The other day a friend of mine posted this on Facebook: “Could it be that most adults have MORE than abandoned teens in our culture? That now adults actually HATE & loathe adolescents?” Before we recoil in denial…
In Luke 18:15-16, we find parents bringing children to Jesus for a blessing. It was common in that time for parents (mothers, particularly) to bring children to their rabbi for this sort of thing. Interestingly, it is the disciples (NOT the pharisees, or the teachers of the law) that rebuke and scold the parents. Jesus, however, rebukes his disciples, telling them to “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.”
Sadly, at times we tend to respond to the presence of families, children and teens like Jesus’ disciples. We do this…
When we turn and look at the family when an infant cries during the service, especially communion.
When we glare into the “youth area” of a church when a cell phone goes off during the service (usually, it is the phone of an adult).
When we refuse to allow students to have some creative control over an aspect of worship.
When we relegate their inclusion to “youth Sunday.”
When we fail to equip families to discuss the faith at home.
When we decide that it’s easier for us “to do it ourselves” rather than take time to teach students.
When we don’t greet them in the hallway.
When we don’t greet them by name.
When our facilities do not take into account small children.
When our ministries fill their schedules with events and programs that separate families.
Jesus rebuked his followers for their treatment of children.
Are we in need of rebuke for the way we treat families, children and teens?