The counsel of the holy scriptures gives us specific direction for our lives. And it isn’t just for those of us well along in years but for the young generation as well.
Proverbs, also known as the book of wisdom, is comprised of insight into how we should live our lives and guidance in the choices we make. However, as we study this Old Testament book in its entirety, we can also glean some of the consequences of not living according to its statutes.
So, together, young and old folk alike, let’s explore how our attitudes can impact our obedience to God.
3 Attitudes That Prevent Obedience to God
The Attitude of Rebelliousness (vs. 11)
Young people, you have a great future ahead of you. However, the enemy’s goal is to lead you off course so that you step into the opposite of all God has planned for you. And one of the ways he does that is to trick you into a posture of rebellion.
“There is a generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother.”
Proverbs 30:11, NKJV
God is very clear on the posture we should hold for our parents. Unfortunately, many youth rebel at a certain age and wreak havoc not only on their relationships with their mother and father but also with God.
Rebellion is rooted in pride, ignorance, and idolatry and is the very thing that caused Lucifer to stumble, forfeiting his relationship with God altogether.
The Attitude of Arrogance (vs. 12-13)
“There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness. There is a generation – oh, how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up.”
Proverbs 30:12-13, NKJV
In other words, this passage says there are a people who think they know more than their parents and superiorities.
God has blessed my wife and me with six wonderful children. One of my children, Jimmy, was the most strong-willed and determined out of all of them, and most of our days early on in his life ended in a tussle. (If I am honest, had he been our first child, I am not sure we would have any more children!) But Natalie, our youngest daughter, was quite the opposite. She was wholesome and almost always exhibited godliness in all that she did. (Had she been our first child, we might have had twenty!)
I remember one year, while on a family vacation in Florida, we decided to visit SeaWorld. We arrived in the evening, just a few hours before closing, and I was shocked to discover that the theme park wanted to charge full price for admission that late in the day. As I questioned the cost of our tickets, Natalie looked at my wife and me and said, “What’s wrong with you people? You’re not supposed to be that way! And you call yourself a Christian!”
One thing I have learned as a parent is that regardless of each of my children’s personalities, at some point in their journey of growing up, they truly believed they knew better than their parents.
Scripture warns us about that kind of arrogance. The Bible declares that we must obey our parents if we want to live a life to the fullest. (Exodus 20:12) But that doesn’t have to do with the implied perfection of our parents; it has everything to do with obeying God, who, when we obey, will always protect us.
The Attitude of Selfishness (vs. 14)
“There is a generation whose teeth are like swords, and whose fangs are like knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.”
Proverbs 30:14, NKJV
Unfortunately, young people of this generation think that everything is to be used for their consumption. However, life is much bigger than that!
Young folk, you play an essential role in life and this world, but don’t miss this very important part: everything does not revolve around your wants, wishes, and desires.
I plead with you to avoid being so concerned with your wants that you overlook helping those around you. You can partner with God by stepping into your purpose and achieving great things when you learn and recognize helping people who are less fortunate than you.
When you serve other people, God will reward you for it.
No one is immune to these three detrimental attitudes. I, too, experienced these things as a young adult. I remember a time in my life when I thought I knew more than my father. And as I got older, I realized I didn’t know half the things my daddy knew. So, in humility, I apologized to my father, asking him to forgive me for thinking I knew it all. Maybe, young one, there is a parent figure you need to reconcile with. God will bless you for it.
Natural Consequence of Disobedience
“The eye that mocks his father, and scorns obedience to his mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.”
Proverbs 30:17, NKJV
Verse 17 shares that in your rebellion, arrogance, and selfishness, you will forfeit your sense of direction in life. Proverbs 20:20, NKJV says, “Whoever curses his father or his mother, His lamp will be put out in deep darkness.”
In my journey of pastoring people, I have learned that most struggle with not knowing where they are going. The general consensus is that they don’t know where their life should be, and the majority of the time, it is because they have been disrespectful and mocked their parents.
I want to challenge you not to make decisions based on how you are feeling or what someone else is telling you; make your choices based on the truth of God’s word. Let His commands rule your life, and you will live!
How to Encourage the Young Person in Your Life
Point Them to a Forgiving God
While we have things in our past we may not be proud of, let’s be examples of what God’s mercy and grace look like.
Share your testimony with your teenager or young adult and teach them that God is a God who gives you another chance when you make mistakes. Through your story, God’s faithfulness will be made known, which could change the trajectory path for someone you love.
Take Them to Church
As parents of teenagers, we have all experienced trials and challenges. (And in some cases, our kids may have given us hell!) I encourage you to look at where these patterns are stemming from. Is your child involved in a youth program or attending Sunday service?
If not, be careful not to expect righteousness from them because their foundations are shaky sand. And if your child is not in church, I encourage you to make this a part of your family’s values. Get them to church!
Ask For Help
First lady, Trina, loves her grandkids. In fact, she will bend over backward to make sure they have everything they need.
Grandparents, your children need your help in raising their children; it’s a family affair.
There is power in the generations learning from those who have gone before them, and stories of obedience and God’s goodness impact the hearts of those who are to come.
A Prayer For the Young Generation
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.”
Acts 2:17-18, NKJV
Young people, I don’t know what God’s call is for your life, but He does have a purpose for you. And I believe that as you remain steadfast in your obedience, you will glean a blessing from God who loves you. Remain committed to Jesus, obey the Lord, and by His Spirit, He will keep you in His perfect peace.
Father, I thank you for the young generation. I am grateful for the favor you have extended them as they engage in Your Church. I pray that You will do great and mighty things in their lives. Put a hedge of protection around each soul, and cancel every scheme of the enemy that is out to destroy their lives. I pray that your holy scriptures would be embedded in their hearts and they will take Your wisdom to every place their feet tread. Give them a heart that pleases you and help them to know you personally, in Jesus’ name. Amen.