Today’s world presents many challenges to raising children, including ever-changing technology, gangs, drug culture, and an array of other harmful influences. It’s more difficult than ever to help children be safe, stable, happy, and able to resist temptations. In Rearing Children in a Postmodern World, author Pastor Carey N. Ingram guides you through the complexities of Christian parenting and gives hope to those overwhelmed by the worldly conditions.
Building on his experiences as a parent, grandparent, teacher, pastor, and mentor, he provides advice about teaching children to live a life that is pleasing in the eyes of God. He explores the origin of the dysfunctional family, emphasizes the importance of mentoring, and discusses
• how to understand the postmodern world;
• whether to discipline or punish children;
• how gangs affect children; and
• why abstinence should be a teen goal.
Providing a fresh approach to raising children today, Rearing Children in a Postmodern World offers insight into how parents, schools, community agencies, and industries can work together to bring success and happiness to youngster’s lives.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.27(d)|
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Rearing Children in a Postmodern World
By CAREY N. INGRAM
iUniverse LLCCopyright © 2013 Pastor Carey N. Ingram
All rights reserved.
Understanding and Living In A Postmodern World
THE PROBLEM DEFINED
I do not believe anyone will argue that for as good as our children have it in this country, they also face obstacles, lifestyle challenges, and other issues that were less frequent or nonexistent for those of us born before 1964. Today's youth live in a time of high technology with computers, high definition television, iPhones, iPods, and iPads, to name a few. All of these are a part of the home, school, church, and recreation areas. However, when it comes to defining a hurting child in today's society, the list is inexhaustible, but some problems are more obvious. I am definitely saying that we had a better childhood than children have today. Life was so much simpler and innocent. That is not to say that it was perfect, but it was better. I want to suggest that every child is a hurting child to some degree. I say that because of the unexpected things children face daily. For example, the Hurricane Katrina Disaster, the Haiti Earthquake, and the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami wave in Japan affected the children directly involved, but they also affected children everywhere who watched the plight of these areas over a period of time. Let's face it, we are seeing tremendous disasters on a regular basis and they are affecting all of us. "Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy" (Proverbs 6-15). Has the world become that wicked person that now must reap what has been sowed? What price do our children have to pay? The 911 terror attack, wars and upheavals in many countries, and natural disasters in recent years have had profound effects on our children's psyches. The end result is children from all backgrounds are not feeling safe. They may not say it or express it, but in time, we will see the result of children not feeling safe.
Who is the hurting child? To further examine this idea, here is a list of what children and teenagers face everyday:
Temptations of drugs and alcohol
Tremendous pressure to have sex and challenges about their sexuality (heterosexual, bisexual, and/or homosexual)
Greater pressure on all age students to compete and succeed in school
Loneliness and depression
Fear of the police (some respect the law and stay out of jail while others have total disregard for the law and see the police as the enemy)
Everyday threats of being kidnapped or at worst, gunned down in some areas
Challenges to live for Christ in an ungodly society
Sexual exploitation (even slave trade in some countries) by an adult (male or female)
Concerns about staying healthy and not being obese
The puberty crisis of feeling unattractive and inadequate
Worries about wars and terrorism which result in being separated from family members involved in wars for periods of time per year
Concerns about having money to have fun like their peers
Concerns about how mama and daddy are doing
Our children are often labeled and must live with that label for the rest of their lives. They are labeled Autistic, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Emotionally Disturbed, Learning Disabled, or Physically Disabled. I am not saying the diagnosis is not true, but when you label a child, it tends to put him in a category where he often has no support and, therefore, has no hope of getting to that place we call "normal." The question is, "What has brought us to this point?" Let me share my theory with you.
A POSTMODERN WORLD
This idea of a Postmodern World first came to my attention more than a decade ago when our church family shared in sponsoring a Men's workshop with the Rev. C.L. Jordan, who, at the time, was the Pastor of a church in Cartersville, Georgia. We were privileged to have Dr. Larry Mercer, formerly of Moody Bible Institute and presently President of Washington Bible College in Washington D.C.
Dr. Mercer taught a Parenting Class and brought to light some things that many people still had not grasped or perhaps did not even have a clue about, and it is this: It is a different world today from the world we came from. In today's society, we have two worlds: the Modern world and the Postmodern world. Unfortunately, these two worlds are different in attitudes, trains of thought, behaviors, and ideas as to what is valued in life.
My own fascination about this subject led me to discover that the modern world (the Baby Boomer's Generation and before) are those people born before 1964. We are rooted and grounded in what our parents taught us. We know what we believe to be right and wrong. Our core values are Bible based. We trust the Bible. The Bible is absolute truth. Consider this scripture: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, in the modern world, the enemy is clearly defined. Now, this is not to say that we do exactly what we know to be right every time, but we do know that our enemy for life is a fallen angel, a spirit being whose name is Satan. Satan, or the devil, has a legion of spirit beings that follow him called demons. They are out to destroy the work of God and God's people on the earth. In fact, we believe that the word of God, the Bible, is inerrant and infallible. Again, we never measure up to it, and we certainly misinterpret it at times, but we know, as Christians, that with the aid of the Holy Spirit, that truth is brought to light in the word of God. It alone can guide us through this world and back to our Heavenly Father.
Another example of modern world thinking is that for the Christians, we believe Jesus is the only Savior of the world. Jesus the Christ is the anointed Messiah and only through belief in Him can we obtain eternal life. The scripture declares, "Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). Further, for those my age and older, it is settled that marriage is defined as a man and woman joined in holy matrimony. We believe that divorce is what God allows but not what he intended. We believe that in the preeminence of love: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal ... Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth ... where everything else may fail, love will always bring the crown of life which is life abundant, and life everlasting" (1 Corinthians 13:1;4-8). As Christains, we believe love to be the guiding force in our lives.
However, the thinking is not the same in what is called the Postmodern World, which refers to those born after 1964. Also called Generation X and the 13th Generation, these groups initially defined themselves with the train of thought that you can fear it or face it. The year 2002 began the Internet Generation.
In the Postmodern World, reality is what you create it to be. There are no absolutes. Everything is based on relativism. We see this in the media. Art once imitated life; now life imitates art. The Postmodern World lives life based on feelings. They reject absolute truths. Believe it or not, the Bible tells us that such generations of people would come. This is not to say that everyone in recent generations thinks this way, just like everyone born before them do not fully embrace the Bible. But, generally speaking, far too many of the latter generations reject the Bible, and therefore, they reject God as absolute truth.
This is first pointed out in the Old Testament: "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves; their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation" (Deuteronomy 32:4-5). Hear Jesus' description: "And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light" (Luke 16:8).
All these scriptures point us to the Jewish Race, God's people, who rejected Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Paul spoke of his people in this manner: "And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation" (Acts 2:40). Could it be that as time passes, every new generation is growing farther away from God?
So, the Postmodern World stands in contrast to the modern world. For example, sex before marriage is most acceptable in this untoward generation. In the beginning, marriage was between a man and woman, but today, it could also be between a man and man or woman and a woman. A CNN News Poll in early 2011 reported that 40% of Americans under the age of 30 saw marriage as obsolete. From my own experience, I have observed many couples content living together and not getting married at all. There is a present trend where women want and have children without a husband in the relationship. A woman just needs a sperm donor. Ideas such as these and others suggest God is just a matter of individual opinion. You have a God; I have a God. There is no right, no wrong, and no sin. There is even a train of thought that says there is no hell, and that all creation will go to heaven.
Now, here is the challenge to the Christian family. First, we live in a society that clearly rejects Biblical authority, including the Jewish Nation's rejection of Christ, Scientology, or someone as powerful as Oprah Winfrey, who has used her influence to suggest to people that Jesus may not be the only way of Salvation (therefore to Heaven), and the list goes on and on. You have websites that invite you to sign up to denounce the Holy Spirit in your life. To a Christian, that is blasphemy.
Second, there is a reluctance to submit to authority figures: parents, police, pastors, teachers, and others in leadership positions. These individuals are not respected for who they are in trying to guide people.
Third, there is the denial of absolute truths. To many, the Bible is now a book not to be reverenced and believed; rather, it is a book of myths and stories that may or may not be true.
Fourth, Satan is challenging anyone who will listen to those things that were once conceded to be right.
Consider these terms with which we need to re-familiarize ourselves in facing family issues:
1. Know that immorality is that which is ungodly and wrong, conflicting with generally or traditionally held moral principles.
2. Morals are practices or teachings: modes of conduct, a standard of our ethics and morale.
3. Amoral is neither moral nor immoral (good or bad) until you make the decision as what to do with a component that carries it.
For example, the media, music, TV, computer, cell phones, and other objects or trains of thought are harmless in and of themselves. These amoral things are neither good nor bad until they get into a person's hand or mind; then it depends upon what a person does with them.
What must we do? Let me say that now is not the time for Christian neutrality in this Postmodern Society. Now is the time for us to act. Our greatest resource, our youth, is at risk. We cannot afford to pretend all is well when there are so many hurting children in almost every facet of life. Children with no direction are doomed.
There is a story of an old lady who had a farm. One day, as she stepped out the back door to go into her garden, a frog at her door jumped into the house. It went straight to the kitchen where it hopped up on a kitchen chair and onto the kitchen table. His curiosity moved him to jump another level up to the kitchen stove. On top of the stove, he sensed water and jumped into a kettle filled with it. There, the frog decided to relax a minute and enjoy his new environment. Unknown to him, the old lady had turn on the stove to heat the water for vegetables she had gone to the garden to retrieve. The frog continued to enjoy the water but noticed that it was getting warm. This was a totally new environment to him, and he had no clue as to the impending danger. So, even as it got hotter and hotter, he continued to relax in the water. Then, the frog thought, "This heat will surely decrease." He remained in the hot kettle of water where he was beginning to sweat. Then, at that very moment, he thought to hop out of the water. The old lady brought mixed vegetables and put them in the pot. Now, the frog was content to rest on a green leaf and nibble off pieces of the other leaves. The frog was on what he assumed to be a lily pad while he enjoyed a snack. However, by this time, the water was almost to a boiling point, and the frog realized he was in a world of trouble. Unfortunately , when he went to hop out of the water, he found out he had no strength and his feet had swollen to the point he could not hop at all. Therein was the demise of this healthy but unwise frog. The point: this is a situation in which too many of our youth find themselves. A curious, innocent walk in the wrong direction, and one could end up in a fight, sometimes a fight that could costs them their lives. Young people are often seduced into situations and places where all seems good and comforting, only to find out later that it is slowly destroying the very fibers of their lives. What is our resolve in holding our family together in this Postmodern Day World?
I contend that we must declare war and remember God cannot use cowardly soldiers. This is warfare. We must fight for the hearts, souls, and minds of our children. Satan says, "You can have the children on Sunday; just give them to me the other six days." He knows the values displayed at most schools and on television, in general and specifically, on MTV, TH1, and BET, who have little or no redeeming value toward God. Therefore, parents must play a greater role in the lives of their children. This is one of the most awesome scriptures in the Bible that details parents' responsibility to their children: "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 65-7).
How do we begin to address the problem in your home to counter the ungodly world that we face each day. "Ministering to Hurting Children" is a possible solution, and perhaps we can start with the following suggestions:
1. Make sure your home is a spiritually wholesome, safe and sacred haven. In a song I heard, "A house is not a home until there is love in the house." God is creator, sustainer, and the source of power. He is love. God wants center stage in our homes. Does God have center stage in your home? My wife has a theme for just about every room in our house. Our den area is "the zoo." She has statues of elephants, bears, zebras, ducks, and the list goes on. It creates an atmosphere of playfulness for my grandchildren and me. It is a place where we naturally congregate, relax and have fun. We may or may not turn on the TV. We can generally make our own fun with games, talking, and singing songs. However, in the foyer and the living room area is an entirely different story. When you enter the front door of our home, you'll see two beautifully framed messages. One says, "Welcome to the Power House of Carey and Judy Ingram where we honor the Lord, and He honors us with His presence." The other picture shares the 12 Old Testament names of God. This picture was given to us by dear friends. On a small table in the foyer are pictures of my wife and me when we were first married and pictures that celebrate our 25th Anniversary of marriage.
The living room has a more traditional look. We have one cabinet with all of our honors, trinkets, and other keepsakes, and yes, the Holy Bible sits open on the coffee table. A family portrait adorns our front wall. Without effort, the living room is definitely a special and sacred space. Sometimes, we entertain company in this room. But more often than not, we spend time praying in this room. It is a special and quiet place. I want to believe that everyone who comes through my front door feels and comes to know that they are in a special place.
Throughout the rest of the house, my wife has devotionals and all sorts of Christian literature so displayed that you feel welcome to pick it up. In other words, when you come in my home, I am confident that you feel you're in a special place. You immediately know what we stand for. The scenery, the literature, and the spirit of the home all point you to Christ. The conversation, if not initially, will soon be about the goodness of God. My point is you must create an environment and atmosphere in your home that helps and heals the wounded spirit. Encouragement and confidence should manifest itself in our homes. Have the kind of home that allows you to build up the character of those who come to your home. If you have Godly character, build your personal character into the lives of your family and those who come to your home. I am convinced that people, in general, (especially your children and grandchildren) are naturally drawn to the love of God that dwells within you.
Excerpted from Rearing Children in a Postmodern World by CAREY N. INGRAM. Copyright © 2013 Pastor Carey N. Ingram. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Special Thanks.................... ix
Chapter 1 Understanding and Living In A Postmodern World................... 1
Chapter 2 The Origin of the Dysfunctional Family and How We Got Here....... 13
Chapter 3 To Discipline or Punish Our Children ... Which?.................. 19
Chapter 4 What You Need To Know About Gangs and Raising Children in a
Postmodern World.................... 29
Chapter 5 Mentoring and It's Impact Upon Our Children.................... 35
Chapter 6 Teen Abstinence ... Goals to Set for Our Children................ 45
Chapter 7 The Greatest Problem Children Face In The Postmodern World....... 53
Chapter 8 A Children's Ministry and It's Impact Upon One's Church and
Chapter 9 Rearing Sheri, The Little Girl Who Lived At Our House............ 69
Chapter 10 Vacations, A Must for All Families.................... 77
Chapter 11 Helping Yourself Before Helping Others.................... 87
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