A co-worker told me this week about an encounter he had with a woman in a drugstore recently. He was there with his child and at the pharmacy window was a woman wearing a t-shirt. On the back of the t-shirt was a rather bold and most would say obscene phrase utilizing the “F” word. My co-worker was offended by the blatant use of profanity in a form and fashion that pushed it in his face and more importantly into the face of his child. He was so incensed that he just couldn’t hold back and he confronted the woman, who, as we would expect, reacted with a combative attitude.
Our society has changed tremendously in the last two or three decades. What used to be profane is now hailed as the norm. Pornography has been around for decades, but it used to be hidden under mattresses or up in the tops of closets. Now, we have multiple reality TV shows that detail the daily lives of porn models, and young girls wear the logos for certain magazines on their clothes. It has become glamorous to be a porn star.
At one time, the pattern of becoming an adult was to finish school, get married, and then have a family. Now, that is all jumbled up. Many have the kids first, then get married….and divorced….and married….and divorced….with many more children all scattered throughout the process. Some parts of our society don’t seem to regard marriage as important at all. Single parenthood has become the norm. Men don’t take responsibility for families. They are simply content to spread their DNA around without concern for the responsibility of being a father. This problem continues to expand as the boys who grow up without fathers as role models, then become the DNA spreaders because that is all that they know.
Another symptom in our culture is the need so many have to get the “respect” they are due. One young man was arrested a couple of years ago for beating a young child to death because the child was “disrespecting” him by not eating dinner. Everyday, somewhere in our society, people are beaten, stabbed, or shot for “dissing” someone else. When I was a child, my dad taught me to GIVE respect to others. He never taught me to demand that respect for myself. It is a funny thing, this respect stuff. If you give respect, you usually get it in return.
But, what has happened to our society? How did we become so depraved? I heard a radio commentator recently say that it all stems from our “kicking God out of the schools.” I disagree. I think it has happened because we have kicked Him out of our homes….or, more accurately, we have kicked Him out of our lives. Now, we are sitting on the deck of the societal Titanic wondering if we can get it turned before it hits the iceberg.
Religious America has become apathetic about what faith really means in their lives. Many people claim to believe in God (as do the demons per the Book of James), but never or rarely attend a church. Some attend regularly, but it is like they are punching the spiritual clock….it doesn’t mean much to them once they step back through the doors to everyday life. We sleep in on Sunday mornings and blow off the growth of our spiritual lives, and then wonder why our kids don’t seem to care about God. Connect the dots, folks.
I don’t know if we can get our societal Titanic to turn away from disaster or not, but I do know that if we have any chance at all, it will begin with a turning of ourselves. Each of us individually needs to begin to change. We need to reevaluate our priorities; placing God at the pinnacle where He belongs. We need to allow our faith to permeate our lives and be reflected in our decisions, our interactions, and our personal moral standards. If we change ourselves, then we will influence our families, our friends, and ultimately we can collectively affect the society around us. Maybe we can’t legislate morality, but we can surely demonstrate it and the positive effects it has on our lives. We can’t force others to change, but we can allow the love of God to flow through us and onto those around us. We can become the influencers rather than being the influenced.
What can you do in your life to turn the ship?