One growing concern we have in America is the inability of our youth to grow up. From the previews for the movie “Failure to Launch”, I am guessing that this isn’t too big of a secret that this is true.
Last week, my 18 year old son came home and said that in his high school sociology class the teacher said that it is now very common for college graduates to move back in with their parents since the economy is so tough. I wanted to yelled “What??!!”. Our teachers are perpetuating this failure to mature by blaming it on the economy? Now, I have yet to reach this stage of life and I have seen in my own life that I often have to eat my words when it comes to stages of life that I have not yet been through. But I could not help when I read my Bible this morning thinking that the Word always has the answers….
Hebrews 5:14 “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” NIV
“Solid food is for the mature”. Maybe this “failure to launch” as to do with the fact that that we, as parents, (and yes I am including myself in this group as a parent of an 18 year old) are not allowing our kids to have to get in there and figure things out. Maybe, because we are afraid to let them fail, we are busy distinguishing good from evil for them and so, we find ourselves with young adults who are not as mature as they should be.
I believe that the key in this verse is the words “by constant use”. In my posts on Monday entitled “Should I Say “Yes” or Should I Say “No”?, I talked about decision making. Are we giving our kids opportunities to make decisions? Are we allowing them “by constant use” to be trained to distinguish good from evil? To figure out how to make decisions and make this thing called life work?
I know, as Greg and I are in the middle of helping Zach figure out how to go to this thing called college, there is a huge part of me that wants to fix it all. I can, but does that mean I should? Part of me wants to step up, make the next four years of his life “good” and make sure he gets out debt free. Sounds good, right? That’s what we would have wanted for ourselves and so that is what we do for our kids, right? Or is that not really what is best for them? In the long run, who is better off; the student who had it given to him or the one who had to get after it and make it happen? Growing up in the ’80’s in the depressed farm economy of Iowa, I know that I learned an awful lot about how to make a dollar stretch (you just don’t spend a dollar that you had to detassel corn to get!)
I certainly don’t have all of the answers. What I do know is that one of my goals as my son’s parent is that one day my son will not only be a man who makes his own decisions, but also will be a man who makes good and mature decisions for himself, for the family that he will one day provide and care for and for those who are in his sphere of influence.
(Speaking of, that son has his last high school rugby game tonight? Where did all those years go???