Before He returned to His place at His Father’s right hand, Jesus left us a series of commands about what we, as His true disciples, need to be filling our lives with while we await His return. We can read this Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. Every generation of Christ-followers since has held the sacred responsibility of training the youth to be salt and light in the culture to which they are assigned.
But how do we do this in our current culture?
I am well aware that this topic weighs heavily on many of our minds, causing angst almost beyond comprehension. For the sake of the word count of this post, I am going to outline the three major contributing roadblocks our youth are currently facing and also my insights into how we can effectively dismantle them.
Over the last two years, I have been studying how the digital technology age has been affecting our physical brains, and this is the first major issue I want to address. Through this journey of horrifying discovery, I have come to realize just how insidious this whole modern onslaught truly is. The reality of how differently this generation’s physical brains have developed and how this development has affected every aspect of their lives has brought me to my knees on more than one occasion. Our teenagers, especially, are feeling the ramifications of these physical affects coupled with the satanic attack on the very core of who they are and who they were created to be. This attack on identity is calculated and insidious, and it is meant to kill, steal, and destroy.
The second major issue piggybacking on our teens’ physical brain reaction to digital tech is the spiritual aspect of the messages being hurled at them. I know I don’t need to tell you that more than any other time in modern history, our culture is one of confusion and lies. What God’s Word declares to be right, has been declared hateful, and everything twisted and false has been elevated to “love and tolerance.” Threat of cancelation hangs thick in the air for anyone who would dare stand for the truth. There are so many elements with which to contend; the world has never been in this place before. It reminds me of how, in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the orcs came spilling out of the ground, overwhelming everything in their path. Over the last few years, on numerous occasions, I have stepped into the battle ring to stave off the attack on kids and teens, whom I love. I’m telling you, this battle is real.
Equip Your TEEN to Stand Against the Attack on Their IDENTITY!
Courageous Identity – Teen Edition
The third major issue is on us adults. In my work with these teens, I have seen firsthand the need for us parents and other caring adults to step up with renewed courage and knowledge about what these kids are facing. Throughout the last few years, teens have implored me to speak to the adults in their lives. They have asked me to beg my peers to recognize the need to equip ourselves to help the teens of this generation. As one of my homeschool academy students told me, with tears in their eyes: We can’t do this alone. We need our parents and teachers to know what we are facing…how we have been and are being affected by our world. We need them to help us. Another teen added: What we are facing is so much more dangerous than what my folks faced as teens. I know they are scared for us, but this isn’t the time to be afraid.
So, how do we engage in this battle? How do stand in the gap for these kids and encourage and equip them to be salt and light to this culture to which they are assigned? I believe the first step in that direction is a familiar one for us as homeschooling parents; we hit our knees. We engage in our own spiritual battle so we can lead from the front. We remember that God is not surprised or shocked by this culture, and He didn’t make a mistake by putting us and our kids here at this time in history.
Secondly, we educate ourselves. We all need to know our kids’ battles. Technology is here to stay. We need to learn how to control and manage it, so it doesn’t control and manage us or our teens. Last, but most certainly not least, we need to be extremely intentional about training our youth in the TRUTH of Who God is, who He says they are, and what His purpose is for their lives. I call this Courageous Identity. Generations of believers in the God of the Bible have been called upon to choose this day who we will serve and by whom we will be identified. Now, it’s our turn. It’s our youth’s turn.