Recently, a person asked me about my husband’s mission work with young people in Europe and Costa Rica. As we talked, she said “Somebody needs to help the young people here in the United States. More and more of them are turning to atheism.” I told her that some foreign countries actually send missionaries here. She was surprised to hear that.
As the day went on, I became troubled about our young people because I knew that what she said is absolutely true. But why? Then the scripture came to me from Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Although this was spoken in the Old Testament regarding the Israelites, the same principle applies as a natural consequence of not knowing or embracing the Word of God. God’s Word is truth and leads us to an understanding of God’s saving grace through Christ. It allows us to understand the nature of God, gives us purpose and security, teaches us how to live and how to love others.
God’s Word is our map, our blueprint as we pass through this earthly life on our way to our eternal home in heaven. We all know that life is difficult at times. We all feel overwhelmed on occasion. The most intelligent among us don’t always know which way to go or what choices to make. We get hurt by others and sometimes hurt those closest to us. Life isn’t always fair but God is just.
We try to be individuals but end up conforming in the process. We strive to excel only to feel we haven’t achieved enough, clinging to monetary security only to want more. We seek to capture our youth and vitality only to watch helplessly as it slips through our hands. Life actually doesn’t make a lot of sense apart from the knowledge of God’s Word. There are many discrepancies and contradictions in life that don’t add up without the knowledge of a loving and righteous Creator – without a relationship with Him.
So what can we do to help our young people to, first of all, come to a saving knowledge of Christ, and then to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God’s Word? How can we equip them to soar above the evil and deceptions of the world – to protect them and guide them? Have we as parents and churches let them down by diluting the power of God in our own lives? Have we settled for a form of godliness but denied the power thereof, relying on head knowledge rather than a transformed heart and life? Have we become milk toast and lukewarm instead of having an authentic and relevant relationship with Christ? Do we look and act so much like the world that our young people have a hard time distinguishing any difference? Have we been so busy building our careers or chasing our own happiness that we either don’t take the time or feel unqualified to be our child’s spiritual leader?
This is all food for thought, but one thing we can’t deny is the crisis among our youth. Maybe it’s time for us to figure out how throw them a lifeline.