll have a bing with alcohol and post naked pictures of myself and nothing would happen (until college is over and they need a job), even church kids would doubt their faith especially when surrounded by godless post-modern intellectuals with zero spirituality (true spirituality, not new age spirituality).
In this season of life, we as parents cannot enforce our will (it will and does backfire), what we do is engage and remain calm. We debate that child on the level that he/she is intellectually or emotionally (while praying and fasting that the seed of God in him/her would crowd out the seed of the world or God's enemy). As parents, we must educate ourselves on current issues, just so we debate our adult children, they might not agree with you, but a seed is sown that would counter whatever else is presented to that child.
My understanding from study and from older parents is that once the brain is fully developed or the kids cross over the age of 25, he/she starts to think a little rationally and that sense of invincibility disappears, perhaps because they are now forced to be responsible and now think with a developed brain. Even at this point in life, our job as parents is more on our knees, and that of an advisor.
Interceding for a Prodigal
Many of you reading this probably have prodigals (a prodigal is a child who rebel against his/her upbringing). Statistically, over 70% of kids from "Christian homes" abandon or become docile in the faith while in college. As my son, headed to college last year, I looked deeper into that statistics, just to avoid that pitfall; I also spoke with some parents who have had prodigals.
I found that almost all college kids would doubt their faith, particularly from a philosophical standpoint, the intersection of faith and science, the intersection of spirituality and intellect, etc. I found out that the groups they associate with on campus makes a huge difference (roommates, associations, fraternity etc.) and more importantly the church they attend (this gave me a new respect for my church).
For my son, I called to speak with the on-campus church pastor, did speak with him, but was not impressed, he confessed that because of the ecumenical nature of the church, his teachings are limited (more a kumbaya - feel good message), and we could not find a strong bible-teaching church in a walking or bus distance from campus. My son and I agreed that CRU (campus crusade for Christ) would be a must weekly for him, and him having a roommate with a similar AG (Assembly of God - Royal Rangers, JBQ background) from another Midwest state was a huge plus (kudos to him for that selection), him feeling comfortable to talk with Mom and Dad was also a plus.
When our child is caught in the web of the worldís ensnarement, we should not exasperate the situation by yelling, disowning or any feeling of Iíve failed that we might have (perhaps that is a learning period God, desire that child go through - like I did). Engage that child at the point of that child's need, and figure out where things went wrong with his or her thinking, or was it the pressure of hanging out with ungodly kids who see the world differently. Then intercede, I would even ask that you have people you trust interceding with you, for your prodigal to return home.
The pressure to conform to the world is going to get worse for our children in this post-God era. Everything cool is now anti-God, spirituality has been reduced from relationship with a God to putting ourselves on the throne of our lives. The media, the entertainment, the education, the religion, the economy, the family structures, the government/political apparatus are all laced with anti-God (really anti-Christianity) political correctness to be cool, and many although smart, are biblically illiterate to defend or stand for the faith (fault of the church for entertaining rather than teach at younger age groups -according to one statistics over 90% of kids who actively participated in JBQ remain in the faith during and after college).
May heaven help us as we raise Godly children to the Glory of our Father in heaven, and for the benefit of generations to come, if Christ tarries?