Wednesday, August 26, 2009


We have come near the end of our research. We have asked 30 questions to Independent Fundamental Baptist Teens. The 31st question was not really a question, but rather a listing. It read,
My top 5 goals in life after graduating are (list in order of importance)

Indeed, this was a very open ended question. I feared that their would be so many different answers that arriving at a sensible result would be difficult. This was not the case. While there were a few non-popular results, over 90% of the answers were the same. Listed below are the top 5 goals for our IFB teens for their life after graduating; these are listed in order of importance to our teens:
1. Marriage
2. College Degree
3. Serving God
4. Successful Career

So what does one make out of this? Is their anything wrong with having the desire to be married or to receive a college degree or be successful at a career? No, not at all. I am sure we all wish that "Serving God" was number one on everyone's heart, but it was not by about 20%. The top two answers were by far the most prevelant: getting married and obtaining a college degree.
Where do they get these priorities? I believe they have obtained them for the most part from us. Who is 'us?' Parents, pastors, teachers, youth pastors, mentors. We have made 'success' to equal a spouse, two kids, own a home, dog, and a good job to support it all. I see parents 'satisfied' with their kids as long as they have these things. They may not be in the 'church' that parents desire them to be in, but at least they have a home, spouse, job, kids, and a dog. I mean, they still believe in God, they pray over their meals, and are sending your grandchildren to a Christian school. Plus, they are making money, have good insurance, and are living 'safe.' I have learned so much this past year in studying and reading about this 'epidimic' we have. First Baptist Hammond, Ken Ham, and others have written books and conducted seminars on the same topic. Even 'churches' (not truly a church, but claim to be) such as Willowbrook have conducted research the last two years as to the epidimic. The Southern Baptist Convention recently began studying the problem. So what is the answer? I will do my best to share what I have learned and vision next week. But for now, may we look at our young people's dreams and goals and ponder...what do I want for my children? It is easy to say, "Serve God," but by our actions, words, monetary investments, and time-what are we showing our children we desire for them?
Genesis four and five are some of those 'geneaology' chapters. Chapter four is all about the line of Cain. There we read of entrepeneurs, builders, owners, rich, famous, musicians, iron workers, builders of cities, and more. They were so successful. In contrast in Genesis five we read the line of Seth. The most any accomplished was that they "lived so many years and begat sons and daughters and died." No entrepeneurs, no rich, no iron workers, no city builders, no famous musicians. But, which was more successful? It was the line of Seth that 'found grace in the eyes of the Lord,' that 'walked with God and was not for God took him,' and that 'lived nine hundred sixyt and nine years.' It was this line that made an ark, will preach durring the tribulation, and produced the Saviour. The other line, 'perished in the flood' along with their successes and inventions.
We are not called to train up our children to be a builder, musician, or ownder; but rather 'in the way he should go.' We are a success when our children rise up to serve the Lord. They may not be great owners, builders, bankers, or officials-but should they serve God-they are a success.
I hear so often, "My child turned out all right, they stay out of trouble. So does my desk, but it's not a success. May we desire to sow in our children seeds of Godliness that will produce goals of Godliness.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"...but obey their father's commandment."

The above phrase is taken from Jeremiah 35:14, the account of the family of the Rechabites. In this account, which I have previously referenced, God tells Jeremiah to hold up this family as an example of faithfulness and obedience to the people of Judah. They also set a pretty good example for us today, when so many of our families are falling by the wayside. But what is truly amazing to me is that when studying a little further, I discovered Jonadab was not their father. This account in Jeremiah takes place in the time of king Jehoikim, one of the last kings of Judah. Jonadab lived in the time of Jehu, approximately 240 years earlier. In other words, for about ten to twelve generations, this family had passed on the teaching and instruction of this one man Jonadab. Stop and think about that for a moment( or in Bible terms - Selah ). That would be similar to the descendants of George Washington still living today following his teachings. So, how did he do it, you ask? I believe there are several principles that we can learn from this man's life.
#1. Jonadab took a stand for God.
We see this in the account of II Kings 10:15-28, when Jehu the king came to him looking for a man to stand with him against the wicked worshippers of Baal.
#2. Jonadab practiced what he preached.
I believe this is evident in the clear views that are presented by his descendants two and a half centuries later. There was no argument about what he said or what he meant.
#3. Jonadab was personally involved in the teaching of his children.
He didn't assume they were just going to get it at the temple, or in school. Three times in the account in Jeremiah, the phrases commanded and charged are used. he exemplified the instructions God gives in Deuteronomy 6:1-9. How can I know that for sure? We reap what we sow. It can't possibly be luck or coincidence that a man's descendants, two hundred plus years down the road, are still following his commands.
So, can we have the success of Jonadab? Yes, I believe we can. But I believe the reason we're not, judging by the poll, is not that our youth aren't listening or learning - it's that we aren't teaching them the things they need to know. Fathers - it's up to us. Mother's - if Dad is not there, it's up to you( see Timothy for case in point ). Point is, parents, we have a great responsibility, and from what I've seen in my few years is that responsibility has been ignored, because to many dads and too many moms quite frankly don't want to grow up. Men are living to pursue pleasure instead of promoting principle; woman are living to build a career instead of building character in their children; and the children are left on their own to "find themselves."
May God help us to restore a broken foundation, the family.