Saturday, December 22, 2018

What Happened To Loyalty and Kindness?

Proverbs 3:1-3 My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live for many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.

Solomon was teaching his child the importance of being loyal and kind.  This is in contrast to what Jesus said would happen in the last days where loyalty and kindness would cease to exist in the family.

The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. Luke 12:53

One of the indicators that we are living in the end times is the way families have become divided.   There is a great divide between the younger generation and their parents; whether God’s commandments are valid and worth obeying or rejecting. We see it in how families are broken and dysfunctional.  

There is a very definite division between the generations, but mainly even among families who were raised in a Christian family or consider themselves Christian. Young people hook up, they do not follow God’s commandments concerning sexual purity and marriage; this is true in Christian as well as non-Christian contexts. The words “I hate God” and “I hate Christ,” and “I hate you” may not have been said yet in so many words from their mouths, but their lives and their actions shout it out to all who have ears to hear.

 In the past, elders’ experiences were valued, and their children listened to them. Estrangement did happen, but it appeared to be reserved for parents cutting off a wayward child — the “black sheep” of the family.

After WWII, parents became more flexible and affectionate with their children.  Previous conventional wisdom had been that child-rearing should focus more on building discipline.  So, maybe the seed of children cutting off their parents started with us. We boomers were the first generation with parents who were ultra-concerned about making sure their children had a “better” childhood than they had.

A familiar story among parents who have estranged adult children is how much they had focused on their children, how much they did to make sure their children had all the best advantages, made them the center of the family universe — and often how they treated them more like an equal or an adult than a child.

Has a change in parenting style led to the rise of narcissism in subsequent generations over time, resulting in the ability of children to cut off their parents without much thought or concern for the consequences?  The society we live in is one where if someone no longer supports the view you have of yourself — get rid of them!

Developing the character of loyalty and kindness starts in the home adjusting our schedule to meet the spiritual needs of our children.

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