Generational Holiness

This was sent to me this morning by my sister-in-law, Shellie. I thought it was rather witty and dead on the mark (click the image if you’re having trouble reading it):

The fallout of the bad parenting decisions of the now aging Baby Boomer generation has yet to be fully felt. But the initial consensus is that the next generation of young men and women, IE. my own, may be the most narcissistic ever. After being raised to believe that everyone wins and no one is wrong, many who are close to my age think they are the epicenter of the universe. Parents who try to be their children’s ‘friends’ instead of their parents — you know, the ones who opt for “time out” instead of a good old fashion spanking — are creating a whole generation of vain selfish little monsters who are soon to be in control of the world. It’s already bad enough that my generation is inheriting our parents’ touchy-feely overly-emotionally-oriented self-help therapeutic me-and-Jesus religion. Now it just seems like the whole country is going to be overrun with young men and women who’s worldview is only me-and-me. Exaggerated? No. Scary? Yes.

I know what you’re thinking… “Sean, don’t you fit into this category?” The answer is no. Thank God that my parents spanked me when I was bad, told me to be quiet when I was talking in church, encouraged me to win (but to do so with integrity and in good sportsmanship), showed interest in my education, punished me when I had a check mark in the “talks too much” box on my elementary report cards, made me do chores around the house (including shoveling snow that didn’t belong to me), be responsible with my money, carry my dinner plate into the kitchen after I was through, clean up my bedroom, and more. And thank God that there are other parents out there like them. Granted, they still managed to pass along some of that touchy-feely overly-emotionally-oriented self-help therapeutic me-and-Jesus religion that I mentioned earlier, but at the very least they taught me to believe in and love God. The truth is that I owe much of my manhood/adulthood/personhood to my parents. The question now is what kind of parent will I be to my own children?

The answer: I want them to be more holy than I am. Just as my goal is to replicate all that is good in my parents while avoiding the things they did wrong, I hope in turn to raise my children in such a way that I am not half the person that they will be. Is there a more beautiful offering to God than godly children who love the Trinity and hate sin? Perhaps that is the moral to this post, and maybe even the moral to all of life. Perpetuating godliness is the antithesis of the spirit of our age, the spirit of rabid narcissistic individualism, which is the spirit of antichrist.

I conclude my little rant by pointing you to a good sermon on this topic by WBS alum and board member, Mr. Charlie Artmann. He beautifully articulates all that I am trying to say here, so I recommend you take the time to listen to it.

5 thoughts on “Generational Holiness

  1. sean,

    i actually thought of charlie’s sermon just a little ways into your post. i appreciate your thoughts and have high hopes and expectations for my children to live holy lives in love for God and others!

    a single question: i understand that your spanking vs. time-out comment was making a general point, but would you push that point to the point (sorry for the repetition of terms – weird, i know ) that there is no room for alternative punishments (i.e., time-out, grounding, etc.)? i certainly believe in a good ole butt-woopin’; i’m just wondering if you think that there might be times when, say, a time-out might be more fitting, appropriate, or effective.


  2. Adam,

    Thanks for the comments.

    You are right about my comment about spanking vs. time out. I was just trying to make a point. Certainly ‘alternative’ forms of punishment are proper. All I was doing was trying to criticize how many parents won’t spank their children, which often indicates a fundamental lack of real discipline altogether. Clearly the parents that do nothing but spank, and spank all the time, are not truly disciplining their children either. They’re just venting their frustrations out on their children, and it makes me want to beat the parent.

    Perhaps the issue of the principle and methods of discipline would make a nice blog topic sometime.

  3. i assumed that was the point you were making. i completely agree. i think that it is quite clear (to anyone who follows the news or has any awareness of society in general) that our generation and the one growing up now had a disastrous lack of discipline. i imagine this stems from both a lack of discipline altogether and a lack of any true discipline (both as you point out).

    [i find it interesting that when lindsey and i discipline imogene in public (typically time-out or a stern whisper in public – for fear of law-suits, maybe?) we get looks that seem to have the impression that we are ridiculous.]

  4. That’s funny, because I look that way at parents who do nothing when their kids are being brats in public. 😉

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