The world has changed quite a bit over the last 20 to 30 years. Views held by teenagers are not the same views you or I held when we were younger.
In fact, their beliefs vary widely and contrast sharply with what previous generations grew up with.
A survey taken in 2010 asked those under the age of 18 to share their thoughts on the world. What they said shocked me and, I believe, may shock you.
What Young People Believe
81% believe it is not okay to break the law, even if no one is hurt: If I had conducted this survey, I would not have expected this result. My opinion had been that most people would be okay with breaking the law, as long as no one was hurt.
This statistic about what young people believe says otherwise. Overwhelmingly, young people believe in obeying the laws.
47% agree you sometimes have to bend the rules to your own benefit to get by: This statistic surprised me after reading the first thing young people believe. If you believe that obeying the law is important, how is bending the rules to get by okay?
I’m not sure how that is okay given the previous statistic, but I’ve seen a lot of this happen in our time in youth ministry. Young people were okay with bending the rules and trying to get a little more here or there.
46% do not believe the Bible provides a clear and indisputable description of moral truth: I’m truly saddened by this statistic. The word of God contains a wealth of knowledge on how to be moral and truthful.
Young people are not seeing how valuable the Bible is! Almost half of the teenagers surveyed see the Bible as another book that doesn’t contain truth.
41% rarely attend religious services: A large portion of the youth no longer attend church services. While I’m disheartened by this fact, I know there are other ways to meet with believers and fellowship.
However, I get a feeling from this survey that the young people who answered are not even fellowshipping with others.
41% agree that a cohabitating, homosexual couple is a family: This has become a common belief among many people, especially the younger generation. The family unit has become so jacked up between divorce, living together before marriage, and homosexuality, that people no longer know what a true family unit is.
34% spend 15 minutes or less per week talking to their fathers about things that really matter to them: Teenagers are missing a huge part of their lives, FATHERS. They’re not sure how to approach the men in their lives and they don’t know how to talk to them.
What’s sad is that they get less time with the most prominent male figure in their lives than they spend on a typical TV show.
26% sometimes or frequently wonder if their fathers love them: Can you imagine going through your life wondering whether or not your dad loves you? Over a quarter of the respondents feel this way.
They don’t feel the love of their father. They don’t know if their father cares…
What You Can Do About These Sobering Statistics
You’re only one person, but you can make a difference. I know you can.
You can do something to change the lives of these young people. And for the better.
So, what can you do?
Spend more time with your children: Children love quality time. Yet they also crave quantity time as well.
You’ve got to be willing to spend time with your children.
Put away the work laptop and get outside with your children. Go play catch or take a stroll around the block with them.
Give your children your time.
Talk with the younger generation: Teenagers are longing for a listening ear. So much is weighing on their heart and they need someone to tell them it’s going to be okay.
Find a way to let teenagers share their heart with you. You’ll be surprised when you discover they’re not all self-centered.
Model Biblical relationships: Young people don’t know what to believe about families anymore. They’ve seen divorce happen in their families. They’ve heard the schools tell them all lifestyles are right. They’ve been fed lies.
Your life can be a model to those teenagers around you. They’re watching you to see how you live out your life.
Be willing to set an example.
Even if it’s one life, you can make a difference. By doing the things above, you will change the lives of those teenagers around you.
Step out today and be the example.