The “Generation Gap” and Bible Principles
WHY have the worlds of the adult and of the teen-ager become so alien one to the other? Is there a basic reason? A recent letter throws some light on this subject.
It appears that during a class discussion of social problems in a girls’ class of high school the matter of the “generation gap” was introduced. It soon became obvious that the discussion was very one-sided, so it was suggested that the girls invite their parents to the next session. The father of a Witness student tells about the experience:
“My wife and I were able to arrange our affairs to be at the school at 9 a.m. on the appointed day, and we found that we were the only parents present.
“The class was arranged in a semicircle, and we were asked to sit at two desks facing them. Two teachers were also present, standing at the back of the room. The discussion began by the girls’ raising their hands and asking questions when called upon by us. No record was kept of the discussion, but the girls were interested in our attitudes toward discipline, punishment, freedom, recreation, causes for the ‘generation gap,’ and so forth. Our answers were based on the Bible, to which we referred as the occasion required.
“We pointed out that everyone, young and old, is subject to discipline throughout life; that punishment can be mild or severe according to the type of the offense and nature of the persons involved; that the Bible gives counsel for all, and that when a family lives by Bible principles there is no ‘generation gap.’ The girls appeared to be deeply impressed, and at the end of the forty-minute period asked if we could stay for a second period, which we did.
“It was obvious to the girls that there was no communication gap in our home. After we left, some of the girls commented to our daughter that they wished they could trade parents with her. Many agreed that they would rather live in a home where there was discipline coupled with love than in a home where parents and children could not communicate. Thanks to our ministerial training we were able to answer their questions directly without hesitation, double-talk or a sidestepping of the issues.”
Yes, the Bible’s excellent principles furnish the bridge over which parents and children can communicate, while realizing that both adult and teen-ager are children of a Great Father who knows how to discipline in love.