Teach high school students and you will hear the most amazing excuses. I am almost awed by the creativity that some students use to explain their lack of responsibility. The operative word is almost. Having had four children navigate the precarious waters of high school has caused me to be a bit hardened to the myriad reasons that a class assignment is not complete or cannot be found to turn in for a grade.
We had a family birthday celebration this weekend and there were two situations with our grandchildren which caused me to realize that they are not that far removed from adolescent reasoning – or should I say adolescent lack of reasoning. Two year olds act without thinking. Fourteen year olds act without thinking. As a teacher and a parent I have found myself asking in a tone of frustration – “What were you thinking?” The truth is ….they weren’t thinking.
God has created us with an amazing capacity to think and understand. Yet it is not automatic. All healthy children are born with the potential to think. Yet we know from recent brain reasearch that the reasoning capacity of humans is developing as they mature and in many individuals the ability to recognize cause and effect is not fully formed until a person is in their twenties. (Please don’t give in to depression!) That is why God designed families and why children have parents. Children need adults in their lives to set boundaries and explain the cause and effect of certain decisions. Humans are not like snakes or spiders who slither and crawl away soon after birth to fend for themselves. (If they didn’t, their parent might eat them!)
I am so blessed when I see parents of young children limit screen time. It is the rare child who will do this on their own. Once children get outside it is fun to see them play with Tonka trucks and climb trees. They use those large motor skills and gain strength in muscles besides their thumbs.
As children play outside and interact with the world around them they will start to see God’s power and divine nature expressed in creation. Don’t take excuses for not playing outside…unless the weather would lead to adverse cause and effect. As we train our children to think and reason, we are demonstrating God’s nature.
20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made,so that people are without excuse.
In God’s plan there are no excuses.