|Generation Gap - Image from xdmag at flickr|
TO CHEW ON: "There is a generation that curses its father,
And does not bless its mother." Proverbs 30:11
Agur, author of Proverbs 30, is a great counter and list-maker. He'd be a wonderful blogger with provocative titles like:
- Two things I want before I die - Proverbs 30:7-9.
- Four things that are never satisfied - Proverbs 30:15-16.
- Four things that mystify me - Proverbs 30:18-19.
… and what we're going to focus on today: "Four things that bug me about young people these days" - Proverbs 30:11-14.
Well, we don't actually know whether Agur was talking about only young people here. He begins each beef with the words, "There is a generation" implying that he's going to be naming a characteristic of people in a certain age range, and the first one seems to apply to people younger than he is.
The four things that annoy him:
1. Their disrespect for parents - Proverbs 30:11.
2. Their self-deception - Proverbs 30:12.
3. Their pride and vaulted opinions about themselves - Proverbs 30:13.
4. Their cruelty and lack of mercy toward the unfortunate - Proverbs 30:14.
Each one of us could probably make up our own list like this. And we might add other titles: Four things that bug me about my parent's generation or old people or young children. Agur only notes these generation gaps but doesn't propose any ways of dealing with them. How do we?
Concerning the gap between children and parents, the Bible has good advice for parents and caregivers:
- Each generation is responsible for the spiritual training of the next one - Deuteronomy 6:7, 20; Proverbs 22:6.
- We are responsible to pray for the next generation - Lamentations 2:19.
- We are to model kindness to our children - Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21.
- It's a parental duty to control the home and household—not give that control to the kids - 1 Timothy 3:4,12.
- Parents are to correct and discipline their children - Proverbs 3:12; 13:24; 22:15; 23:13.
Another bit of advice that comes to mind as I think of dealing with various types of gaps between myself and others is from Paul in Philippians 2:2-3:
"Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself."PRAYER: Dear God, when I recognize gaps of understanding, sympathy, and love between myself and others, please give me Your heart of empathy and love. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.