The Generation Gap is for Suckers!

Paul Vander Klay

July 12, 2010

At the base of these findings about marriage, child raising and age-segregated worship, are the same phenomena. Radical selfishness. God’s original directions to the human race were to be fruitful and multiply. The problem would be very familiar to John Milton. His Lucifer in Paradise Lost famously says, “it is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven.” The issue is that in order to maximize our individual happiness and freedom, our will must never be compromised. Children complicate and cripple our selfish life-style. Marriage is designed to create a Christ-likeness or servant character in us. Age blended worship services require that we listen to and defer to the wisdom of elders.

I like the comment by Martin Seligman in the parenting article, “happiness is best defined in the ancient Greek sense: Leading a productive, purposeful life. And the way we take stock of that life, in the end, isn’t by how much fun we had, but what we did with it.” That is exactly the way I feel. Another finding mentioned in the article was that “people are far more apt to regret things they haven’t done than things they have. In one instance, he followed up on the men and women from the Terman study, the famous collection of high-IQ students from California who were singled out in 1921 for a life of greatness. Not one told him of regretting having children, but ten told him they regretted not having a family.”

I wouldn’t trade those memories of teaching all three of my children to ride a bike for anything. Or teaching them to ski and having to ski the bunny slopes with them, or teaching my daughter to read, or reading the Narnia Chronicles to each of them as they grew up.

Jean Paul Sartre perfectly summed up the modern human attitude with his statement, "l'enfer, c'est les autres ("Hell is other people").

July 12, 2010

Hi Paul, Just a thought on the institution of parenting... Maybe it's not only the fact that you lose autonomy and freedom as a parent, but also that children today are different than in the past? The sense of entitlement children inherit from our culture and the media pressure that pries children away from parents at such an early age might also be contributing factors to the disillusionment parents experience?

July 13, 2010

As one of the 'Aged' in a church of mostly aged people the main thing I feel is loss. The Family of God implies all ages from babies to Grandparents.We have a large 'Youth drop in' during the week but they never 'drop in' to the worship on Sunday!
In my 'Natural' family I have a respected place with adult children & their children but most church fellowships seem to practice apathied & split into Old - Young - Single -Married -- Youth etc. One church here even has a seperate group for Divorced - seperated. We should look foreword to Heaven where ALL will be as one in Christ.

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