A perfect storm is only perfect from the stand point that conditions couldn’t be any worse. For those that know me, I’m an optimist. Yes I’m the anyoying, “wow, that is a nice cup of water” kind of guy. So to focus on the negative side of things goes against my nature.
However, I’ve recently been spending some time focused on the perfect storm when giving parenting seminars and during sermons.
I run into two groups of people. Those with their heads in the sand that believe that things aren’t that bad and that kids just need to “grow up and get a job”. They often tell stories about what things were like when they were growing up; not for the sake of empathy but to dismiss the challenges kids and families are facing.
The other group is panicked and heading to the bunkers with their kids and emergency supply of food. To them the world is a scary place and the only chance their kids have is to be bubble wrapped and under their wing.
In both cases, parents aren’t helping kids. In the first, kids aren’t helped in dealing with the reality that there really is a perfect storm that is forming in which kids are the attack. It is becoming the norm for kids to grow up with a relationship deficit. Growing up without an involved dad, in a single a parent home, not attending church, not being mentored or apprenticed, not knowing neighbors, being in a huge classroom at school and not being connected with grandparents. Then there is the massive attack that is coming from the glut of internet pornography, cyber bullying, escapism based gaming, sexual confusion and long term exposure to violence. Finally drug use is being normalized and access to drugs and alcohol is easier than ever. We are dealing with a level of hopelessness in which teens don’t expect to find a marriage that lasts, a job that satisfies and relationships that sustain.
To those that think things aren’t too bad I share the purpose statement of Satan which is to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus shared it in John 10:10 just exactly what Satan is up to. But more importantly, Jesus also revealed what he was up to. “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly”.
So for the first group I remind them that there is a storm that they need to protect their kids from but for the second group that is terrified and hiding their kids, I remind them that Jesus came to give abundance rather than fear.
Here are a couple things that I hope you take away.
1. The storm is real and kids are being physically, emotionally and spiritually stolen, killed and destroyed like never before.
2. We have a responsibility to restore as many support systems for kids as possible. We need to strengthen marriages, families, churches, communities and schools to fulfill their purpose.
3. We need to personally get involved in the solution.
The perfect storm is brewing but at the same time the perfect answer is already with us.
Question: How are things becoming even more challenging for kids growing up and what areas should be focus on to experience the abundant life despite these things?