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Rescue youths from path of destruction

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Editor: Crime and violence perpetrated by young people is a troubling problem worldwide. Too many of our youth get involved in criminal activities. I cannot tell the last time I perused the weekly newspapers without reading about the involvement of youth in crime/s: murder, theft, rape, assault, drug use, possession of ammunition… and the list goes on.{{more}}

Yes, there are some youth who receive and heed the guidance given them by responsible loved ones and I thank God for these well-guided youth. However, far too many are on the broad way of destruction.

A large majority of parents do not understand and, therefore, fail to fulfill their God-given responsibility. Parents (sadly, some of you are youth!), you need to learn how to guide your children aright. You need to realize the seriousness and the great responsibility given to you to nurture, educate and love your children, thus providing a safe environment for their growth and development into strong, sober-minded, happy and healthy men/women. If you don’t, who will? You are the first teachers of your children, and your homes are the first schools. Too many of you leave this duty to be performed entirely by grandparents and relatives. I extend much sympathy to the grandparents who do not always have the energy to provide consistent and effective discipline. Parents,I bid you to consider the words of the Creator with regard to your parental duty to train, instruct and care for YOUR children (God’s property).

‘…love the Lord thy God…and these words thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…Train up the child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ Deut. 6:5-7; Prov.22:6.

This means instructing children aright, so that when they grow into adulthood, these preserving principles will serve as a steady foundation for them to lead a life of worth and self-respect.

And Youth…what about you? You have the God-given power of self-determination. You can purpose in your heart by the help of God to walk in the straight and narrow path of Righteousness. The latest music videos and DVDs which incite violence are not the answer. The ability to wear the latest brand (fashion) and be materially-minded is not the answer. The use of marijuana, alcohol, tobacco and other dangerous drugs is certainly no indication that you are a ‘grown up.’ Showing disrespect, especially to your parents and the elderly, does not make you manly or womanly. Young man, having two or three girlfriends or women does not make you a real man (very often you are pressured to do illegal activities to provide for their selfish desires)!

My dear youth, Your Creator is concerned about you. He knows your youthful trials, temptations, discouragements and your needs. Not only does he know, but He can effectively address all of them. Yes, you have a heavenly Father who cares.

The youthful vigor and energies that God has bestowed upon you ought to be used for His honour and glory, your character building and a blessing to humanity. The time allotted you must be spent wisely. You have to give account to the King of the universe! The thoughts you entertain now set the stage for a lifetime, and could lead either to the building or destruction of your character and, therefore, affect your success in man/womanhood. This is why you are called upon to have a sound mind.

‘Young men (and young women) likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you’ (Titus 2:6-8).

I join with Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, to call you to ‘Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…’ (Eccl.12:1). And, adults, let us seek the wisdom of God to provide our youth with guidance to rescue them from further destruction.

Ann-Marie John

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