The Fear of the Lord and the Next Generation


Why do young men and women leave the church in their college years? The way parents choose to live will make all the difference.

Too often today we hear of young men and women leaving the church during their college years or shortly thereafter. When asked why, they often say they saw a disconnect between what they were taught and what they saw in the lives of their parents and other adults. How we live matters.

To set a godly example, we must understand the fear of the Lord. But what does it mean to "fear" the Lord? It doesn't mean that we live in abject terror of God, as if He were sitting on His throne in heaven waiting to destroy us when we sin. God is a God of justice, but He is also a God of love. To fear the Lord, then, is to live in reverence of Him.

A person who fears the Lord wants to obey Him, please Him, and walk in close step with Him. To live this way, we must have God at the forefront of our minds, day in and day out. We must "pray without ceasing," as Paul said (1 Thessalonians 5:17), so that God is the first person we consult with every important decision we make. We must give every area of our lives over to God and recognize His goodness, Truth, and beauty in the blessings He provides.

When we live like that, our joy and contentment will be contagious -- and the next generation will notice.

Prayer: Father God, help me to be sincere, hating what is evil and clinging to what is good (Romans 12:9) so that my life can be a testimony to others. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).

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