Angry Children Reject Parents

People at a recent retreat revealed the heartache of rejection and estrangement from children and grandchildren and a more general concern about children who in anger reject their parents. Conflict seems to come from three sources: Gender issues, Anger - inexplicable and  unexplained, and Rejection of our faith and way of life. However, they felt this situation did not just apply to Christians, it was a world-wide epidemic. This epidemic of rejecting parents is reflected in much TV and social media.

The retreat was during Saint Hilda’s tide, who was loved as ‘A Merciful Mother’ by people on different sides who bitterly opposed each other. So our first response is to develop merciful hearts. This requires us to listen attentively to our children without judgement.

This may lead us to recognise that much of Christianity has been spread on the back of colonialism based on dominance by one gender, class or race. We have preached ‘the Gospel’ but have modelled discrimination and judgementalism.  It may lead us to recognise that values and truths filter down through the prevailing constructs.  God calls us to renounce false – or merely inadequate - constructs as we renounce false gods. We see this process going on in John the Baptist’s questioning of Jesus (Matthew 11).

The poet Ben Okri believes the time has come to develop a new planetary consciousness. We either descend into a fight for the survival of the fittest, or we live for a fear-free, prejudice-free, greed-free society that acknowledges that every human reflects something of God (Genesis 1:26) and that ‘in Christ there is neither male nor female, slave or free person … all are one in Christ Jesus’ (Galatians 3:28).

 It is vital that we learn to express truth that redeems our collapsing ‘me first’ world. So we need to live by a headline clarity statement that can live in all hearts. How’s this for a starter? ‘Obedience to God (Good) in every person is the only cure to racism, sexism, ageism and me-first- selfish societies that break down’.

 Maybe we could have a competition for all Voyagers to come up with the best one-liner truths.

Posted at 09:30am on 26th November 2021
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