“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”
It’s no secret that today’s youth have their work cut out for them. And so do the parents, teachers, coaches, student pastors, and other adult influencers of these kids. All of these leaders must dig extra deep to offer a generous dose of Christian hope.
If today’s youth continue to hear, “I’d hate to be you” or “I can’t imagine living in your shoes,” they may grow weary. They may even think, So my situation looks hopeless to you? Think about it. Is it possible that we are unintentionally creating despair in our youth? Is our pessimism adding to their hopelessness? If so, isn’t it time we change our tone a bit? Is there not hope, Christian? Or have we built our confidence on the quicksand of the “American Dream”? If so, get ready to be disillusioned, if you aren’t already.
To make matters worse, the church at large is in a tenuous state, and these kids are waffling with doubts. Many Christian teens who really want to live for Christ muse about their future and think, So, it’s possible that I’ll inherit trillions of dollars of debt, I won’t be able to land a job after college, I’m may get persecuted for my faith, and chances are my marriage won’t last. And oh, to top it off, I’m constantly being told by skeptics that my faith is a joke. Some life.
Both families and churches need to get in touch with what these kids are feeling and use what they reveal to build out an equipping strategy of hope. Our kids need to know the darker it gets, the more their light can shine. Like Esther, they need to know that they’ve been created for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). They need to know that every obstacle is an opportunity to lead large. And by all means, they need to know that the Christian adults in their lives are ready to lead the way, hope style.
Thought to Ponder
No matter how hopeless our culture gets, the gospel always promises a hopeful future.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Question to Consider
What are some ways that you can be a voice of hope for today’s youth?