What is Happening to Our Young People?

Most of our denominational schools have been in existence for 20-25 years. It was around 1975 that the doors of several of our schools were first opened, many of them with only a few grades and a few students. Since then many things have happened. We could write about the growth of the schools, bigger buildings, and increased enrollment. But these are just external things. There are things that are more important.

The world in which our students live is quite different than it was in 1975. One only needs to think of the series of incidents across our nation, in which young people were killed by young people, to know that our young people are changing. Everyone is asking, "Why?

What is happening to our young people?" They are surrounded with so much. They have so much. And yet this happens. Why? What is happening to our young people? I think there are several issues that lie at the root of why we see differences - differences about which we ought to be concerned.

1. Money Our young people have more today than they ever did before. Well-meaning parents buy their kids cars, the latest clothes, the latest games. They try to please their children and give them everything they want. Kids are spoiled. They are always looking for something new. But worldly goods and worldly pleasures do not fill. They in fact, are empty.

2. Pleasure Along with money comes many, many forms of entertainment. Young people go places and do things that previous generations were not able to do. For many, life is living for the next night of pleasure. They are used to being pleased. They are not used to being disappointed. They have a habit of emotional highs. But there are significant gaps of emptiness in between.

3. Authority Many young people have been taught to question authority. The wisdom accumulated by previous generations has been set aside. It’s considered prudent for them to reexamine, to start over, to think fresh and new, to make their own decisions. But on what standard are these decisions made? They are not made on Biblical standards,

4. Role Models Young people today lack good role models. Who do they have to look up to, to imitate, to follow? They see the hypocrisy in many and shrug it all off and say, "What does it matter?" There is no one to follow. They are drifting. Where?

5. Speed and Convenience Everything is fast for young

people - everything is convenient. They can have whatever they want today, immediately. But most good things come with patience and endurance, after a long time. Immediate things are often detrimental in the long run. Things of an impulse are often bad.

6. Commitment Many young people are no longer committed. Ask any employer how hard it is to find young people with a sense of responsibility, and they will confirm that. Young people (and others too) serve themselves. Allegiance to a cause or purpose gives way when it conflicts with personal aims.

7. Religion Hardly any young people today are religious anymore. They have seen the emptiness, the fallacy of empty religions and have rejected it. Churches are empty. Faith is not proven. Faith in the unseen is out of vogue. To live dependently on a divine being is old- fashioned. There is no fear of death or eternity.

8. Apathy Many young people just - live. Nothing matters. They just hang out. Their clothes tell it. Their life shows it. Their work ethic reveals it. Whatever happens, happens. Emptiness. Now although perhaps our young people are exempt from the worst excesses of things, they (like we all are) also influenced by these things. They live in a very different world today. Young people crave and need guidance. They need to be taught. And so we need to look at ourselves, their instructors. Here are some questions for each of us:

1. What kind of things have value? What kind of things are important? What do they hear from us? What do they see in us?

2. What kind of role models are we for them? What are we living for? Money? Pleasure? What example do we show? Are we committed? What is our religion? What kind of authority figures are we? Are we too lenient? Do we live in their world, understand their world?

3. What are we teaching, by example, concerning things of eternity? We can say things easily, but what do we live?

4. Finally, are we concerned about our young people? Is there a burden for them? Do we pray for them? When they appear religiously cold and dead, do we look within? What has been my life?

What a privilege it is that even in our day, when there is so much to oppose our children’s welfare, we may still have a school where together we may seek to train them. We do not have to sacrifice them to the Molech of this world. Oh, how we should value the blessing we may still have. How we should be grateful to still have a Christian school. May we seek for God’s blessing upon all we try to do each day.