From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
It may surprise many adults to learn that most young people want authority in their lives; they want to know what the standard is in the world. They may not abide by it, and they may test it, but they want to know. One of the key factors for adults in dealing with children and young people is to be consistent. When standards and rules fluctuate, kids are confused. This is often what causes kids to rebel … they are “testing the waters.” When the rules constantly change, they figure standards don’t mean much.
This is frequently demonstrated on university campuses where rebellion runs rampant. When there is no price to pay for bad behavior, the behavior grows worse. Yet, the military exemplifies a very different decorum. In conversation with a military chaplain some time ago, he began recounting the vast number of rules that soldiers must abide by. When asked, “Why so many rules?” the answer quickly came: “We’re teaching discipline.”
God put within the human race a standard—His standard. God also intended mankind to exert personal discipline. It is not easy, just as it is not easy for an athlete to rise to the top of his or her game. They don’t get there by laziness but by extreme discipline.
Christians should have a deeper desire to win in life by living in such a way that their testimonies draw people to a desire to know what makes them live the way they do; not because of rules and regulations, but for their sheer desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and win souls to His kingdom (Galatians 6:17).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)