Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. Psalm 127:3-5
In a recent Manna, I stated that I spend 3 weeks every summer teaching 4th-12th graders at the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy in Denver. During my 9 years of doing this, I’ve observed how the gap between my worldview and that of my students grows wider every year. Consequently, it takes more and more mental building materials to bridge the gap of understanding between us. When I shared this insight with a friend, she responded, “But at least your trying to bridge the gap; most people never make the effort.”
Her comment raised this question in me: What are the consequences of failing to bridge the gap?
The fact that God has entrusted parents with the responsibility of being co-laborers with him to raise up a new generation of discerning, Kingdom-minded, scripture-directed believers, does not exempt all of us from participating in the process. God has placed these “arrows in a warriorʼs hands” to be prayerfully, skillfully shaped, directed and launched as divine weapons against the enemyʼs assaults on our family and culture.
A worldview is the framework from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. The worldview that young people develop today, determines the direction in which they will lead tomorrow. Their attitudes about truth, sexuality, justice, community, respect, God and the like, will shape the actions that they take when they become decision makers.
We cannot afford to get tired of seeking, communicating and modeling truth, because the enemy NEVER ceases in his counter-productive efforts to shape our thinking. When we take a “hands off” approach, we are choosing to “hand over” our future to our enemy because he is always “hands on”. We must actively oppose his efforts to, “capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ” (Col. 2:8).
This bridge building does not come in the form of lecture, brow-beating and incessant preaching. It flows from a heart and life that has itself been built upon the foundation of faith and thoroughly permeated with the truth of God’s word: “And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness” (Col. 2:6,7). It is communicated – verbally and visually- through life and life transfer and regular conversations.
Building bridges is hard work, but it sure is better than the alternative.