Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Every 10 years, the CDC releases a Youth Risk Behavior Survey that examines the mental and emotional health of high school students (1). The latest survey is shocking and horrifying for not only parents but anyone who knows good from evil, which seems to be a rapidly diminishing number of people in our world.
Among the teenagers surveyed, here are some of the catastrophic results from 2011 to 2021:
- Those who seriously considered suicide went up from 14% to 30% (45% for LGBTQ+)
- 42% had persistent sadness and hopelessness (70% for LGBTQ+)
- 18% have a suicide plan (37% for LGBTQ+)
- 10% have actually attempted suicide (20% for LGBTQ+)
Anyone who tells you we’re progressing and evolving or that our world is getting better needs their head checked.
So, where’s the hope?
Another recent study published by Harvard University in the American Journal of Epidemiology followed 5,000 youth for anywhere from 8-14 years, looking at the emotional health of kids who attended church and prayed in childhood and adolescence (2). For this group, they were:
- 18% more likely to report higher happiness as young adults (ages 22-30)
- 29% more likely to volunteer in their community
- 33% less likely to use illicit drugs
Though the Church is not perfect because it’s fully filled with sinners Christ died for, even the liberal scientific studies show that kids who get involved in church and learn who Jesus is from a young age are happier and, ultimately, emotionally healthier.
The Ahab and Jezebel spirits may still be alive and well in the world, but they are no match for Jesus and for the Church, which Paul calls the “Bride of Christ” (Eph. 5:22-33).
I’m so happy to report, though my wife Grace and I have not done everything perfectly as parents by a long shot, by letting the Holy Spirit equip us to parent our kids, all 5 of our kids know, love, and serve Jesus. If you don’t know of a Bible-believing church in your area, we would love to help you find one. Just send us an email to [email protected].
If you have kids, pray for your kids to know and love Jesus (or continue to know and love Jesus). If you don’t yet have kids, pray for your future kids to know and love Jesus and not take the path of the world.
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