The first time I saw it happen, I found it shocking. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th time – I found it fascinating. But by now I just find it pathetic.
What is the ‘it’? A new thing in family life - I call it ‘Powerless Parenting’. The thing that is so strange about it – is that it appears to be rising as the newest “boastable” item. Let me demonstrate.
I was in the dentist office last week and there was a mother with a teenage son. As he sat there with a smug look on his face, she loudly complained to the receptionist about how little control she had over him. She proceeded to whine over the fact that he “refused” to allow her access to his computer or to even see what he does on it! The receptionist commiserated, and began bemoaning the fact that she couldn’t control her children either. Sordid details of the disrespectful, obnoxious things their children did were laundered for all to see. And it soon became obvious that they were actually competing as to who the winner was; as in - the parent who was most powerless. Though I call it most “pathetic”.
Prior generations never really considered this something to strive for. Guess they were just not as ‘hip’ or ‘loving’ as we. In fact, my mother would have known exactly how to deal with that smug look on the dentist office teenager’s face. Her solution was not too technical; and involved no outside help at all. It was called “Mother’s palm” delivered quickly and unhesitatingly to “child’s face”. A remedy that caused very little pain, but a great deal of needed humility – to a disrespectful individual.
Amazingly, my little 4'11" mom had no trouble with “power” over her 5 children. In fact, she probably would have used her ‘smug solution’ on those ‘powerless’ mother’s faces too, had she been in the room. For she, like most other sane people, recognize the truth. And it is that children, who believe they have ‘power’ to do whatever they want in life, do not come to good ends. That’s why they have parents in the first place – to teach them that essential life lesson.
Scientists a while back did studies on “self esteem”. You know what demographic group has the HIGHEST self-esteem in America?
No, no and no again………..
Murderers sitting on death row.
Yes, that is the demographic group that has the highest self-esteem rates in America. In fact, their self-esteem is so high; that they do not even think another person’s life is worth getting in the way of their wants.
Surely something to aim for in a child, eh?
But that’s the end result of ‘Powerless Parenting’ – children who believe themselves to be the center of the universe. The downside is that they are being raised alongside millions of other ‘centers of the universe’. And the pesky thing about ‘centers’ is that… there’s only one.
So they are all in for a huge wake up call. And every one of them has been given absolutely zero tools by their parents with which to deal with that phone ringing.
Recently, at an airline safety meeting, it was reported that the number of people from this younger generation who are making it through flight training is less than 20%. It’s a real problem for the industry. But it seems that when young people today are put in a simulator and faced with problems in the cockpit – engine failure, wind sheer, hydraulics leak, and so forth – they get to the point where things get so stressful that …… they…… quit.
Raising their hands, they cry out – “I give up!!” And then with a smile, they immediately follow with: “I’ll just try it again.”
The instructors look at them in amazement, and say –
“You don’t get to give up – YOU ARE THE PILOT!”
And then those instructors immediately follow with, “And you don’t get to TRY IT AGAIN – when you’re dead!”
Most young people are shocked, SHOCKED!, when they are told they have failed. This is just not something they have been raised to hear. In fact, they are plainly insulted and angered at the concept of being told that unacceptable word – “No”.
Sadly; shocked, insulted or just plain confused with what that “No” word means, these young people nonetheless find themselves back out on the street - having discovered that they really weren’t the center of the universe. With more ‘shock’ than ‘awe’, they finally realize that they are not able to do whatever they want - when it matters most of all – in their adult career.
In hindsight, they would have surely benefited greatly from my mother’s ‘palm to face’ method when they were young enough that the “no” word simply meant time in their room; and not time on unemployment. Because if their parents had not been so Powerless – perhaps their adult lives would not be fraught with so much failure.
Did You Know…… how verifiable the Bible really is?
Often as Christians we are faced with questions concerning the ‘veracity’ of the Bible. There are many various objections to being able to ‘trust’ its contents; but here are just a few.
"The Bible has been put into so many different translations, how can we really know the original content?”
Actually the New Testament was written in Greek; and millions still speak Greek today. There are many who read the original, Greek version, of the Bible daily.
“There are no copies of the original writings; so how do we know what it originally said?”
It is true that there are no original writings that came straight from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John or Paul’s hands, as they have long since crumbled into dust - but that has little relevance when compared to other ancient writings. When we look to the oldest (i.e. ‘extant’) copy we have, we then see how long it was written after the original. The earliest copy we have of Caesar’s ‘Gallic Wars’ is dated 1,000 years after he wrote it. Demosthenes, the great Greek statesman, wrote his words around 354 BC – the earliest copy we have is from 1200 years later. The earliest copy of Plato’s writings is 1300 years after he wrote them. Homer’s Odyssey? The earliest copy we have is 2200 years from the original. And almost all of these writings have maybe 1-5 copies at most.
Let’s compare the Bible.
The earliest copy that exists of the Gospel of John, the Rylands Manuscript, is dated 125 AD. John wrote it in the 90’s. Hence, the extant copy we have is perhaps 30 years from the time he wrote it. We have many extant copies of manuscripts from the 2nd century – within 100 years from the originals, and even greater lengths of manuscripts from the 3rd century and on. And copies? We have 5,750 early Greek copies of the New Testament; and 25,000 more of other translations. In fact, if we no longer had any copies of the New Testament, we can find over 86,000 references to it in the early writings of the Church Fathers, which still exist. We could reproduce the entire New Testament from them alone.
Since there is no dispute ever raised concerning the veracity of Caesar’s Gallic Wars, or Plato’s Dialogues, Homer’s Odyssey or any other ancient writing – then as Sir Frederic Kenyon of the British Museum has noted – any and all objections to the authenticity and textual reliability of the Bible have been removed. For if we were to throw out the Bible as being ‘unreliable’; then we would have to throw out any and all references to ancient history that we have. The Bible stands on a foundation enormously greater than any of them.
And so.... did YOU know how verifiable the Bible really is?
(Information obtained from “Skeptics Answered” by Dr. James Kennedy)
When I was a kid, I remember reading about those cruel, horrible Roman people who threw Christians to the lions simply because they were Christians! It was awful, and I couldn’t imagine a world where such people existed.
But it has occurred to me lately – the Romans had, what they thought to be – good reasons to persecute Christians. After all, Christians were atheists who refused to worship the Roman gods, they insisted on different behavior AND the fact that they wouldn't worship the Roman Gods was the reason all kinds of terrible woes had begun to occur in Rome. The Roman leaders were simply pointing out those facts – and of course, the people believed them. Those hateful Christians were obstinately claiming to worship a God named Jesus Christ and willfully refusing to worship theirs. Of course it only made sense that Rome should be rid of them.
The Roman people, in fact, were no different than oh… say…. Americans today.
Today there is a new god that America worships – it is the god of ‘freedom’, ‘choice’ and ‘sex’. These gods are good ones. They have given women ‘freedom’ to make whatever ‘choices’ they choose – always a good thing, right? They have given people sexual freedom to ‘love’ whomever, and whatever, they wish. And more ‘love’ is always a good thing, right? These are certainly admirable things that EVERYONE should be on board for – right? And if you are not; well then you must be an awful, hateful person.
Much like those Roman Christians long ago.
For you see, American Christians today are still spouting the same old tired lines as their Roman forebears. They claim things like ‘God’s Word is the only truth’ and ‘freedom is only good if restrained by virtue’ and ‘rights are only good if coupled with duties – and the greatest duty is thou shalt not kill.’ In fact, they even label things ‘life’ that Americans have determined, in their wisdom, are no such things. Things like unborn humans, sick and elderly individuals who have been convinced they are better off dead than alive – you know, worthless things like that.
The Romans had no such compunctions in their day either. If a child was unwanted at birth, the Romans simply left them in the cracks in the city walls at night so that the wolves could finish them off. Why would an unwanted child be allowed to live? But those stupid Christians would go at night and check all the cracks to rescue any infants put there. And women! Whereas Roman women had the right to be used by men for their sexual pleasure and amusement anytime they wanted, Christians insisted that women were made for greater things than that! They claimed that women were to be valued simply for being made in the image of God -and that they were deserving of respect, honor and purity. This simply put burdens on women, and impeded their fun!
And even sex! The Romans were very advanced in their day, and sex was simply just a way to amuse them. Most men had free rein to have sex with free women, their slaves and young boys – whoever and whenever they wanted. But then those ridiculous Christians began teaching that sex outside of marriage was wrong. They even claimed that immorality of all kind was harmful to people, and eventually to society. They conjured up foolish warnings of things like the slow collapse of the great Roman Empire if people did not turn back to their God.
And so you see how easy it is. American people, just like Romans before, see nothing wrong with government slamming of Christians. After all, these Christians are trying to prevent women from having ‘Choice’ (to kill their unborn child); and they refuse to pay for contraceptives and abortion inducing drugs because they claim it violates God law. Even though everyone else, like Roman society before them, disagree with them! They even refuse to accept that homosexuality is simply another lifestyle choice. They continue to claim that God’s law is clear, and that they will not violate it!
And that is why bakers and florists and teachers and clerks must be punished today for not accepting the opinions of the majority and those in power. And the more you think about it; the more you realize that what Chicago's Cardinal George claimed a few years ago is true:
“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square”…. and yet the successor of that bishop-martyr “will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”
Ashley and Susan
Two women asking the world to not just hope, but to Hope in Love.