Christ & Culture (Youth)
5 July 2021
Imagine with me a typical day for an average youth. Our youth wakes up and he checks his phone. On Instagram, he’s flooded with images of sexily dressed celebrities he followed, who posted pictures of themselves “living the life”, surrounded by flashy cars and half-naked bodies partying the night.
Our youth heads to the bus stop and he plugs in his earphone. Listening to the latest POP music, he hums along to the lyrics of self-adoration and folly. At the bus stop, the billboards were advertising the latest and most expensive products designed to inspire dissatisfaction and greed. Once he gets on the bus, our youth opens an app to watch movies - movies that normalize sexual and immoral behavior and in fact, glamorise the rebel, the anti-hero, the self-absorbed.
Before the youth arrives in school, his mind is already flooded with the culture’s images and the subtle messages behind them. This is mind pollution on a daily basis.
Culture tells them: Defiance is embraced, Obedience is rejected. Entertainment, news, music and social media glory in rebellion against authority.
The result is that youths may grow up playing violent games, indulge in sexual sins and generally disrespect or disobey their parents. Sin and rebellion have infiltrated the culture, and the effects of which have been felt even in the church. We live in an age of moral anarchy and this is where our youths are growing up.
Culture’s seductive voice shouts, not whispers, at them, “Enjoy life, it’s yours. Taste forbidden pleasures… Reject authority!” While on the other hand, God’s unchanging command seems boring, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” But is that all to it?
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” ~ Eph. 6:1-3
The starting point to learning obedience is for every youth or child to honor his or her parents. Our relationship with our parents is the first we ever experience, and this is the first moral principle that every child learns. This commandment is also the only one of the Ten Commandments that comes with a two-fold promise. “that it may be well with you” is a promise of quality of life. “...you may live long on the earth” is a promise of the quantity of life.
Paul’s instructions to the youth are simple. There is not a list of duties or instructions to follow but just this, “Obey your parents.” All other duties (Love God, love one another, etc…) are enfolded within this command when parents do as what they are commanded in Eph. 6:4, “...bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Parents, let us obey the Lord and help our children to learn obedience, so that it may be well with them, and that they may live long on the earth.
Children who learn to obey their parents will learn to obey God.
Assistant Pastor Daniel Gan