Wednesday, January 9, 2013

the new world in which we live

The following post is my opinion and my opinion alone. I humbly realize that I am still young and have a lot to learn. However, this is my blog thus the following post comes from my convictions. If there are topics in it that you feel uncomfortable with, please send me an email or a letter. I would love to hear what you have to say. 

I’m convinced that my children are going to grow up in a world entirely different from the one I grew up in. This seems almost impossible since I’m at the ripe young age of twenty one. Nevertheless, the changes that have submerged our culture, in just the past few years, are severe and seem to be irreversible.

I was raised in a world where there were consequences for bad actions. They were called spankings. My parents were not afraid to sit us down after we’d done something out of disobedience, explain what we’d done wrong and then spank us. This is a completely biblical practice and I’m thankful my parents used it on me. In our new world, kids aren’t spanked. This is falsely labeled as abuse.

I was raised in a world where failure was possible but dreams were too. We kids had some of the most outlandish ideas imaginable. When I was just 16 I wanted to pursue my radio career. I moved to an entirely different state and dove into an unpaid summer internship. I had to move back home for the school year so that I could finish my high school education. My parents could have been alarmed. Kids that age shouldn’t live out on their own, in an unfamiliar town and without an income. Oh, that’s right, my parents didn’t send me one penny that summer. I took on a job in the evenings that funded my radio habit. Now letting your child leave without offering them multiple handouts is considered insensitive. My parents weren’t afraid to let me go because they’d taught me about failure. There was a high likelihood things wouldn’t work out where I was going and I wouldn’t be able to make my rent payment or even buy groceries. Still, my parents encouraged me to go for it and, if I fell flat on my face, I could go home having learned new lessons and having added new dimensions to my character.

I was raised in a world where some things needed to go unspoken. We didn’t even think to speak aloud about topics like impure fornication, homosexuality, prostitution and pornography. I learned about these topics when I read my Bible (a pursuit of my own, not forced upon me by my parents). I’m glad I read them there because in almost every instance, the repercussions of these actions were in the next few verses. The Bible documents stories of these soul corroding practices that even caused the downfall of kingdoms and nations. Today, if we speak out against any of these things, we are considered insensitive, unloving and intolerant. We hear or see these topics in songs, reality TV shows and even addressed in elementary programs. This should concern us, but in this new world few are alarmed, those who are alarmed, feel wrong speaking up.

I was raised in a world where “entitlement” was a word as foreign to me as the Spanish language is to an old Norwegian. We were taught by example that you have to work very hard for anything you have. The first wage I earned was pulling weeds in my mom’s garden. For every row (I’d guess about 30 feet long) of weeds we’d pull, my mom would give us a nickel. We worked from early morning hours and sometimes late into the night on our ranch and all of that hard work was paid off in the fall when my parents would give us our percentage of the calf and lamb checks. I knew I didn’t deserve any more than that. My parents put a roof over my head, they clothed me and they fed me and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

I was raised in a world where self control and self respect were two things we were taught you needed to have. Just like Proverbs says “a good name is far greater than riches” I know that my family was respected. I have a healthy fear of acting out or endorsing anything that might bring shame to my name or my family. Self control is a fruit of the spirit. I am responsible for my actions and it is as simple as that. In our new world, I’m afraid that we’ve lost the idea of accountability entirely. Blame the tool you used. Blame the way you were brought up. These are the cries of those who are willing to sweep the ideas of self control and self respect under the rug.

That is where I will leave you today. To remember the world you were raised in and to think about the things your children are going to be forced to face head on. - Girls are unwed and pregnant in middle and high school. Homosexuality is everywhere and speaking against it is as bad as a hate crime. The good guys shouldn’t have the tools to defend themselves, but the bad guys have access to them. Biblical principles and saving grace are just another theory.- These are issues we are going to have to teach the truth about. This is a culture that has all too quickly set in. I encourage you to surround yourself with mentors and people who can help you measure your ideas. Dig into encouraging verses from the Bible that show us how to remain influential, affectionate to our neighbors and still stand firm in the only faith that saves.
-Trinity Lewis

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