On Monday of this week, 26 juniors and 3 counselors from our Church left for Venture of Faith camp in Valdosta, Ga. They range in age from 8-12 years old. For some, it is the first time they will be away from home and the watchful eyes of mom and dad. They will learn things they never knew before and experience things they never experienced before. Hopefully, they will return with a greater love for the Lord and their parents as well as reaching new highs in interpersonal relationships. (getting along with others) Having said all that, I would like to share here a message I preached on Sunday evening to our Church and especially to our young people. I titled it "The Value of Youthful Days ". You should read all of Ecclesiastes chapters 11 & 12. Ch. 11:9 says "Rejoice, young man, in thy youth: and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth..." Chapter 12:1 says, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them." Then the next half of chapter 12 describes old age and death. Adam never had the youthful days. He had no mother or father. However, God has so designed man that, incorporated in life are youthful days. Parents should not push their children out of those youthful days prematurely, nor should those days be prolonged. Let them grow up progressively according to God's plan. "Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." The days of youth are growing and learning days. They are straightening and strengthening days. Just like a tender tree is trained to grow straight and tall, so a young man is to be trained to grow straight and tall and young ladies are to be polished as stones for the palace. (see Psalms. 144:12)
Here I give for your consideration 4 descriptions of Youthful days:
- They are days of innocence. Thank God for what we didn't know in our youth! Our minds were not cluttered with unclean thoughts. Our eyes were pure. Our lips were pure. Our ears were virgin ears, never having heard the vile wicked ways of the world. THOSE DAYS OF INNOCENCE MUST BE GUARDED!
- They are days of instruction. Young people should learn about life during youth. That is a time of preparation and instruction for the days that are ahead. (read all of Proverbs). Christian parents should instruct their children about living while they are young. You can not wait until they are grown and gone to instruct them about living life God's way. THOSE DAYS OF INSTRUCTION SHOULD RE GIVEN.
- They are days of immeasurable joy. God has designed youthful days to be unhindered by worries about food, clothing, bills, repairs, heat and cool. The average child does not go to bed worried about the normal things of adult life. It is important that they know there is a relationship between working and having these needs met, but the burden is not theirs. THOSE DAYS OF IMMEASURABLE JOY SHOULD BE GRANTED.
- They are days of imagination. Young people can dream great dreams and have high goals unhindered by discouraging facts. They do not know they can't do it. Young people can begin making plans and setting goals without all the discouraging details that stop most adults from accomplishing the same things. Don't rob them of their dreams! Encourage then in anything that is good and Godly. THOSE DAYS OF IMAGINATION SHOULD BE GUIDED. Christian parents, get involved in your child's life!