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.

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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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The Ten Commandments for Raising Responsible Children

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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African American FamilyAll of us who have children want to be good parents. To help us, God has given us principles which I call The Ten Commandments for Raising Responsible Children. As you implement these principles, you will be nurturing a relationship with your children that will help them to grow into responsible adults.

1. Expect the best from your children (Philippians 4:8). Children will live up to your level of expectation regarding their character. For example, if you expect your child to end up in jail, he probably will. If, on the other hand, you expect your child to become a responsible adult, most likely he will.

Expectations are powerful influences. Make sure you have positive expectations for your child’s character development and express those expectations to him frequently. Let me emphasize that I am referring to expectations for character development, not for career choices. We must not, for instance, expect our child necessarily to follow in our footsteps as far as his life work is concerned.

2. Trust your children (Philemon 1:8-17). This principle is closely related to the previous principle of expectation. If your children sense that you trust them, they will usually live up to that trust. If, on the other hand, they sense that you do not trust them, they will often behave accordingly.

3. Respect your children (Matthew 7:12). I cringe every time I hear parents verbally abuse their children with devastating comments such as, “You’re bad!” or “You can’t do anything right!” Some parents treat their children like objects rather than people. But children are little people and deserve our respect.

When children were brought to Jesus, His disciples became annoyed and wanted to shoo them away: “And they took to him little children, so that he might put his hands on them: and the disciples said sharp words to them. And when Jesus saw it, he was angry, and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not keep them away; for of such is the kingdom of God…’ “(Mark 10: 13-14 BBE). This passage clearly reveals the great value that Christ places on children. We must do likewise.

4. Love your children unconditionally (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Far too often, parents give or withhold love based on their children’s behavior or performance. Some parents even tell their children that God does not love them when they misbehave. This is a lie and can cause serious, life-long problems.

God’s love for us is not based on our behavior or our performance. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn God’s love. He loves us just because we exist. Parents should love their children the same way.

5. Spend time alone with each of your children (Genesis 49:28). Children require both quality AND quantity time. When you give your children your time, you affirm their worth to you. You also forge bonds of love that will last a lifetime.

6. Pray daily for and with your children (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Praying for your children is a means of exercising your protective authority over them and of bringing to pass God’s will for their lives. Praying with your children teaches them the importance of worshipping God and looking to Him to supply every need.

7. Teach your children God’s Word (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Ephesians 6:4). Just as we would be considered negligent parents were we to deprive our children of physical food, so does God consider us negligent parents when we deprive our children of spiritual food.

8. Discipline your children in love (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18). Contrary to some modern thought, children are not born into the world inherently good (Romans 3:23). Like everyone else, they have inherited Adam’s sin nature and, unless trained otherwise, they will automatically respond to life in sinful ways. It is our duty as parents to train our children to respond to life according to God’s Word.

9. Live a Godly life before your children (Matthew 5:16). Example is the best teacher. Our children learn far more from how we live than from what we say. To raise responsible children, make your conduct and your words agree.

10. Enjoy your children (Psalm 127:3). Psalm 127:3 describes children as a reward from the Lord. A reward is a source of joy and blessing. If you perceive your children as a burden rather than a blessing, you will miss out on the joys of parenting.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to enjoy your children. Enjoy them now. Look at life from their viewpoint. Like me, you may discover that your children will teach you some of life’s greatest lessons. 

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Copyright 2015 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 maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below:

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