Not on my Watch!
We used to sing, ‘What the world need now is love, sweet love’. I don’t know if you are aware of it, but a few things have changed. The music of today is substantively different and reveals a lot about this generation of young people.
In a recent BreakPoint article, John Stonestreet responded to a media commentator’s suggestion that the song, We Are Young, by the band Fun, would be a good choice as an anthem for the Olympics. He writes, “I already knew the chorus: “We are young; so let’s set the world on fire; we can burn brighter than the sun”. As someone who often played sports with Queen’s “We Are the Champions” playing in the background, I assumed this was on of those ‘seize the moments’ and ‘we can do it’ songs. But the rest of the lyrics were anything but: “My friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the Empire State...if by the time the bar closes, you feel like falling down, I’ll carry you home tonight.”
Our kids are constantly bombarded by a world whose songs, like We Are Young, are filled with the here and now “disassociating action today with consequences tomorrow,” says Stonestreet. He goes on to say that “this sort of postmodern fantasy-that ideas don’t have consequences-dangerously resonates in the minds and hearts of young people...but the immorality is only part of the problem, and celebrating the drunken bar scene isn’t what bothers me most about We Are Young,” Stonestreet writes. “Most troubling is how this lifestyle is portrayed as not even really meaningful, but as all that’s left because there’s nothing significant to live for.”
This generation of young people are growing up without any sense of hope or meaning. The wonder of God expressed in all He has made is lost for most of them. I agree with Stonestreet, that a generation without wonder or purpose needs a ‘new anthem’.
Grandparents, I implore you to talk with your grandchildren about their entertainment habits. The earlier you can start, the better. But don’t give up. Engage them in dialogue by asking what they like and why. What are the messages of the music they listen to? Is it hope or hopelessness? Wonder or indifference? Destructive acts or acts of compassion?
Ask their parents to tell you how you can help them teach their children to make good choices in the music they listen to, the movies and programs they watch, and the messages they embrace. Check out some of the resources available to help you like Plugged In at Focus On the Family, or Axis: Apathy to Action. These resources designed especially for youth, but they also provide some great tools for parents and grandparents to engage their children in these issues.
The youth culture of today is not simply about sex and drugs. It’s about doing anything just to feel something and not be bored. Let’s work together to help this generation recapture a sense of hope and wonder-the wonder of God’s creation, His greatness, His love and grace, and His high value and purpose for each of us.
Remember, we can’t give what we don’t have ourselves. So, how’s your wonder?
GRANDPAUSE:Cowardice asks the question: "Is it safe?" Consensus asks the question: "Is it popular?" Courage asks the question: "Is it right?" --Rod Rogers
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