Monday, June 21, 2010

Generation Gap?

The Generation Gap?

I was watching my husband and sons work together today. They were splitting kindling, each with their own job, but working together in concert. It was a thing of beauty. It got me thinking of the "generation gap" that we have in our society. Is it a natural barrier between the generations or is it a man made phenomenon? If it is man made, is it repairable, or are we destined to remain incompatible with our children, our parents and our grandparents?

The obvious answer is, of course, that the generation gap is propagated by man, not nature. This great nation of ours would never had been built, had it not been for father, son and grandfather working side by side. The homes would never have been kept without mother, daughter and grandmother taking equal joy in seeing a job well done. Were did we go wrong? When did our kids become unable to hold a conversation with anyone not in their "peer group"? When did our grandparents start segregating themselves in an "over 50" park, to play cards, have dinner and swim with other people "over 50"? When did we parents give up mentoring our own children so we could "take time for ourselves" by shopping, going to the spa, watching football with... you've got it, people our own age?

We have lost our multi-generational vision. Society used to have a vision for a society that included children, parents and grandparents. Each generation was NEEDED to ensure the success of the next generation. Children were needed to learn skills and become productive members of the families. Parents were needed to teach those skills and direct the family toward their goals. Grandparents were needed for their wisdom and knowledge. Look at what we have lost. Children roam around directionless. They watch T.V., play video games and form online "friendships" to fill the void left by non-available parents. Parents foist their God-given responsibility to teach their children onto the State in the form of government schools, day-care and sometimes the penal system and then blame the government for not doing a good enough job. Grandparents tour the country in huge motor homes with bumper stickers that read "I'm spending my children's inheritance".

Modern society encourages the "generation gap" even as they decry it. Our government schools segregate children into age groups, rather than encouraging the older children to help teach the younger (as they did in Pioneer times). 8th graders can't "relate" to 5th graders, so how could we expect them to carry on a conversation with an adult, much less an elderly person. Families typically have 1 or 2 children, close in age, so they never learn to teach or play with little children. Our churches, which should be beacons of light in a dark world, are no better. They too, place children in age segregated Sunday schools. They have youth group, 20 somethings, young marrieds, empty-nesters and senior citizen bible studies. What about the family? Where can you find a bible study for Christians - all of them? Did Jesus separate the folks listening to His Sermon on the Mount into age appropriate groups? Or did he expect the Fathers to explain what he was talking about to their children. He may have even thought that the elders of the group could help the Fathers in their teaching of the children. Revolutionary!

There is no generation gap but that which we create. Think about what we could accomplish as families, as a society, if we re-integrated family as God created it. Fathers could teach their children. Grandfather could guide and direct their families. Children could have direction and mentoring. Families could spend their energy building the Kingdom of God instead fighting over how it should be done.

We need to let the "generation gap" rest in peace. It is time for fathers to take up their gauntlet of responsibility and take back authority for the family. They need to teach their children and en quire of their elders. Rather than a "generation gap" we need to have a "generation united that serves the Lord".

No comments:

Post a Comment