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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Death of Adulthood

In the New Testament, Christ refers as times to His Apostles and those following Him as 'children,' and He extols the innocence of children.  The Apostles also address their communities as 'children' and reminds them that they have much to learn.

Yet, this childlike state is not intended as a permanent condition.  We often see how this state is to be transcended by the maturing process:

We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. (Ephesians 4:14)

Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults. (1 Corinthians 14:20)

They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! (2 Peter 2:14)

Because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.  If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. (James 1:3-5)

As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. (Luke 8:14)

Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. (1 Corinthians 2:6)

Let those of us then who are mature be of the same mind; and if you think differently about anything, this too God will reveal to you. (Philippians 3:15)

It is he whom we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. (Colossians 1:28)

Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you. He is always wrestling in his prayers on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and fully assured in everything that God wills. (Colossians 4:12)

But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:14)

Children are in need of discipline and self-control.  Otherwise, they cannot follow God.  Children are also easily scared, and it is only a mature adult that can confront the assaults of this world with confidence in God and knowledge of both his own strengths and weaknesses.

Yet, as the previous post points out, the death of culture begins with the death of adulthood.  More and more Japanese are rejecting their adult roles in favor of being 'cute,' thus in a state of perpetual immaturity.  So, they do not grow up, but continue to indulge in fantasy and, in a growing number of cases, child pornography.

Europe is not much different, with many young adults rejecting marriage and traditional family obligations to 'see the world' and indulge in their desires.  They are forgoing traditional family formation and obligations, and with that sterilizing their societies.  This has led to the abusive use and dependence on immigrants, who Europeans hate and yet need.

All the while, alcoholism and drug addiction are rampant.  Recovery means finding out what an adult is.

But, when society posits the idea that a father should dress in the manner of his son, and a mother in the manner of her daughter, you are going to have real problems sobering up people who don't know what functionality looks like.

I have heard many older people complain about comparing their lives to 'Leave it to Beaver,' but what about the generation raised on 'Married With Children' or any of the modern TV examples of family life?  Where is it that we are supposed to see normal?

But, ask yourself, would you rather live with the Cleavers or the Bundys?

Well, we are told there is no 'normal.'  Everyone gets to make up his own reality.  The only problem is that if you fail, you leave a whole bunch of wounded people with inescapable memories of lost childhoods and guilty consciences.

There are many people who are not having children because they rightly acknowledge that they don't know how to raise them.  This is pathetic.  Why can't you learn?

I find it extraordinary that so many people read books on child-rearing when they forget that they are the inheritors of countless generations of parenting.  We don't bother asking our grandparents for advice because we assume they really screwed up our parents, or we just default to the common notion that even though we are squared away enough to make decisions from books, our own parents did a lousy job.

Maybe they did, but you survived, right?  But, now, some book is going to help you raise the next Übermensch?  

Reading books on child rearing means we have truly lost our way.  We have lost the concept of parenthood and adulthood.  It is now as alien as automotive mechanics, yet just as necessary.

I find it funny that certified school teachers, supposedly educated in every manner of childhood development, find raising their own children to be such a mystery.  When I'm asked my opinion on these matters, I secretly ask myself, "What exactly are they teaching these folks in teacher credentialing programs?"

Most of the time, they are asking because their theories are failing miserably, but the way back to tradition has been ruled out.  So, the classrooms and the living rooms are full of utter chaos, and another generation of potential addicts is formed.

I am amazed at how a full-grown man can stand in front of me in a skater outfit and expect me to take him seriously.  Yes, dressing is about behavior: you don't wear a business suit when mowing the lawn, and you certainly should not come to church wearing picnic clothes... unless you are coming to be entertained.

If there is one thing that I hope all readers of this blog would do is reconsider what it is they know adulthood used to be, let's say, 100 years ago, and return to it.  You don't need all the materialistic stuff of modern parenting to be a good parent.

Be a good provider and a good role model.  Believe in and demonstrate virtue.  It is truly a path to God when we raise up children made in His Image.

1 comment:

  1. Christ says that if we do not return and become like little children , we will NEVER enter Heaven (Matt. 18, 3). Interesting how the word "never" is used as it gives the impression that there is no point continuing on whatever path, unless we start by being childlike. Actually, I've learned that, spiritually speaking, we are supposed to be childlike as far as our hearts, but mature as far as our minds. Makes sense because God is love and love can only be understood in a child-like/innocent fashion. However, to remain little children as far our minds, immature, cannot possibly be the case. We definitely don't believe that God is immature.

    An immature mind basically means we are superficial, foolish, whimsical, naive, etc. Now, if we connect these non-qualities with the usual activities that an adult has such as: raising children, voting, driving, saving his soul, etc., we realize that the word "disaster" quickly comes to mind. And honestly, these days I fear disaster after disaster. It's as if little children are running the things that adults should.