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Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 in Generational | 4 comments

Should Every Generation Start From Scratch?

Should Every Generation Start From Scratch?

I think I’ve always held a pretty good external appearance of honor toward my parents and other figures of authority.  Growing up, I learned quickly how to say and do the right things.  My mom still tells me she never considered me to be dishonoring.  But I know in my heart that I’ve struggled over the years with believing that I know best about pretty much everything.  You may not think it’s possible, but I’ve even approached spirituality with a strong undertow of dishonor.

My parents are some of the most God-fearing people I know.  They’ve committed to live holy lives that honor God.  They’ve been faithful to each other and to raising a God-fearing family.  They’ve served in their church my entire life, supporting the work that God is doing there.  They’ve stood against empty religion and sought to share the genuine life-changing relationship that God has given them with others.  They use their gifts and their talents to help others find a deeper more meaningful relationship with God.  But, if you had run into me the summer before I went to college and asked me about my parents, you would have thought that I was being raised by faithless, compromising, religious wannabes who didn’t know the first thing about a real relationship with God.  In the midst of true revival in my own life, I stopped looking to my parents as sources of guidance and wisdom.  Over the years, I’ve realized that in many areas I was not benefiting from their input, but charting my own course.

Our culture celebrates the value of independence and self-reliance.  It’s almost perceived a weakness to seek out advice and support from others, especially your parents.  We make fun of children who live at home past high-school and we write-off the successes of those who build on the platforms and wealth they’ve inherited.  Faith, knowledge, wealth, wisdom…there have been times where anything that I didn’t come by on my own, I didn’t consider valuable.  A real man would have provided for himself!  Maybe you can relate.  I still struggle to place the same value on what I can learn from my parents, teachers and from my pastor as what I can come up with on my own.  The truth, though, is that we shouldn’t be starting from scratch with every generation.  I appreciate the confidence that comes from nurturing independence in children, but I’m also learning the importance of making sure we value the people God has given us to learn from.

What have you gained from your parents or other mentors?  How much value is it to you?

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  • My parents started out with only my dad as a breadwinner making around $6000 a year. (yes that’s only 3 zeros). He put three children through incredible institutions of higher learning.

    My mom instilled in us a strong life-giving faith.

    Their parents taught them how to make ends meet and how to trust God.

    We constantly joke about how my parents started at home plate and got each of us to third base.

    • Your parents are awesome! 🙂
      What a story. Wow! Elisha got a double-portion anointing from his spiritual father. It’s interesting to see the same thing happen in families with godly heritage. I’m believing somehow the same thing will happen with our children and their children. Passing the blessing along is really the heart behind a lot of my writing. Love ya! Thanks for commenting.

  • I think that part of learning from your parents is the acquisition of the respect for authority. It’s not quite saying “they’re always right” when you are younger, but it does mean that you follow their rules. As you get older, you may start discussing these rules with them, creating your own understanding, and eventually following your own path. However, learning and understanding a respect for authority is vital to your own path as well as society’s. I believe this doesn’t have anything to do with being independent. Would anyone say that the knights and other nobility in the Middle Ages who pledged to follow their lords were dependent and incapable of standing on their own? Our parents, however they are, are the authority figures in our lives when we are young. It doesn’t have anything to do with who makes the money or bakes the bread. Thanks for the thought-provoking post. It’s great to read some introspection.

    • Thanks for the comment. I agree. I’ve been on a journey the last decade exploring the role of parents in my life beyond youth. Our culture doesn’t speak much of it, but I’m learning there are huge benefits. I’ve dedicated some posts to it under the Generational Communication category. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!

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