The Great Divide: Dealing with Generational Differences

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Why is it so hard to let go of our worldly hang-ups? Is it because they’ve been formed by our set in stone opinions? Most people from my generation are shocked at some of today’s trends. We tend to be super traditional when it comes to a number of things. And of course, we’re quick to give our opinions, aren’t we? For example:

    • Our music: No one writes good music anymore.

 

  • Our movies: In our day, movies had no explicit sex, foul language or extreme violence.

 

    • Our morals: In my house, we weren’t allowed to say the word pregnant or sex. And in no uncertain terms we were told that to do those things would lead to disgrace.

 

  • Our manners: Also in my home, good manners were a must according to Emily Post and Amy Vanderbilt. If you don’t know who they were, Google their names!

 

  • Our methods: In my day, our methods of expressing ourselves were limited to the approval of our parents.

 

Model A Car              For example, when I was sixteen, my mother bought me an old A-model car. It didn’t go very fast and I had to gear it down to stop it. I had a lot of teenage fun in that car. But I discovered there was a limit!

One day my girlfriends and I decided to express ourselves by painting phrases on the car. So among various benign sayings, we wrote: “All boys who smoke, throw your butts in here.” Although it was meant as a joke, my mother didn’t laugh when she saw it. Needless to say, I spent the next few hours scrubbing off those words. So much for freedom of expression!

Of course, we all know bad manners, immorality and a lack of decorum have been around since Eve devoured the forbidden fruit. They’re just more open and condoned now.

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Times are changing, folks. Perhaps our older generation needs to lighten up on our dogmatic opinions. Who knows? If we can regain the trust of the younger generation, they just might be willing to listen when we have something of value to say.

But first, let’s consider the difference between right vs. wrong and mere opinion. Morally speaking, we live in a world without absolutes. Without absolutes, there are no boundaries. And without boundaries, there is chaos and confusion.

How then are we to know or teach our children right from wrong? None of us has a corner on truth. But God does. No, not the god people worship in form but without the power. And not the god who some people use to justify their pettiness, as well as the pain they cause others.

The God of the Bible is the God of truth. His truth has never been disproved. In fact, His truth has actually been proven throughout history in and through the lives of those who’ve embraced it.

This is why it’s so important for us to base our convictions on truth, rather than opinion. Adherence to God’s truth can tear down the walls created by our differences. In place of the wall, God’s truth can form a bond that will stand the test of time for generations to come.

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Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32) How has God’s truth set you free and crossed the generations in your family?

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Comments
2 Responses to “The Great Divide: Dealing with Generational Differences”
  1. Mary Beth Welsh says:

    Well said, Mom. If we are focused on the truth then we will recognize the lies and what is wrong. I’m thinking that should be our prayer for others that they too will focus on the truth and allow the Lord to do the convicting, leading and guiding. Love you!

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