|Fulbe youth (Fula youth), Mauritania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Honor and enjoy your Creator while you’re still young,
Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes,
Before your vision dims and the world blurs
And the winter years keep you close to the fire.
The Message (MSG)
The time of youth is often the time of rebellion, irrational behavior, and egocentric focus. When we are young, strong, and full of vitality we can feel indestructible with the attitude that we only need tend to our feelings of the moment without any regard to the future. Unfortunately many young people don't think they need a loving God ruling over their lives. Instead they create their own gods and try to take charge of everything themselves.
An awareness of grower older often hits us at inopportune times in our lives. At some point we find ourselves as members of the generation for which we may have once felt disdain. We become the adversary of youth and the advocate of orderly existence. Eventually we are the old, the feeble, and the diminishing in health as we become at the mercy of that generation of which we were once a part.
If only we could see things of the future through our eyes of youth. When we have good examples in our parents and elders there is an opportunity to learn and better understand. Parents have a responsibility toward the children they bring into this world just as the children have a responsibility to listen and to respect their elders. Fortunately sometimes this happens. Sadly it sometimes doesn't.
The cycle of youth to middle age to old age continues. The attitudes don't seem to change much. Parents must capture the minds and imaginations of the children when they are malleable and more receptive to receiving the important messages of the ages. The child gets older and eventually dies as will their children. The sacred message of the Scripture must be planted in their minds when they are listening to those who are older. Attempting to teach youth in rebellion is a tough task that usually ineffectual.
Children, obey your parents the way the Lord wants. This is the right thing to do. The command says, “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first command that has a promise with it. The promise is: “Then everything will be well with you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
Fathers, do not make your children angry, but raise them with the training and teaching of the Lord.
International Children’s Bible (ICB)