World renowned evangelist Rev. Billy Graham, the founder and chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said that our children are growing up in a “lawless and wicked age,” infused with the “philosophy of the Devil, who says, ‘Do as you please.’”
Further, rearing children in this culture is difficult because “we have taken God out of our educational systems and thought we could get away with it,” said Rev. Graham. “We have sown the wind, and we are now reaping the whirlwind. We have laughed at God, religion and the Bible.”
Reverend Graham’s commentary, first broadcast in August 1955, was published in the November 4, 2014 issue of Decision magazine, under the headline “Raising Children in a Godless Age.”
“Many Christian parents are becoming fearful that they cannot properly train their children in this lawless and wicked age,” and are asking, “What can I do with my son? My daughter?” said Rev. Graham.
“We are beginning to reap what has been sown for the past generation,” he said. “We have taught the philosophy of the Devil, who says, ‘Do as you please.’ Behaviorism has been the moral philosophy of much of our education in the past few years.”
Rev. Graham continued, “Many of our educational leaders sneer at the old-fashioned idea of God and a moral code. Movies feature sex, sin, crime and alcohol. Teenagers see these things portrayed alluringly on the screen and decide to go and try them. Newspapers have played up crime and sex until they seem glamorous to our young people.”
One of the fundamental problems, according to Rev. Graham, is the failure of parents to fight “the Devil in the home” through discipline and, as a result, “children are allowed to go wild.”
Parents must spend time with their children, set a good example for them, discipline them, and teach them to “know God,” said the pastor, who has five children and 19 grandchildren.
“If you fail to discipline your children, you are breaking the laws, commandments and statutes of God,” said Rev. Graham. “You are guilty not only of injuring the moral, spiritual and physical lives of your children, but of sinning against God. The Bible says that if you fail to discipline your children, you actually hate them.”
The best way to influence your children, he added, is to set a good example because “the majority of children acquire the characteristics and habits of their parents.”
As for teaching your children to know God, Rev. Graham said, “Very seldom do parents have trouble with children when the Bible is read regularly in the home, grace is said at the table and family prayers take place daily. Most trouble with teenagers comes from children reared in homes where prayer is neglected, the Bible is never opened and church attendance is spasmodic. Christ gives the moral stability, understanding, wisdom and patience needed to rear children.”
There is only one solution to combating the problems afflicting young people, concluded Rev. Graham, and that answer is Christ: “Christ in the home, in the lives of the parents, is the only permanent solution to the menacing teenage social problems in America.”
Church every Sunday and daily prayer “will solve 90 percent of the problems you have with your children,” he said.
For teens who want true joy and happiness, and not the temporary intoxications of today’s sinful culture, they should turn to Jesus Christ. He “can give you the greatest happiness, the greatest adventure and the greatest thrills you have ever known,” said Rev. Graham.
Billy Graham, 96, has been preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ for the last 60 years in the United States and around the world. Over the decades, his message reached an estimated 2.2 billion people through 400 preaching crusades in 185 countries on six continents.
Although Rev. Graham is retired and spends most of his time at his home in Montreat, N.C., he and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association recently released the film Heaven: A New Message From Billy Graham, as another step in his life-long mission of evangelization.
Franklin Graham, also a pastor and one of Billy Graham’s sons, says that his father has good days and bad days and is still reading the Bible every day and praying frequently. Bill Graham turned 96 earlier this month on Nov. 7.