The Homeless and the Homebound

The Homeless and the Homebound

Featured in the May, 2006 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News

Many major cities such as Manila and Mexico City have thousands of homeless children. They beg, steal and scrounge garbage dumps to get food.

These abandoned children sleep under bridges, in alleys, and abandoned buildings. Often formed into gangs, many of them survive.

At the other extreme of human existence are the homebound children. Equally pitiful, they are super sheltered by over-protective parents.

For these children, Dad provides the funds so that they develop a welfare mentality. Mother becomes the maid so that they conclude that the world exists to serve them. As they come of age, they are fearful of leaving this warm cocoon for the real world.

The real responsibility of parents is to take the new born, totally dependent infant, and gradually train him so that at age eighteen, he is an independent, self-sufficient, self-funding adult.

Often under the delusion of being a loving parent, the youngster is subjected to a sheltering which thwarts maturity.

Starting in early years, the child should learn to care for his own clothes, tidy his own room, do some cleaning, learn to cook, share in household tasks and earn his own money so that he is not dependent upon an allowance. He must learn to take responsibility for his actions. From infancy to eighteen, the child should do more and more as the parents do less and less, until he is caring for himself.

But what about college? One skill overly dependent children learn is how to manipulate their parents. The teen says, “You don’t want me to be a failure in life”, which would reflect on the parents, so Dad pays the college bills while the kid goes to keg parties.

With grants and scholarships, any youngster who cannot work his way through college is not college material. Four years is never enough and the conniving kid now has convinced his Dad that since everybody has a Bachelors, he needs to go two more years and get his Masters so there are more bills for dad to pay.

Finally, he gets so much education that it takes a very long time to find a position worthy of his academic standing and high intelligence, and during this jobless time, he “lives at home”, eats his father’s food, while his mother does his laundry. And now he is in his late twenties.

There is no country on earth where adolescence is so prolonged as in our own!

All of this has spiritual implications. The youngster that is so poorly raised begins to think that he’s going to gain heaven on his father’s faith. Has not everything else come from his parents?

As he must learn to be responsible in material matters, so he must learn to be responsible in the spiritual affairs of life. He must recognize his own sinfulness and do his own repenting. He must definitely and personally exercise saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Savior. But an upbringing that has shielded him from real life decisions will make it difficult for him to make real spiritual decisions.

Parents, how much should you do for your kids? Probably much less than you think, and certainly less and less every year until at eighteen it is nothing.

A mature, responsible adult is not one who is taking from others, but who is giving to others.