Jeremiah 29:10-14a -
"For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord:
While in Bible college, there was a pastor who drilled into my mind the phrase "Inspect what you expect." To my shame it took a while for that to sink in as to exactly what it meant. Basically the idea behind it is you may expect someone to do something, but you had better check up to make sure it's been done. That philosophy has come in handy in my life, and I occasionally find myself quoting it. The application here is simple - parents, we instill in our children certain expectations. The reason why just over half of our young people expect a pure spouse at the altar is that is all the expectation we have given them. In the quoted passage at the beginning of this post, the Lord made known His expectation. He had a plan for them, which probably at the time didn't seem very likely nor did they feel really confident in its success. But through reassurance and repetition, His expectation became theirs. What do we expect from and for our youth? Sadly, too often, we expect no more than the world. We are often guilty of basing our views on the culture instead of Christ. Some would argue that we expect too much - Have you read the words of Jesus Christ lately? He went much deeper than we do. We generally stop with the exterior, but He always goes to the heart, because that is where everything originates.(Prov. 4:23)(Matt. 15:18-19) All sin originates from the heart; any act committed on the outside started from the inside. We have a responsibility to know what is going on in the life of our child. Proverbs 27:23 gives a principle regarding our material possessions that can also be applied to any area that we are responsible to oversee. Are we fulfilling that responsibility? Are we training our young people to keep their heart under wraps that they not allow anything or anyone to steal it away? God commands us to love him with all our heart, etc.(Matt. 22:37) That is really hard for anyone, much less a young person, to do when they are feeding and building desires of lust in their heart because they have not been instructed to be pure.
What do our young people expect? Simply what we have instilled in them. Our responsibility is to be continually inspecting their expectations, being confident that our expectations are in line with our heavenly Father's expectations, that we might receive "thoughts of peace and not of evil" to receive an expected end.