One of my adult children thinks I live in a bubble, that I look at the world through rose-colored glasses, and that I've lost my grip on the "ways of the world." What does the "world" think these days? College-aged young adults who are well versed in the world's language would tell us:
God has nothing relevant to say in our lives.
"You do you," because there's no such thing as absolute truth.
The 10 commandments are "suggestions for living" and if I feel like it I'll follow them.
I'm independent, free-thinking, self-sufficient!
There's no great narrative that makes sense of humanity's struggles.*
Of course, as a Christian, I think very differently.
God has primacy in my life. He influences every moment sustains my very breath.
Absolute truth was given to us by God. "I am the way, the truth, and the life," Jesus says. (John 14:6)
The more I know the freer I am to choose right from wrong. Freedom uncoupled from truth leads to tyranny. Saint John Paul II
I am not self-sufficient. I need God and I need a community of believers with whom I share my faith.
Are post-modernists young adults "tolerant" of my world-view? Not so much...I want them to understand my viewpoint; to absorb the truths I'm sharing; and to convert on the spot, but they don't seem interested! LOL
Am I as willing to listen to them? Aren't I the parent--faith-filled, prayerful, full of hope for their future? What have I got to lose by listening?
Since we know Our Lord loves them more than we do, we can count on Him to steer them toward truth, even if we can't in the moment. After all, Jesus has the birds-eye-view of their lives. We see only a fragment at a time.
So the next time you're worried about your child's moral or spiritual life, take a deep breath, pray "Jesus I trust in You," and engage them in a sincere and loving dialog. Ask them what they believe and why...and then listen. Pepper them with well-intentioned questions, and let the conversation drop when they've had enough.
The Church's "Law of Graduality" reminds us that faith is a journey. They need time to grow and mature. Fortunately, as their parents, we have our whole lives to be a positive influence...starting today!
*This summary of post-modernism came, in part, from a video by Lisa Brenninkmeyer of Walking with Purpose in a talk entitled "The Radiance."