In this message from August 1955, Billy Graham describes problems that seem hauntingly similar to those of today. And the answer to every one of those problems is still the same—Jesus Christ.
Many Christian parents are becoming fearful that they cannot properly train their children in this lawless and wicked age. We have received scores of letters in our office asking, “What is the answer? What can I do with my son? My daughter?”
We are beginning to reap what has been sown for the past generation. We have taught the philosophy of the devil, who says, “Do as you please.” Behaviorism has been the moral philosophy of much of our education in the past few years. Psychiatrists have told parents to let their children do as they please, lest in restraining them they may warp the children’s personalities.
We have taken God out of our educational systems and thought we could get away with it. We have sown the wind, and we are now reaping the whirlwind. We have laughed at God, religion and the Bible.
Many of our educational leaders sneer at the old-fashioned idea of God and a moral code. Movies feature sex, sin, crime and alcohol. Teenagers see these things portrayed alluringly on the screen and decide to go and try them. Newspapers have played up crime and sex until they seem glamorous to our young people.
Instead of publicizing the good and constructive things that teenagers do, we have played up the sensational lawbreaker. We have taught our young people that morals are relative and not absolute.
At the heart of the problem is the failure of parents in the home. Evangelist Billy Sunday once said, “If you want to lick the devil, hit him over the head with a cradle.” Parents today are not interested, apparently, in defeating the devil in the home. There seems to be little parental responsibility for discipline. Children are allowed to go wild.
One parent said, “I pay for my boy’s clothes, I feed him. I give him an allowance; what more do you expect of me?” Many parents do not realize that they are responsible for their children’s mental and spiritual growth and character building, as well as for feeding and clothing them. If parents fail, God is going to hold them responsible.
I want to give a few suggestions to Christian parents. First, take time with your children. Your children not only require a great deal of your time, but they long and hunger for it. Perhaps they do not express it, but the hunger and longing are there just the same. Love them; spend hours with them. Cut out some of your so-called “important social engagements” and make your home the center of your social life. God will honor you, and your children will grow up to call you blessed (see Proverbs 31:28).
Second, give your children ideals for living. Teach them moral and spiritual principles of life. Show them that only the morally and spiritually right attain genuine satisfaction in life.
Third, set your children a good example. A well-known story illustrates this point. It was the usual custom for a lawyer who walked to his office every morning to stop at the corner tavern for a drink. One morning when the snow had fallen, he heard a sound behind him. Turning, he saw his 7-year-old son stepping as far as he could in his father’s tracks in the new-fallen snow.
The father turned around and said, “Son, what are you doing?” The son replied, “I’m stepping in your tracks.” The father sent his son back home, but that morning he couldn’t go to the tavern; all he could think of was a boy stepping in his father’s tracks.
When he was studying for his law case that day the boy’s words kept returning, “I’m stepping in your tracks.” About noon the father got down on his knees and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and said, “From now on I want my son to step in the tracks of a Christian father.”
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SOURCE: Charisma News