Some of the greatest challenges of this present evil age are directed specifically at teenagers, and wise and thoughtful parents will equip themselves to meet these challenges and guide their teenagers around these stumbling blocks. Those who prayerfully and wisely give themselves to instructing their children and making provision to deal with such challenges will be able, in the end, to heartily say “amen” to John’s words: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 4).

Our children are Yahweh’s heritage, given to us that we might nurture them in His ways. Therefore as parents we need to act wisely and responsibly in this great work. We realise that we are living in the “last days” and that “perilous times” are upon us and our families. Among those evils to burst forth in this Godless age is the rampant “disobedience to parents” that Paul mentions in 2 Timothy 3:2 and again in Romans 1:30. Although we have the Truth, sadly our young ones, and we ourselves, are often insidiously influenced by this age. Humanism has opened the way to challenge all authority and standards that have gone before, and to cause our teenagers to question more than ever before those immovable foundations upon which our faith has been built.

Yet we know that the Word of God is the only sure foundation upon which to build our family life. In love let us strive to guide our teenagers to “hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother”. In this issue of The Lampstand we have, in the feature, concentrated on offering some suggestions on how we can guide young people through these often difficult years. Throughout these articles there is a breadth and wealth of information and guidance culled from the Scriptures which, we believe, will assist parents in this important work.

The writer of Ecclesiastes states: “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth: and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth”; and again: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” (Ecc 11:9; 12:1). The wisdom of parents is to give guidance to the young, so that these two aspects can be seen in them. Teenage years should be a time of exuberance and joy, whilst overshadowed by the serious reality that there is a Creator who has given them life and to whom they must render loving respect and obedience.

Wise parents will appreciate that we are richly blessed in our community here by having many other young people in the ecclesial environment, which many in other places are not privileged to have. Young people do need company and it is our wisdom to ensure that we continue to provide wholesome activities such as the Suburban Young People’s activities and other ecclesial outings for their benefit. Likewise Sunday School is not only a place where our young are instructed in the lessons from the Word of God, but there they have the added blessing of building sound and lasting friendships that can assist them through these teenage years and beyond. Thoughtful parents will make the effort to see that their young ones can attend these activities, even at the expense of their own time and interests, knowing the benefit that they will reap by their association with others who are seeking to grow up in God’s ways.

In our ecclesias older brethren and sisters can do so much to assist our teenagers and children to feel really welcome and needed in the ecclesia. If only we would all take the time to show interest in their activities, both in their private lives and in young people’s activities, then we are giving a strong message that we really do care about them.

Let us all realise that the days are evil, the pressures are great, and our Lord is near. Therefore we need to assist one another in this great work of ensuring that our teenagers are guided through these difficult days and so become valuable and stable members of the ecclesia of the living God.