ADVANCING THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AMONG YOUTHS
Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV)
It is not uncommon to see any right thinking society showing serious concerns about the state of their youth population. The youth population, comprising mostly persons whose age category falls between childhood and adulthood, often forms a larger part of the entire population. Evidently, this to a very large extent defines the productivity of that population. By implication therefore, a population that has highly intelligent, God fearing, diligent and responsible youths will boast competitive productive force. The reverse is the case when the size of the youth population is majorly uninformed and irresponsible.
Efforts are made on the part of government to provide at least some basic infrastructure both to educate and also to create an enabling environment for positive engagement of these youths (who are ever in in need of avenues to vent the pressures of their youthful exuberance,) by channeling their energies onto more productive ventures through skills acquisition. Experience however has shown that government have not really succeeded in these regards. It appears that they are overwhelmed by the ever increasing size of this population. The population of youths is increasing much faster than the government, particularly in Nigeria, could come up with productive ideas on their positive engagement.
On the other hand parents are doing their bit at the home front to give them a healthy foundation for the formation of good morals. Again, experience has shown that in the face of present economic realities, parents are more involved in pursuing money in a bit to make ends meet, rather than in investing in the character formation of their wards. Consequent upon the foregoing, and coupled with the ever increasing volume of unhealthy distractions, the quality of the youth population being presently produced is not what any society will be proud of. They are majorly lagging behind in quality education and morals. Of course you may want to agree with me that it takes more than a college/university degree to make someone a person of education. Many of our youths have gone into drugs and robbery. Drinking and smoking has become a common place. Unfortunately, this is not peculiar to the Nigerian environment. It has become a global issue.
Having enumerated the glaring problems in this discourse, the next question is WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD? Read this:
Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. (Psalms 127 NKJV)
For too long, God has been factored out of the equation of raising youths. God has been left in the sideline while man has taken up the responsibilities of God and having Satan as his chief adviser. Is it not about time we repented of our wickedness and invited God back to take His rightful place in our lives and institutions? Are things not bad enough as it is already? Let the revival sweep across this land once again beginning at the Church who has left to take heed of sound doctrines but have turned unto fables. The families, who have been blinded by economic realities and have failed to diligently pointed their children to God. The government and institutions which have relegated God to the background. To today's youths, God is interested in your life. Heaven has an expectation on your life. You are expected to deliver on heaven's mandate. You must not fail on this. It does not matter how far you have come, it is what you decide to do beginning from now that will count. Genuinely invite Jesus Christ into your life now and allow Him lead you to the place where prize winners get to. Let's encourage institutions which have remained steadfast in advancing the Kingdom of Christ among our youths. It is not too late to start.
Ven. Solomon O. Makun