Why do young people refuse to believe that the rules laid down by their parents really are good rules? I don’t mean simply rules about cleaning their rooms or washing their hands before eating, but the rules like not drinking or taking drugs and abstaining from premarital sex.
Like countless generations before them, young people today want to know for themselves whether or not something is good for them. Mom or Dad can lay down the law about what’s good or bad, but kids think there’s nothing as certain as experiencing it for themselves. Then they’ll know for sure. But they are wrong. Unfortunately, some will suffer the consequences of doing what is absolutely wrong. Illicit booze and drugs and sex can lead to addiction, disease, a criminal record, and a wake of destruction. It’s difficult to recover from these consequences apart from the miraculous grace of God.
As parents, grandparents, and other loving adults, what can we do to keep our precious children from falling prey to these temptations? First, we must recognize that these sins are not new today (see 1 Cor. 10:13). Second, we must encourage our children to be immersed in a lifestyle of faith, including prayer for God’s guidance, habits of studying Scripture, and a community of godly friends (see Prov. 12:26). And finally, we should commit to praying for our children throughout their lives, asking God to protect them and to restore them if they have fallen from a path of righteousness (see Luke 15:11–32).