How shall the young secure their hearts and guard their lives from sin? Thy Word, the choicest rules impart to keep the conscience clean!
Where in the world can young people learn what is holy and pure and right? The words of that old song clearly and lovingly convey the solitary truth that Biblical guidance is really the only way that our young people can survive in a world full of wickedness (I John 2:15-17). Even though they may not tell us directly, our young people desire some things of us every single time we see them:
Encouragement – In a world of sarcasm, put-downs, hurt, pain, and rejection, young people secure their hearts through encouragement in doing what is right. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:14). Whenever they begin to show characteristics of Christ, encourage them!
Example – Paul said, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1). More than ever, our young people need to see godly men and women standing up and imitating Christ. Parents and grandparents need to be committed to the cause of Christ. Young eyes are watching you and watching where you place your priorities! They need so badly to know that things like courage, character, and integrity are REAL THINGS even though our world portrays them as myth.
Teaching – Christianity is new to them! Teaching can be as simple as pointing out situations that are potentially dangerous and spiritually harmful (and young people face them daily). There are literally millions of opportunities to teach young people each day how to become godly people. Do we as adults have the spiritual eyes to see and the courage to teach?
Correction – Where there is no boundary, there is no love (Hebrews 12:7-11). Solomon said, “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15). Correcting our children now, and helping them understand right and wrong will keep them (and us) from much heartache and suffering later on in their lives.
Brothers and sisters, love, wisdom, courage, and especially time are all required of us if we as God’s people wish to secure the hearts of our young people.
Graeber Road church of Christ