by Richard Mansel, assistant editor
If we gather a group of strangers, they can have gripe sessions on topics such as weather, crime or the cost of living or they can complain about how bad kids are and how parents do not discipline them. There appears to be a national consensus on this latter issue.
However, if everyone is upset about the state of today’s kids and the lack of discipline in homes, then why does everything continue as normal? Everyone, we would presume would include these parents! Sadly, though, people rarely ever see themselves as part of the problem and self-evaluation is an anathema today. Therefore, nothing changes.
There is more to consider when evaluating this generation and their families than gripes and beefs. It is a vastly more complex situation than many realize.
Tom Brokaw called the World War II generation, the “Greatest Generation.” It is popular to attempt a sweeping name for each new generation. At present, we have “Generation Y” growing up before us. /1
A better name might be, “The Most Difficult Generation.”
Calling them the “Most Difficult Generation,” does not mean they are the worst behaved, although many think they have earned the title. Instead, they are the “Most Difficult Generation” because at no time in American history has it ever been more difficult to be a young person. They deserve our encouragement and help rather than our ridicule and condemnation. They need Christ and we must find a way to reach them.
By calling these the most difficult times is not to say that moral and spiritual challenges are new (1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10-17). There is truly “nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, NKJV).
The explosion of technology, however, does make this the most difficult generation in which to grow up in. During the first few generations of the United States, all the young people really knew was what they heard and saw in their own narrow neighborhoods. Their perspective of the world was severely limited.
As the burgeoning mass media reached the nation, things incrementally began to change. Language, style and mannerisms began to normalize and national trends prospered. Society was closer to the way God desired, prior to mass entertainment. Over time we moved further and further away. The isolated young person began to disappear as the world moved ever closer.
Young people today have the world –and all of its sins– brought to them through the outlet of the mass media in unprecedented ways. It screams at us from everywhere.
We may try to keep them from every aspect of increasing technologies, but what happens when they are no longer under our watchful eye? We must help them properly utilize them as Christians, so they will be better equipped when they are older or away from us.
Every depravity known to the human imagination is available today to anyone who chooses to look for it on the internet. /2 Sexual innuendo saturates everything in our society. As a result, kids have lost the privilege of innocence.
At very tender ages, the world exposes them to shocking things. In public schools, they learn reading, writing, arithmetic and raunch as sex education increasingly grows in our schools at younger ages, the homosexual lifestyle is seemingly reverenced as holy and all they hear all day is about their classmate’s sexual exploits.
Worthy role models are almost impossible to find in today’s media world. So, parents feel more isolated and frustrated than ever before. Evil is more predatory in our age so parents cannot leave their kids alone and expect them to turn out right any more. We must be as aggressive as the evil we face.
We will examining some ways that we can help the “Most Difficult Generation” and their families maneuver the unprecedented challenges they face in future articles.
2/ I discuss these attacks on our faith at my blog: