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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



There's trouble in the land! No wide awake person will deny that. These upheavals have caused many parents to express apprehension concerning the future of their children. That's understandable. When our children graduate from high school and leave home, many of them also leave the church. Suddenly they are exposed to an environment hostile to Christ, and even to the basic principles of morality. If a young person is not equipped to handle this, they are in serious trouble.

Unfortunately, at a time when families should be doing everything in their power to "strengthen" their spiritual defenses and intensifying their fight against Satan, many are permitting the safeguard to be completely torn down. Neglect of worship services, failure to encourage children to become totally involved in church centered activities, and the absence of teaching at home are some of the more obvious evidences that parents have misguided priorities.

Parents need to get their priorities straight! Those of us who preach seldom have the courage to remind weeping parents of the problem. But when moms and dads begin crying over what has happened to their children, they could be reminded of the days when they chose staying at home instead of worship, week-end trips instead of church activities, and Sunday night recreation instead of Sunday night inspiration.

It only takes one hole in the fence to let the sheep out. It's amazing how prolific some people are at inventing new excuses to rationalize their habitual neglect. I would much prefer a person to be honest enough to say, "I JUST DON'T WANT TO" than to forever blame job, health, grandma, and yes, the church for their failures. What advantage is there in covering up the real facts in the case? Parents, give your children a break! Put first things first! Let nothing interfere with regular church attendance. Be sure they are deeply involved in youth activities. Then after they've gone from home with that good training you can do what you want with your own life. But, I have the feeling that by that time you'll be thrilled with putting spiritual things first!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward