I am reading a fiction book called the Sweet By and By by Sara Evans and Rachel Hauck. It easy for me to feel cynical when Hollywood folks write books, so I haven't looked up who Sara Evans is or anything about her. I just want to read the book. But, last night I came across this quote that I thought was interesting...
The youngest daughter (shes about 19, I think) of a hippie mom (who is 59) says this to her mom:
"For a generation who claimed to be all about peace, you sure started a lot of wars. Not with guns and bullets, but with words and ideology. With your parents, with your kids. Your generation didn't bring anything together. You tore everything apart."
Hmm... I'm sure historians have said things like that before, but it's interesting to think about what happened with that generation. It made me think about our sinful nature and how we naturally want to rebel. The generation who were teens and young adults in the 60s outwardly rebelled against the culture they lived in--against their parents. Later, it was with that generation that some of the problems in our society with parenting began. Parents didn't want to be the authorities in their children's lives anymore, for a lot of reasons, I believe. They didn't want authorities over them so they didn't want their children to have authorities.
I wrote a review of a book a long time ago called "You Can't Make Me, but You Can Persuade Me" by Cynthia Tobias (I don't recommend this book at all by the way). I explained in my review that I believe we are all under God's authority and that even strong willed children need to learn that there are authorities in their lives and that they need to respect them and obey the rules they are given. The author of that book disagreed and believed that children (strong willed children in particular) should always be given choices and that rules are really guidelines. No!!!
When I tell my children not to touch the stove, it's a rule! When I tell my children not to cross the street without me, it's a rule! And when I tell them that they need to do their work, it is what they are expected to do--and they need to obey. I'm not an ogre. But, I see in myself my own rebellious heart towards authority and it has taken me a very long time to learn to submit and respect and follow the rules given to me by the authorities over me. I don't want that for my children. I want them to learn that there are authorities over them and that ultimately God is the greatest authority over them. And I want them to be comfortable with rules. Within boundaries, healthy freedom can be found.
In response to my review of that book, one woman who is a professor explained that she has taught her children to question everyone and everything and not to blindly follow. Her response made me very sad and reminded me of the ideology of the 60s. To me, that is a response of a rebellious heart as well--one could likely train her children to be cynical. Cynicism is by definition a matter of pride that you can see through what people are really doing and saying and see the truth--that you are better, essentially, than the system or the person because you know what's really going on and aren't blindly going along.
Well, my kids are up and I better scoot... This issue is one that is close to my heart because it has caused me so much strife in my heart over the years--the issue of submission to authority and rebelliousness. I wasn't outwardly rebellious, but rather inwardly.