Our church is a praying church. People in the community and friends of members often ask for us to pray for them. A school teacher requested prayer for her daughter who was a drug addict. When she went missing, there was general panic in their circle of family and friends.
Sadly, the prayers were too late. She was found dead in her car at a shopping mall. The car had been sitting in the same place for seven days and no one even noticed. She died from an overdose of heroin. Oh, the risks people take. The dangers they ignore. The willingness to dip their toe into deep waters until they sink in so far it’s too late to turn back.
They’re caught in a vice. They lose control in a downward spiral that ends badly. Their names are found on missing person’s reports, in obituaries and on tombstones. Others try to help, but cannot supply the will to live nor the decision that plunges their loved one into a gut-wrenching tragedy. Warnings have no effect. Peer pressure drives their actions. The end game is sometimes final.
Like most teens, I walked that narrow ledge. What kept me from crossing over? I didn’t want to hurt my parents. I knew that a failure on my part would crush them. Their love kept me close and harnessed my wild flights of fancy.
The state of the family in 2015 is a sad one. Children are disobedient and disrespectful to parents and they disdain authority. Gangs are taking the place of family in some communities. Parents, for the most part, are working to keep the family financially afloat. They are absent and uninvolved in their children’s activities. Rampant divorce has created homes without fathers and mothers who try to be both.
Love is not always enough. Parents often lack time and desire to give their children more of themselves. Unsupervised kids roam the streets and get into trouble. Children not only need to hear the words “I love you,” on a regular basis. They need to have it affirmed in action. When you spend more time with them, they see that you mean what you say.
Children today need hope in the future. Their lives need to be grounded in something larger than themselves. Secular parents prize what money can buy more than they do the lives of their children. Prayer is something they may participate in once or twice a year on Easter and Christmas or never. Faith is a word many have never heard of, let alone practice; some willingly and others from ignorance.
Parents need to get back to their roots. In addition to the love that should bind families, traditions and culture provide the arms that encircle us and link us to our ancestors. Foundations of faith, service and promise were once strong and sound. Today they are crumbling around us and we wonder what has happened?
History does repeat itself. If we want to survive in this dangerous world, we must learn its lessons and build our own dreams on the building blocks that those who have gone before have built for us.