With most South Africans celebrating Youth Day on the 16th, one thing most people all over the world are in accord with is that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. It makes sense then that we should spend extraordinary time, effort and finances in training up the young people in our communities to fill the places and positions they are destined to control in the near future. Biblical examples abound where the Great Designer has put in place strategies and plans to help adults (those who are more mature) in training up the young. Moses tells us in Deuteronomy: "This is the commandment, the rules and regulations, that God, your God, commanded me to teach you to live out in the land you're about to cross into to possess. This is so that you'll live in deep reverence before God lifelong, observing all his rules and regulations that I'm commanding you, you and your children and your grandchildren, living good long lives... Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got! Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night." Jesus encourages us further to accept His words as children do, simply because they are so susceptible to learning things when they are young. Solomon writes in the Proverbs that we should train our children in the way they should be going in their future when they are young, and that when they reach a mature age they won't depart from it since it is already written on their hearts.
The moment that those who are responsible for the training of the youth falter in their mandate and mess with the education system of a community we are in for a rough future. Unfortunately, the world over, a humanistic approach to life has eroded the responsibility of adults training the young by wrongfully empowering the immature in favour of the mature. Examples are heard in the news literally every day where the rights of parents have been encroached upon, and where children have the 'legal right' to sue their parents for assumed wrongs.
The basic problem of our New Age society (seemingly the pervading worldview) is that absolutes have been removed and replaced with human rights; I see "human rights" the same way that I see discipline - there can be no real understanding of the rights we have outside of the borders of an absolute. The absolutes I am speaking about are the parameters set in place by the Great Designer of everything. God has kindly left us an instruction manual explaining all the laws that govern the world and those who dwell on earth. It is within this context only that we can take up our rightful place in ensuring we equip a future generation to take up the torch and make earth a better place for all.
Our responsibility has been broadened in South Africa due to the very large proportion of young people in our population demographic; this is largely due to the effects of AIDS and TB (1 out of every 10 South Africans suffer from the latter), the resultant deaths of adults and the growing population of orphans. We need to embrace our educational responsibility and ensure that we create an environment that is safe, friendly and open to growth for all our children.