Encouragement / family building

What me? Grow up?

 The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose

all the other ages you’ve been.

                                                                              Madeleine L’Engle

Elementary school class outsideThe Saturday before Easter, my husband and I were interacting with about 100 children who had come to church for a festival. We asked about a dozen 9 and 10 year-olds if they were feeling all grown up.  I remember when I turned 9, it seemed like such a big step toward adulthood.  I was given additional responsibilities and allowed to venture further from the nest.

To our surprise, several of the kids said they were not excited about getting older. They would, they assured us, be happy to remain children.

I let this knowledge sink in for a while before setting it under the overheadlights.  Why would this be the response from typically carefree children, who should be seeing the future set before them in many beautiful ways?

  1. Is it possible that children are buckling under the stress of watching their parents try to make a go-of-it under  increasingly difficult financial circumstances? The economy has grown slightly, but have you felt any relief?
  2. Even though we try to shelter small children from the calamities of the instant news cycle, some of it seeps into their lives. Do they see the worry on our faces? Do they have an innate sense that all is not right with the world?
  3. Is the presence of cell phones and tablets taking our children away from the essence of stability that the family should be providing?
  4. Are violent games the joy stick to depression and fear?

I hope you will also chime in with your conjecture because I have no answers, only more questions.

Regardless of what has caused this reticence, I hold adults accountable. We must change our messaging and convey to our children that as adults they will not find themselves orbiting in some unknown universe where they can never plant their feet on firm ground.

The greatest gift we can give them is the knowledge that there is a God who has their best interests at heart…that He knows and loves them…and wants them to grown into adults so they can fully realize the talents He has instilled in their DNA.

Growing up in a world without hope is a terrible way to live. And life without a knowledge of God is frankly, a living hell.  It is up to us to let our children know that God exists and will be there for them, even if the adults in their lives will not.

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