"Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck." Proverbs 1:8-9
I'm sure as we read the verse above, we can all think of at least one young person we have tried to give advice to who has gone their own way instead.
Well, I'm not writing to talk to them today. I'm talking to us. I'm talking to those of us that have lived long enough to have made a few mistakes and lived to tell about it.
It has been my experience that we often want to give our younger generation advice in the form of instruction. But don't you remember how well you responded at their age when told not to do something? That made me all the more eager to try it for myself.
I don't believe our teens and young people need any more instructors. BUT they DO need mentors! They need someone to come along side them and build them up and to speak God's truths into their hearts. They need someone who is not afraid to tell them where they have been.
How can we blame them for making our mistakes again and repeating history when we don't share with them the consequences of our own shortcomings? The enemy would have us believe that everything will be alright if we just remain silent. That speaking out will only bring us guilt and shame; that no one will listen to a messed up person like us. Can I just tell you what a LIE that is?
Christ came to set the captives free and in Isaiah 61 He tells us all the things He came to give us! He says we can have beauty for ashes, gladness instead of mourning, He says that we can be rebuilt and rebuild!! I don't know about you, but that excites me down to the depths of my soul!
Those verses tell me that God wants to heal me, He wants to set me free from my guilt and my shame and THEN He wants to use me! He does not intend for me to tuck my past away and keep it swept under the rug. How then, will He receive the full glory of what He has done in our lives if we never tell anyone? Everything we have ever gone through can be used by Him. It doesn't matter if we brought that circumstance on our self or if it was brought on us by the actions of another. God. can. USE. it!
I have made my share of mistakes. I have been an alcoholic, I have been sexually promiscuous, I have had an abortion...and the list goes on. I am not proud of where I have been but I am determined that God will be given the glory through those things. I will speak truth into the hearts of our youth to try and let them see that "there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death," (Proverbs 14:12).
Our kids do not need another sermon, they need a living example. They need us to show interest in them. They need us to share our story. They need to see God's love walked out in real life. Let us pray for God to show us a young person that we can pour ourselves into - they are waiting!