In an insightful article, the author Carey Nieuwhof identifies the answer to this question:
“Christians teach their kids stories like David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, and then spend all their time trying to make sure no one gets hurt, nothing gets lost and everyone is ‘safe’ in the end. The disconnect is profound if you think about it. Read the Bible. Live the opposite way: Don’t trust God. Play it safe. Live an insignificant life. Risk nothing.”
There it is, parents and grandparents-our descendants are unfamiliar with risk. We will never inspire the next generation by playing it safe when God calls for frequent risk-it-all commitments. How do we engage the next generation in God-given revelation and RISK?
This means they must feel the full weight of personal, family, and church responsibilities that progressively expose them to the possibility of insightful failure.
Lamentations 3:27 “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.”
This requires today’s youth to have a tangible connection not just with ancient heroes of the faith but also twenty-first century contemporaries to mimic that engage their physical and spiritual senses.
Php 4:9 “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
The kids in your family and mine must learn how to sense the prompting and power of the Holy Spirit in a world full of sensuality, deception, and pessimism. We have too many “strong-willed” children and too few “waxing strong” in God’s Spirit.
I Th 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The knowledge we are referring to is less factual and more experiential-a tried and true experience that can only be birthed through difficulty, failure, and ultimately victory.
Ro 5:3-5a “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed.”
Before our young people we’re just not trusting God nearly enough. We teach our children stories like David and Goliath, and then sadly try to ensure no one gets hurt. According to Tim Elmore, “Our world needs resilient adults not fragile ones.” The only way our homes and churches can produce resilient adults is if they mobilize youths who are extremely familiar with sanctified “risk-management.”
To raise the caliber of our offspring means to raise the bar of our challenges. It is not that we ask too much. We ask and expect too little. I believe some of the greatest heroes and heroines of Christianity are in pimple-ridden bodies right now! Will we galvanize their hearts, bodies, and spirits in the good fight with our RISKY influence?
What other helps come to your mind to “dewimp” the youth of our day?