Aches and Praise Six Hundred & Twenty Six

September 8, 2023

Dear friends,  

At this time of year, when children are back in school (or beginning their first year in school), memories of my teachers come to mind. One of my favourite teachers in high school was Alfred Ramcharan, who phoned me and others in his class, the night before an exam, to ask if we had questions about the mathematics that he taught so well. He was the first person from Trinidad that I met and he was a great example of someone dedicated to helping students succeed.

In his book “No Reason to Hide,” Dr. Erwin Lutzer, who served as the senior pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago for 36 years, writes: “We as parents and grandchildren must remember that those who teach our children and grandchildren have a powerful influence over them. Let us be sobered by the words of Jesus: ‘Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.’ Luke 6:39-40 (ESV)

Dr. Lutzer quotes Dr. Luis Rojos Marcos, a psychiatrist: “There is a silent tragedy that is growing today in our homes, and it is about our most beautiful jewelry: our children. Our children are in a devastating emotional state! Over the past 15 years, researchers have given us increasingly alarming stats on a steady and acute increase in childhood mental illness now approaching epidemic proportions:

Stats don’t lie:

  • 1 in 5 children have mental health issues
  • A 43% increase was seen in ADHD
  • A 37% increase in adolescent depression has been observed
  • A 200% increase in the suicide rate among children aged 10 to 14 has been observed.

Dr. Marcos goes on to say that today’s children are being ‘deprived of the foundations of a healthy childhood,’ which includes parents who are available, healthy boundaries, responsibilities, and opportunities for social interaction and being outdoors. Instead, today’s cultural norms have led to parents who are digitally preoccupied and who permissively let their children be the ones who set the rules in the home. Kids are also being raised on a steady diet of digital stimulation and instant gratification.”

Dr. Lutzer responds: “Parents must return to being parents, offering their children a sense of security, value, emotional connection, and discipline. Parents also need to model a spiritual commitment that is real and infectious. I don’t know who said it first, but rules without relationship equals rebellion; rules with love and consistency produce healthy children who are emotionally secure.

We must teach our children about grace and forgiveness. There is more grace in God’s heart than sin in our children’s pasts. We must present a gospel of a welcoming God who is able to restore, redeem and give them hope for the future.”

Whether you have children or not, you can pray that children around the world will hear the good news that Jesus died to forgive the sins of all who trust Him. May all of us be careful to give God praise for His mercy and grace.

Scripture for the weekend: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

Thought for the weekend: “If you don’t surrender to Christ, you surrender to chaos.” E. Stanley Jones

By His grace,