Columbia University has published a study concluding that almost half of All American High School Students smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs. And as many as 25% of these students become addicts by 18. The stunning report also stated that the likelihood of addiction dropped dramatically for people who did not start participate in any of these activities until age 21.
So as our society becomes more “modern” in permitting teen drinking, pushing for the legalization of marijuana and not even paying attention to cigarette smoking, these are the results it is getting us. Indeed, we are seeing judgment for the lackadaisical “please the child” approach many parents have taken. While at the same time, pop culture completely glorifies these activities by showing teen consumption on a regular basis. The study did see some factors that could help children avoid these behaviors:
But teen substance abuse and addiction are not inevitable, he says. Preventing substance abuse starts with “intentional parenting” at an early age.
“You have to have a plan that allows you to be a positive influence on your children at a young age so that when they get to an age where they are exposed to drugs and alcohol, they will know how to say no,” he says.
“Kids who do well academically, are involved in religion, and/or are actively engaged in sports are less likely to get involved with these substances,” he says. “We need to look at giving kids something meaningful and important to do.”
So even a scientific study acknowledged that the presence of God and the active involvement in the faith can on its own decrease these bad behaviors. The Bible is clear that children are to be raised not just knowing God, but knowing His Word, understanding it and growing in their relationship. And that falls on the parents:
6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
Unfortunately, many young parents today are not involved in church themselves, and thus we have a young generation that identifies with Christianity much less than any before it. Instead parents are leading the charge into reckless and often illegal behavior. Another study on teen substance abuse shows that the family home in America is becoming a training ground for kids:
Forty-six percent of children under age 18 live in a home where an adult is smoking, drinking excessively, misusing Rx drugs or using illegal drugs. That’s 34.4 million teens exposed to drug use at home nearly every day.
Combining this with TV shows like “Gossip Girl” where in a single episode, a female lead details her sexual exploits with a friends boyfriend, using cocaine, watching the young man overdose and then die, with subsequent criminal cover-up, young children and teenagers are being bombarded with sinful behavior. In fact, Gossip Girl’s initial marketing campaign touted the show as “A Parent’s worst nightmare” playing to the desire for rebellion in children.|
Whether it is television shows like the aforementioned, MTV’s numerous programming like the show “Skins” which has what some describe as “pornographic-level” sex scenes (both heterosexual and homosexual, as well multiple teenagers), or the numerous pop music stars who promote rampant drug use and alcohol consumption, Satan is having his way with the youth of today. The souls of children today are under an assault never seen before in society. Kids today are bombarded with sinful temptation and promotion with very little Godly or just plain moral influences to combat it. To no surprise, more studies detail that young Americans are moving away from religion more than ever before:
“It’s a huge change,” says Harvard University professor Robert Putnam, who conducted the research.
Historically, the percentage of Americans who said they had no religious affiliation (pollsters refer to this group as the “nones”) has been very small — hovering between 5 percent and 10 percent.
However, Putnam says the percentage of “nones” has now skyrocketed to between 30 percent and 40 percent among younger Americans.
Putnam calls this a “stunning development.” He gave reporters a first glimpse of his data Tuesday at a conference on religion organized by the Pew Forum on Faith in Public Life.
The time is now more important than ever for parents to stand up for their children’s future and give them proper influence so they do not fall prey. And for Christian parents, if you are truly concerned about having a Godly home, keep the illicit activity out of it. This is why God calls on His people to separate and be different from the world around us that is running amok in sin. We are to be in the world but not of the world, meaning we can interact, be friends with and participate in society but we are not supposed to share in its sins. And certainly not supposed to sit idly by either. Fortunately, thanks in part to a boycott by the Parents Television Council, the show “Skins” was cancelled after its first season. This should serve as an example of what can be done.
Christians are called to be the salt of the world, standing and speaking out against things that are contrary to God’s Word. And that starts at home. Not only are kids at a health risk from dug addiction, STD’s, and the numerous injuries and deaths related to drinking, they are also run the risk of hellfire and damnation for having a life without God or faith in Jesus Christ. Without no grounding in knowing what is right and wrong, no boundaries and overwhelming negative influences, how can a child have a chance? This is why raising children with God’s Word is so important. This is why giving actual standards to children is so important. The time to take a stand is now.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16).