“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” Isaiah 3:12
One of the curses of a matriarchal society is the loss of perspective toward our youth. At the beginning of the above chapter, the Lord declared that He was taking away their bread and water, the mighty and wise, the counselor and the craftsman leaving in their place children and the capricious to rule over them. That would make their destruction complete. In our text he calls the children “oppressors who led them to err and to destroy the way.” In chapter 13:18, God promised that their enemies would dash their young men to pieces.
Today, every time our politicians want to embark on some ill-advised program, they say it is for the children. “Our future is the children,” they say. That is true enough on the surface, but without wisdom and mature leadership, our children have no future. The aged women are told to teach the young women to be sober, etc. (Titus 2:4) and fathers are told to nurture and admonish their children, Ephesians 6:4. The elders are told to feed the flock of God, taking the oversight thereof, 1 Peter 5:1-2. The rest of us are told to obey them that have the rule over us and submit to them, Hebrews 13:17, 7. Youth-oriented and women-led churches abandon the divine counsel as well as the divine authority and build the worship around the children instead of around the Lord Jesus Christ. The children themselves understand this even better than their elders. They are expected to counsel, teach and lead, but when they speak, they see the condescending looks coming their way. It is not fair to them. They still need the counsel, teaching and leadership of their elders. Their words will often be naïve, shallow, and ignorant. Should they be praised anyway? Is true knowledge and wisdom so little important?
The strange irony today is that we have “reduced” the number of our youth in order to give them more and “love” them more, but we actually spend less and less time with them in the home. Most of their discipline and instruction comes from strangers in expensive schools run by unbelievers. We compensate by demanding more programs from the schools and churches to steer them in the direction that we want them to go. We send them to expensive camps and recruit the most dedicated Christians to teach them what they have not learned at home. They are precious to us, but we seem to have little time left to share with them. We rarely eat together. Nevertheless, as they dominate our attentions and our world, they respect their parents less. They barely know the culture of their parents and they respect it even less.
Our children have been raised in an age-segregated society. That is not their fault, it is ours. They do not know how to relate to their elders, nor how to listen to them. They haven’t heard the old sayings or country proverbs. Those of us who had the pleasure of hearing the counsel of the older generation, still smile when we remember their words, especially as they have proven true.
We have loved our children so much and sacrificed for them, but we have lost the art of parenthood. Part of repentance is accepting God’s priorities in the home and family.