The Dangers of Generation Separation

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, June 15, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #24 in Series 2020 and is titled “The Dangers of Generation Separation.”

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When I was growing up in the fifties, the elderly sat on front porches surrounded by toddlers and teens.  It was a common practice for groups of children to visit middle-aged and elderly neighbors to listen to tales of earlier days.

Back then, there were no such things as “senior citizens” or “adult communities.” Nursing homes were virtually non-existent, and grandparents often lived with their children and grandchildren. The grandparents gave the children time and wisdom, and the children gave the grandparents a sense of joy and lasting youth.

During the past half century, we’ve seen a dangerous phenomenon occur. I call it the “generation separation”–the deliberate attempt by our culture, and even our churches, to separate the elderly from the young and the young from the elderly. The result has been a tragic loss of wisdom for the young and respect for the elderly.

In the Biblical model, there is no separation of generations. All ages lived together, worked together, and played together.  The generations were interdependent. This is God’s way, and it is His way for a reason.

Throughout the Scriptures, the older generation is commanded to instruct the younger generation in the ways of God, and the younger generation is commanded to learn from the older generation. This is not to say that the young cannot teach the old.  I’ve learned more from children, especially my own, than from any other age group. It is to say, however, that the older generation has a mandate from God to teach the younger generation to know Him. How can this happen unless the generations interact?

Today, as people are living longer, it is not unusual to meet great-grandparents as well as grandparents.  I personally know of some families that are blessed with five living generations.  To separate the great-grandchildren from the great-grandparents would be to rob both of great blessings.

I propose, therefore, a return to the mingling of generations, for these reasons:

  1. It is God’s way of blessing all generations.
  2. It fosters respect for the elderly and wisdom for the young.
  3. It serves as a valuable link of understanding between the past and the future.
  4. It provides roots that, in turn, provide stability to families.
  5. It nurtures a sense of belonging and unity so essential for emotional and spiritual well-being.

If you are in a situation where you are separated from other generations, I encourage you to find a way to bridge that gap.  If you have small children, bring them around the elderly.  If you are among the elderly, spend time with children.  Not only will you be greatly blessed, but you will be a venue of blessing to generations other than your own.

The most important thing you can do for your grandchildren is to teach them the truth about Jesus. But how can you teach them if you do not know Him yourself? 

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord, pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I come to You, just as I am. I want to be a good grandparent to my grandchildren. I want to leave them the most important legacy I can leave them: a legacy of faith in You. So I ask You now to come into my life. I receive You as my Savior and my Lord. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. My latest novel, In Black and White, recently won First Place in Historical Fiction in the 2020 Christian Indie Book Awards Contest. It is the page-turning, compelling love story between a white woman and a black man as they face the wrath of family and society in order to preserve their love. This book was written for such a time as this, in which we are facing very serious issues of racism and hatred in our society. To discover the only real answer to racism, get your copy of IN BLACK AND WHITE now at Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, or other vendors of your choice.  If you are reading this blog post, you can also purchase IN BLACK AND WHITE at the link below or on my website at maryanndiorio.com. Just click the bookstore tab at the top of the page.

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You will also find additional resources on living the abundant life in Jesus Christ on my website at maryanndiorio.com.

If you have been blessed by these messages, I encourage you to share them with others. I also invite you to become a Winning with the Word patron on Patreon. As a patron you will enjoy special benefits only for my patrons. Just go to Patreon.com and search for Winning with the Word to join. I would like to thank all of my patrons who are making this podcast possible. It is now reaching 23 countries throughout the world with the message of the Gospel. I could not do this without you.

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word.

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Now it’s your turn:  “What are you doing to leave a legacy to your grandchildren?”  Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

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Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Seven Keys to Successful Parenting

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Parenting is a privilege and a responsibility. I know of no parent who intentionally wants to mess up in this very important job, but some of us do simply because we neglect to keep in mind some basic Biblical principles.

So, from one parent to another, please allow me to share with you seven keys to successful parenting that I learned on my own parenting journey:

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1. Love your child. At first glance, this sounds like a no-brainer. But what does it really mean? It means to discipine and train your child according to God’s Word. It means to do for your child what he needs, not what he wants.

Too many parents confuse loving their child with giving in to their child. This is backwards. Unfortunately, many parents give their child everything he wants out of fear of losing their child’s love. This is a very dangerous practice.We will never win the love of our children by giving in to their demands. Worst of all, we will lose their respect, and respect is the foundation of love.

When my children tried to get their way, I used to tell them that I was not in a popularity contest and I didn’t care if they liked me or not. I was going to do the right thing by them. To this day, they jokingly remind me of that phrase with thanksgiving.

2. Know your child. To know your child means to understand her heart. Each child is wired differently. It is up to you as the parent to learn how your child is wired.  You do this by asking God to show you and by spending time with your child, listening carefully to what your child says and observing how your child responds to situations.

Ask your child questions. Do you know your child’s favorite color? Favorite food? Favorite animal? If you don’t, then you need to get to know your child better.

3. Respect your child. Children are little people. They are not inferior people. Treat your child with the same respect you would give to an adult, because your child is an adult-in-the-making.

Respect your child by being courteous to him, giving him all of your attention when he speaks, maintaining eye contact with him. Encourage your child, and never belittle him through your words or your actions.

4. Expect the best from your child. We will get in life what we expect. If you expect your child to go through the terrible-twos, your child will go through the terrible-twos. If you expect your teenager to rebel, your teenager will rebel. dial

Frankly, I never expected my children to go through the terrible-twos nor to rebel as teenagers. And they never did. I expected the opposite, and I got what I expected.

Children can sense your expectations and will fulfill them. So, speak words of life over your children. Say to them what you expect them to be. Tell them they are wise and courageous and Godly. They will fulfill what you speak about them.

5. Guide your child. There is a popular saying that good parents give their children roots and wings. We can give our children roots in the Word of God, the only place worth putting down roots.

As they are rooted in the Word of God, the wings that you give them will be wings of wisdom, discernment, and understanding–wings that will cause them to fly to safe places, places of righteousness that will keep them from stumbling in life.

6. Enjoy your child. Children are fun. Some of the best times you will have in life will be with your children. Spend time with them. Lots of time.

Get involved in their activities. Grow with them. Most of all, be childlike with them. There is a little child still inside you. Let that inner child come out when you spend time with your children. The rewards will be great both for you and for your children.

Jesus said that in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we must become like little children (Matthew 18: 2-3).  Spending time with your children will renew this perspective in your own life and bring you great joy.

keystocharacters7. Pray for your child. It goes without saying that we should pray for our children, but sometimes we parents need a reminder. If you have not been praying for your children, begin now. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools in a parent’s arsenal. Use it frequently.

Of this you can be sure: God is more invested in your children than you are. He will give you all the wisdom you need to face every parenting challenge as you yield to Him in prayer.

So, there you have it: Seven Keys for Successful Parenting. Use these keys regularly, and you will soon be enjoying the friendship of Godly adult children–respectful and respected–whom you have had the privilege of rearing with the gracious and ever-present help of the Lord.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: What is your greatest parenting challenge? How can one or more of the seven steps above help you overcome this challenge?

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