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October 1, 2007


Imagine your child standing in the middle of Bear Creek.  Upstream they let out a massive flow of water.  Suddenly your child is swept away by a massive wall of water and crud, struggling to breathe and stay afloat.  Hollywood, the media, the society around us, the context our children are living in is like that flood, relentless, polluted, destructive.

The average teenager takes in over 18,000 hours of television by the time they graduate from high school.  That’s 5,000 more hours than they spend in 12 years of classes.  Nearly 61% of all television programming contains violence.  Children’s programming is the most violent.  Every year a teenager absorbs nearly 15,000 sexual references - with less than 170 referring to abstinence, birth control, or sexually transmitted disease.  In other words sex, not like God defines sexuality, is okay - whenever - whatever.

70% of all prime-time programming depicts alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drug use.  Alcohol manufacturers spend $2 billion annually luring children to drink.  1/3 of teens have been drunk in the last month.  1/4 of teens use illegal drugs.

42% of top-selling CDs contain sexual content that is “pretty explicit” or “very explicit.”  Most of the stuff blaring from boomboxes or coming out of iPods or the car stereo that’s rockin’ your car from the car next to yours, being played on campus, on buses, wherever, is pure porn.

The internet has 300,000 plus porn sites in addition to many “monitored” sites that allow pornographic content to slip through.  One in five children ages 10 to 17 who regularly use the internet have been sexually solicited.  One in four was unwillingly exposed to porn.  90% of 8 to 16 year olds have viewed porn on line (most while doing homework).  The porn industry targets 12 to 17 year old boys knowing that they’re most susceptible to life-time porn addiction. (1)

Here’s my point.  What’s coming after our children is relentless.  It’s organized.  It’s well funded.  It’s inspired and driven by Satan.  It doesn’t matter if our child is home schooled or public schooled.  The enemy’s tactics may change.  But, the goal is the same:  to distract, maim, destroy and lead your child and any other child away from God and if possible through the gates of hell.  That is the context that today’s upcoming generations are growing up in.

Moses spoke to parents saying, “You shall teach them [God’s commandments] to your sons and talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:7, see also Proverbs 22:6; Mark 10:14)

The average teenager in a church spends only 2 minutes a day in meaningful dialogue with his dad.  25% of these teens say they ve never had a meaningful conversation with their father - a talk centered on the teens' interests.   Fathers spend an average of only 38 seconds a day being totally attentive and 20 minutes being partially attentive to their children's needs. (2)

There is a huge challenge for us to understand the context our children are growing up, to understand how are children are surviving in that context, and to know how we can lead them to become the men and women God has created them to be.

As parents, and as a congregation, please take seriously Pastor Steve Y’s challenge “Time Together” and the opportunity of the “Understanding Your Teenager” parent seminar (both on page 7).  Please get involved with our children’s and youth ministries.  Please take the time to respectfully listen to your children.

God loves your children.  With His strength, wisdom, and guidance we can stem the tide.  We can parent our children and those He brings to us in ministry.    


1. statistics cited from Luce, Ron, “Battle Cry For A Generation”  NexGen, 2005

2. McDowell, Josh, “The Dad Difference”  Spring Arbor Distributors, 1989