Many of us were raised in churches believing that it’s a sin to do household chores on Sunday. We believed that God would ‘zap us’ if we danced or went to the movie theater – especially on Sunday. Children were raised to ‘be seen and not heard,’ and it was ‘sinful’ for women to wear pants to church. We were also taught that being ‘sanctified’ was another religion (other than Christianity), of which we wanted no part. Today we know these things to be myths – handed down from generation to generation – that we never questioned or dared challenge. Some historians even suggest that some of the myths and traditions that our ancestors embraced were derived from slaves attempting to meld Christianity with remnants of their cultural heritage.
As Dr. Maya Angelou said, “when we know better, we do better!” Today, we know better. Today’s youth want people to take off their masks, be transparent and relay information in a real, understandable terminology. They don’t want to hear a bunch of “temple talk.”
Our youth desire a religion not unlike what Christ desires for us – to have knowledge of Him and of His Word. That can only occur when we have a true relationship with Him. In order for us to obey Him, we have to study Him and get to know Him. However, wisdom requires more of us than knowing facts about God and the Bible. True wisdom is a gift from God. James 1:5 states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” That said, it’s not enough to recite old sayings such as “He’s a mighty good God,” or “He’s the same, yesterday, today and forever.”
As we seek to engage our youth in a real relationship with Christ, it’s important for us to share our real experiences and show them how God has transformed our lives. We must let them know that the person that stands before them today, is the ‘new creature’ that Christ created. Our honesty and transparency with them will likely yield better outcomes when we celebrate their wisdom and knowledge.
”Peace and power.
© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner,