In their book entitled, The Coddling of the American Mind: How good intentions and bad ideas are setting up a generation for failure, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt make the case that by easing up on parenting and by changing the education that our children receive we are weakening our culture as a whole. The book begins with the quote of unknown origin: “Prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child,” and it hits home. As a parent it’s difficult to watch your kids go through struggle or challenges, but in honesty we know it’s what will form tenacity and character in them.
Lukianoff and Haidt state as their premise that “increasingly woven into American childhood and education” are some terrible ideas. First, “what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker,” and second, “always trust your feelings.” They deal with a third, but I will omit it here for brevity. It’s easy to recognize symptoms of culture adopting these ideas, and even easier to see that we are not on par to raise another generation, like those previous, that understood the moral imperatives of fighting for freedom and liberty. Sure, there are outliers, and great kids. But, on the whole, it must concern us when ideas like socialism, abortion on demand, and the loss of privacy and free society spew easily from the lips of the young people that will soon be taking the helm of this country. We’ve got to seriously reconsider how we got here, where we are going, and how to get there.
Similarities are evident in the church. Some want to prepare the Apostolic road for our children, by taking out the distinctives and imperatives that have defined us and made us the movement we are today. I don’t believe we prepare the road by removing holiness, separation from the world, and the essentiality of receiving the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues. Now, more than ever before, we must prepare our children by establishing this Oneness Apostolic message in their hearts and in their minds so they might give an answer to anyone who asks (1 Peter 3:15). It will not work any other way. Preservation doesn’t happen if there is no preparation. A watered-down message will serve them no better than an unsharpened sword in the battles they will face in the last days. The road ahead will be full of challenges that will be completely out of our control. We must prepare our children for the road they will face.