Sunday, September 20, 2009
How to like youth culture
"These rotten kids today, why, in my day this kind of thing never happened" Excuse me, sir, ma'am but you're lying, or suffering from a selective memory.
The things young people do have always happened in every generation. They experiment and stretch to find out about this world and who they are. They test the limits, try the things they are told to avoid. This is youth.
You can love youth culture by realizing that every teenager will find something to say, wear, put on their body or hair that will seriously irritate their parents. Its a right of passage. With us it was the length of our hair or our skirts, it was bell bottom pants and tie dyed shirts, it was peace symbols and marijuana.
You can love youth culture by remembering that God has already laid a claim to their hearts and minds by becoming sin for them and reconciling them to the Father in a new covenant of love and grace. You can see their rebellion as a search for truth and a rejection of things they already see as phony in their culture. You can believe that the sins they commit will be part of the plan to get them to the end of themselves. You can believe that the limits you put on them will help them in the long run but in the short run they are not interested in listening.
You can remember the sins of your youth and how silly you acted and looked, Pops.
You can pray for the level of culture to rise, especially if they hit a strain of destructive behavior like many of the things threatening our youth. But if you do it with condemnation and judgmentalism and your own selective self righteousness, if you try to limit the things that normal kids do to feel different from their parents, you might hasten or prolong the behaviors.
Fashion is fashionable and constantly changing, music fits each generation, knowledge expands, your kids know and use things that baffle you, get used to it, laugh about it, appreciate it, and, with the mind of Christ, continue to see Him speaking to each generation as He promised He would.