By: D. A. Slinkard

The world is changing whether we like it or not, and it has been since the beginning of time. I want to clarify that when I write the beginning of time, I am not talking about a big bang or a combustible explosion. I am talking about Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. Please notice that this is not a question, this is not a suggestion, but this is a definitive statement about what God did. We, Americans, are always trying to live a better life than what we have known before, and I have a suggestion that starts with Genesis 1:1 and ends at Revelation 22:21.

We need to dive into God’s word and really take a hold of what the scripture says. I have written about the generational gaps before and what ails society, but let us take the Good Book and turn to Psalm 22:6. According to the King James Bible, this scripture states, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This sounds like some sound advice, especially since we have many parents who simply want to be a “friend” rather than a parent to their kids. We wonder what has happened to society, but we must first look at how we parent and then question the change that has taken place.

What would our society be like if we truly trained up a child in the ways of the Lord? We have a societal foundation that has been weakened over time due to the changes our society has had to deal with. We have seen changes in the dynamics of families in which over fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. We have parents who are playing different roles than what God intended, and we have a society that has allowed confusion to take place simply because we do not want to hurt someone’s feelings. The reality is that life is going to smack many people in the face because we have not raised our children up in a manner that prepares them for the road ahead.

What does that mean? It means the future of our society rests solely upon those reading this article who have already created life and those who in the future will create life. You have a responsibility, a duty, and an obligation to train your child in the ways of the Lord. Some people might ask what that means, and the reality is that you already know what it means. We need to get back to the biblical principles we had so long ago. The world has become so wicked and such a dark place that it could leave a person feeling hopeless.

When we feel hopeless, this is the time we need to search out and find the positives of life. Not everything is going to be a bed of roses throughout life, but we need to train our children for those times. We need to train them with the right mindset and beliefs when it comes to dealing with the negativity of life. If we train up a child in the way he should go, when times get tough he will know where to turn and hopefully not falter. Sadly, though, we have failed to do what the Bible instructs us and that has created fear of the “what ifs” in life.

I jokingly told a friend the other day that worrying works because ninety percent of what we worry about never comes to fruition. I think about some of the things in my life, what would have happened if I had only been better trained on XYZ. How different would my life be? How different would my kid’s life be if someone would have just shown me? Sometimes we have to figure things out for ourselves, but when we do figure it out, we need to be able to properly demonstrate it to our children.

As a society we love our children so much we do not want them to fail, but our helicopter-parenting style is promoting dependent children versus independent children. We have to train our kids in the way they need to go. Let them make mistakes but just know that when they get older, they will not depart from these ways. If we are to have any kind of hope for our future, we must have certain expectations for our children, and the training of them needs to begin as quickly as possible to impact tomorrow’s world.
By: D. A. Slinkard
D.A. Slinkard is the manager of the Athens Staples store

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