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WHO'S RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR KIDS' PROBLEMS?       Maria #140       DO 2669       11/90
--By Maria

       1. With all that we've published lately about our children & how we have to take care of their problems before it's too late, you may have been wondering where did they get all these problems in the first place? Why have such serious problems befallen so many of our children? After all, we're living for Jesus, we're serving Him, we're following Him closer than any other people we know of in the World; what's happened to our children? We thought they were doing fine, now all of a sudden we wake up to the fact that an awful lot of them have some pretty serious problems. So who or what is responsible?

       2. If you've seriously asked yourself this question you may have come up with quite a variety of possible answers, ranging from the parents, to the teachers, to the children themselves, to the children's peers, to our Family system, to communal living, to the Lord's Work, etc., etc. When you read the histories of many of our children with serious problems, you see that there is a wide variety of difficulties that many of them have experienced, most of which would indeed fall into the categories listed above of things that could be held to blame for their problems.

       3. There are cases of parental separations, System influences, children not receiving enough discipline or receiving too harsh discipline. There are also cases where the children have seen some very poor examples in adults, experienced their parents' favouritism of another brother or sister, partaken of negative peer influence & System school experiences. Others have had a poor foundation in the Word, too exalted a public ministry, or been neglected because of their being part of a large family.

       4. As a result of experiences like these, many of our children developed bitterness, pride, independence, criticism, jealousy, apathy, envy or one of many other spiritual problems. It looks like we could blame all of these things for our children's problems, since we can probably trace every problem back to some difficult experience or period of their lives.

       5. One problem, however, with this reasoning is that not all of our children who have had these same experiences have been seriously affected by them. Another problem is that some of our children who have not gone through any of these difficult things still have had problems. When I went over the entire list of hardships above & tried to figure out which of these things were to blame for Techi's problems, I had a difficult time coming up with the answer.--There'd been no parental separation, no System influence, no negative peer pressure, no lack of discipline, no lack of love, no lack of attention, no exalted public ministry, no terribly bad samples--but she still had developed serious problems.

       6. So I wasn't doing so well in my attempt to try to find a common denominator in our children's serious problems. We always try to discover what has caused the problem so we can work on changing the situation & remedying it. But in thinking & praying about all of our children, I was coming up with so many different things that could be to blame, some which could have been avoided since they were mistakes that we as adults have made in our treatment & handling of them. Others, however, could not have been easily avoided as they had to do with our service for the Lord & our needing to put Him first, even before our personal families. Neither could we easily avoid the negative peer pressure of other children.


       7. But does it matter so much who or what is to blame after all? Yes, it does matter, because if we can find some single cause, or common denominator in all these things, we can focus the blame or pinpoint it more precisely, so we can more effectively fight the problems. It matters even more when we realise the one who is ultimately to blame for our children's problems is the Enemy!--Who has been going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, because he knows his time is short.--And who does not want to get exposed so is trying to get us to blame everyone & everything else for his dirty work.

       8. Why does he not want to be exposed? Because he knows we will get angry at his treachery & wage a militant warfare against him. He is the one who is causing our kids' problems, he is the one who is doing the dirty work. He is out to get them, he is bent on destroying them! He is on the campaign of his existence to try to destroy our young people. In fact, he wants all the World's young people, but he is even more furious at those who have committed themselves to serving Jesus, he is even more determined to cause them trouble.

       9. So he's waging very heavy attacks against our children in particular, & he will try to use anything he can to destroy them. He will use our weaknesses & their weaknesses & anything he can to stumble them. He will try to take every experience in their life & turn it into something negative that will hinder them & stunt their growth.--Whereas the Lord intends every experience to be a positive, learning, faith-building step of progress. It's the Devil's job to go about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. But our job is to resist him steadfast in the faith, & to fight for our children & to help them turn all their experiences into positive steps in their spiritual growth. (1Pet.5:8,9)

       10. So I'm coming more & more to the conclusion that our kids are simply going to have problems.--Not necessarily because of anything wrong with the way they've been raised, but most of all because the Enemy is really out to cause them trouble! And as I said, he'll use anything that he can as an inroad into their minds & hearts. If the parents have been a bad sample, he'll try to use that to get the kids off track & to justify their own problems & to do their own thing, & make them think that their parents are hypocritical.

       11. In cases where the parents have separated, the Devil has used that with some kids, & they have gotten bitter over it. In cases where the kids have gotten discipline that's been too harsh, the Devil may have used that & either made them bitter, resentful or fearful about it. In cases where they've not gotten enough, he has used that to make them independent, self-willed, unyielded & disobedient. Where they've been used greatly in public ministries, he's tried to use that exaltation to minister to their pride, & has been able to get in through those weak spots & get them proud & lifted up & thinking they're better than others, & therefore critical of others.

       12. We could go on & on & on with the things that have happened in our kids' lives that the Enemy has been quick to pinpoint & to use.--To blow up into big problems that he's been able to either stumble them with or use to get them off track.


       13. If the Devil can't find anything that he can use to stumble the child or to hinder him in his spiritual growth or to weaken him in some way or to hold him back, then he just manufactures something. He'll just make something up.--Like he did with Techi. He'll make children think that the adults are too hard on them. Or he'll give them critical thoughts about their peers or he'll make them resentful of correction, or whatever.

       14. The Devil is out to get our kids any way he can. Of course, it's easier for him if he can just use something that actually took place in their life, to stumble them or to hinder them. But if their situation has been ideal, then he'll just make up some problem, or he'll take something that is perhaps just a normal NWO for preteens, & blow it up out of proportion.

       15. Even though Dad & I aren't the perfect parents, nor are Amy & Gabe the perfect teachers, I would say that we & they as well as her previous helpers have all tried to the best of our ability to do a good job with her & David, & to keep them in line, keep them on track, & to be a fairly good sample to them as well. I don't see that Techi has gone through any traumatic experiences that would have damaged her, or that would have hurt her faith in a serious way.

       16. I think she's been raised under excellent conditions & circumstances, yet she's still had problems.--Which, if they had not been dealt with when they came up, could have turned into very very serious problems, similar to Mene's! The Devil was really out to get her, he was attacking & he was trying to destroy her! If we hadn't dealt with these attacks when we did, & as vigorously as we did & as prayerfully as we did, I think that within a very short time she could have ended up in a Mene state. I hate to say that & sound so extreme, but that's my honest opinion. I could be wrong, & we'll never know.--Thank God we'll never know! God forbid!

       17. But because she was heading that direction & the Devil was trying to drive her crazy, I could certainly see some similarities in the beginning stages of her problems, as compared with the beginning stages of some of Mene's problems. Of course, Techi hadn't had the same problems with extreme exaltation, envy & fantasizing that Mene did, nor were her problems nearly as long-term as Mene's were. There are many differences between the two.

       18. But the fact is that the Enemy was definitely trying to drive Techi crazy. And if she had yielded to his attacks & hadn't fought them, & hadn't yielded to the Lord & become obedient in the other areas of her life, she wouldn't have even had the faith to fight those outside attacks of the bad pictures & bad thoughts.--In which case, I believe that she could have literally gone crazy!--Like Mene did! That's what the Devil was out to do to her! And that's what she had to do to fight him. She had to take some responsibility, too. Thank You, Lord, for rescuing her! Hallelujah! Praise You Jesus! Thank You Jesus! What great things He's done for us! Hallelujah!

       19. I'm not saying that we're perfect, I know we're not. We're far from perfect & there are a lot of things we probably could have done differently. But there's nothing I can look back on as being seriously wrong or "off."

       20. Of course, all children go through little problems of one kind or another in their life, increasing in intensity in their preteens & early teens, & the situation & conditions are never perfect for anyone. The Devil's always ready to pick on any little thing & blow it all out of proportion if he can.


       21. In a way, the Lord has made their preteen & teen years a time of major changes & readjustments. As Dad has said before, that's when they start becoming more independent in preparation for growing up & for having families of their own. They become more critical, more analytical, more self-righteous. That's all part of their learning process & their growing up & learning to think for themselves, discern things for themselves & judge for themselves. It's preparation for the time when they'll have to do it & won't be able to just take the word of adults, but they'll have to figure things out for themselves.

       22. But if children aren't properly guided through these feelings & these thoughts & these changes in their attitudes & ways of looking at things, then they can easily get off the track in them. They can easily become very negative. Instead of these natural changes being used for good, they may be used for bad; especially if the Enemy is allowed to get in there to use those things or blow them up.


       23. Likewise with any of the problems we have mentioned: If these problems aren't given attention at the time they first come up & if they are allowed to continue, they may very well become serious. However, if the kids are given the Word on the problems, if they are prayed with about them, if they are talked to about them, if they see that there is an open line of communication & a concern about their problem, the Enemy will be stopped in his tracks! He will not be able to get the mileage out of their problems that he is expecting to.

       24. If the adults are aware of the potential of these problems & if they have the desire to help the kids get over these obstacles, the problems can be nipped in the bud. If they are taken care of at the beginning, I don't think they will ever become such big problems!

       25. You could probably look at all our Teens & JETTs & single out different things in their lives that we might say could account for their problems. But I don't really think we can just say that this or that traumatic experience, or this or that deprivation or hardship or lack of love or whatever is what caused all their problems. It may be the thing that the Enemy has used, it may be the weak spot, but if someone had been there when the problem began to get to their heart & helped them over it & through it, I think it could have become a strong point in their life instead of a problem. It could have become a victory instead of a defeat.

       26. They could have been shown the Lord in the situation & they could have learned to be cheerful about it & to have a Romans 8:28 outlook on it, to see all the good things about it.

       27. Okay now, don't condemn yourself. Maybe you haven't handled things properly, or maybe you haven't handled them at all. Maybe you didn't even know there was a problem to handle. If so, just ask the Lord to forgive you, maybe the kids too, then start over & try again. You can now answer the unanswered questions, clear up the misunderstandings, pray against the bitternesses & together count up all the good things the Lord has brought from seeming defeats.


       28. In the past we either were ignorant of the need or ignorant of how to remedy it, or we didn't have the time, or all of the above. I think it's been a little of all three. The adults have had very important jobs & ministries that have kept them so busy, that we might say it's been a case of saving others, but themselves & their children, their own, they haven't been able to save. As things were, I don't know how they could have given proper attention to all these other jobs & also properly taken care of so many children, giving them the time & attention that they needed.

       29. The question that some people might ask is, "Then why didn't we do something about changing things earlier? Why did we wait until now, at this late date?" Well, I may not have the entire answer to that, but I definitely believe that "all things work together for good to them that love the Lord!"--Rom.8:28. Maybe the Lord was more interested in us reaching the World with His Message, & He figured that we could zero-in & follow up on our kids later.--And that time has now come!

       30. Maybe we were able to muddle through before & the Lord let us emphasise other things instead, but now is the time for us to turn our attention to our kids because they really do need us now more than ever before. It seems there are some things we could not have avoided, such as our work for the Lord, which in many cases took precedence over the extra attention we wished to give to our kids. But there are some things that were avoidable, such as weaknesses in our own lives. However, there is no use in feeling condemned about our failure or lacks in the past. Now's the time to think about what we're going to do in the present!

       31. You must not burden yourselves with a heavy load of guilt or remorse over past mistakes. Your children would have had problems with or without you. Neither must you murmur that because you were living for the Lord, your children have suffered. They would have suffered far more if you hadn't been! What you need to do now is get in there & really help them do something about their problems! And do something about your own if you need to.

       32. If you parents are being poor examples & are not correcting the problems in your own lives, then the Lord may just allow your children to continue to have serious problems as a punishment for you, the parents, until you get straightened out. We may have done a lot of things wrong in the past, but if we'll just start righting those wrongs now as much as possible, & start doing the right thing, I think the Lord will certainly bless & will help our kids over their problems.

       33. In some ways we do need to reflect on what our problems as parents & Shepherds & teachers have been, because then we can right them & not be overly condemned about them. And in finding what mistakes we made in the past, we can now do the right thing in the present.

       34. If we've been unaware of what's going on in our young people's lives, then let's start keeping in much closer contact. If we've been a bad sample, let's ask the Lord & them to forgive us & start being a good sample! If we haven't spent enough time with them, let's try to spend more time with them.


       35. Children will pretty much go whatever direction their parents & teachers go. They're very impressionable & they're very influenced by your attitude & what you think. That's what they pick up. Whatever you put into them, that's what they're going to come out with. I see that in the input that I've been having with Techi recently; she's now coming out with the very same things. She's preaching the same sermons back to me.

       36. That's what kids do. If they're taught the right way, & you have the right attitude & you pass that on to them, they're going to have the right attitude. If we see Jesus in everything, no matter how difficult the circumstances or situations may seem to us, they're going to see Jesus in it!

       37. If we communicate with them & talk to them & pray with them & show them how we see things, then they're going to see them that way too. Part of the problem is that we just haven't fully understood this, we haven't realised how important it was that we help them so tenderly & carefully through their questionings, their misunderstandings, their fears & their difficulties.

       38. We should have realised, because we know how important it is for us in our own lives to have this help. We need people to pray with us, people to talk to us, people to help us to understand things. So how much more do our kids need it? But we haven't fully realised that, we haven't seen it. But I believe that the Lord will have mercy on our ignorance & give us another chance now to do it the right way! PTL!


       39. Although the Devil is ultimately to blame for our children's problems, it's sad when he is able to use our weaknesses & our mistakes to hurt them. So let's all do what we can now to try to correct the things that the Enemy has been able to use against our children: Our poor sample, our lack of discipline, our negligence in giving them enough time & attention, our lack of following Jesus closely enough.--Let's correct all these things in our own lives so we can have the full assurance & conviction to fight for our children & stand by their sides against the onslaughts of the Enemy.

       40. He'll always use something to try to hinder & stumble them, but God forbid that hereafter it should be sins & neglect on our part! "It must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"--Mat.18:7. If we are right with the Lord & the right sample to our children, we can make it much easier for them in their spiritual fight against the Enemy. If they know we are behind them & we are supporting them & we are fighting for them in prayer & with them in the Word, they will be strengthened & encouraged & much better able to fight the battles. The times of our previous ignorance God overlooked, but now He calleth us all to repent (Acts 17:30), & to no longer be in a position where we can be used by the Enemy to harm our children!

       41. Certainly the Lord doesn't want us to look back on our mistakes & failures with remorse & condemnation, or on our life in the Family & Work for the Lord with murmuring & discontentment because of the "problems" that came about as a result of doing God's Will. Instead, we should look to the Lord full of faith & claim His promises that all things truly do work together for good to them that love Him, & that He will care for His Own, & that "All Thy children shall be taught of the Lord, & great shall be the peace of Thy children."--Isa.54:13.--And that "Whatever thou spendest, He will repay."--Luk.10:35. You can never outgive God.

       42. Some of our children may be in pretty bad shape now & they may have been buffeted & tossed & weakened through some difficult experiences, but now is the time to come to their rescue, to fight by their side & help them to gain the victories they so desperately need! As a Family we all could have done better with our children, we've all made mistakes.

       43. But now is not the time for condemnation or remorse, but for repentance, for change & for new commitment & dedication to the Lord & His Family & to our children! To get our kids to be what we want them to be, we've got to be what the Lord wants us to be!--Which means we all need to raise the standard in our own lives first, so that all of us--adults & children--will have the same standard, obey the same rules & let the Lord clean us all up!

       44. It's time to get on the attack where we've let our guard down & get back to the basics of revolutionary discipleship for Jesus! We adults need to get back to our first love for Jesus & for the Word & for lost souls that we used to have, before we can expect to be able to get our kids to do the same! We all need to go forward now with a new vision to bring our children through to victory with our newfound knowledge of how to do it by establishing honest, open communication with them, & by instilling in them a burning desire to win the World for Jesus!

       45. If they have that motivation, nothing will stop them, they'll want to overcome their weaknesses, they'll want to learn the Word. They'll want to do whatever is necessary to become the good soldiers that Jesus wants them to be.--Just like we were when we were babes & wanted so much to please the Lord & make Jesus happy. We were willing to go through any hardship, bear any trial to fulfill His commandments. So let's all help to instil in them this motivation--& if we've lost it, let's get it back!

       46. Now is the time for all of us to be used by the Lord & to become strong Shepherds & protectors of our little lambs.--So they won't have to fight these battles on their own, but we can fight for them & with them in the strength & unity of the Spirit! Let's not be part of the problem, let's be part of the solution!--And let's all do our best to help our kids do their best for Jesus!

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