The Flood of New Ideas and Temptations – The Problem
Most young adults progress from the family being the centre of life, to post-school study or work environments which begin to take a more central and persuasive importance. The influences and temptations increase together with an increasing unwillingness, or lack of confidence and/or opportunity, to discuss these situations with family members. Alienation, or at least a reduction in discussion opportunities, frequently occurs.
We often discover that whilst there was a period of security in a safe family/church environment, the ability to critique and establish good presuppositional thinking did not take place with sufficient rigor. When faced with new ideas and temptations, our youth find it difficult to process and respond to new and sometimes confronting ideas.
The habits of good conversation, questioning and communication will not begin in the second half of teenage years if they have not begun when children are younger.
We need to recognize that intellectual dissent or complex questions arise in young people’s minds as a consequence of new and broadening relationships and experiences. There comes a time where simplistic responses to significant issues become unsatisfying.
This can be a challenge to us, as parents or as Christian Educators, we can fear any signs that our children are deviating from Christian faith. Our main concern is that we as adults might be judged for our children’s potential wandering.
If we do not acknowledge these new complexities, and provide opportunities to explore them, our teens will disconnect. They may continue to pretend to conform to parental ideas but are creating within themselves a double persona.
“It’s not doubt that’s toxic to faith; it’s silence.”