“The children now love luxury; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are tyrants, not the servants of their households.
“They no longer rise when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs (!) and tyrannize over their teachers.”
Today’s youths are not so bad after all! Shakespeare said about the teenagers of his time: “I would there were no age between ten and three  and twenty or that youth would sleep out the rest.
“For there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting.”
Surely the outlook for our teenagers today is not worse than Socrates and Shakespeare found in their day. Nonetheless, many flounder as they grope for a few solid certainties upon which to stand.
They see civil laws challenged, church standards changed, and doubt cast upon God’s Word. It is difficult for them to know which way to turn, and millions are in turmoil.
Dr. Paul L. Walker, a well-known preacher of the Gospel, discussed teenagers years ago at Lee University.
“Keep them close to God,” he advised. “If you have to pray them through to Christ every Sunday night, do it. During my teenage years, I wrecked Dad’s car twice and lied about how it happened both times.
“But then Dad would preach, and I would go to the altar and repent of the lies I had told him.”
Speaking to the student body at Lee, Walker continued, “At the age of 18, life came together for me while praying right here on this stage — beyond that door,” he concluded, as he pointed to a doorway to the side of the stage.
The Bible admonishes young people: “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them.’”
Billy Graham said: “I am in favor of hanging the Ten Commandments in every classroom in the country so young people can know the difference between right and wrong. They don’t know the difference, and we’re seeing the evidence of that all around us every day.”
Warren Wiersbe, a noted conference speaker, compared today’s teenager to the biblical character who fell among thieves and was later helped by the Good Samaritan.
Today’s thieves, he said, contrive to get from the teenager all that they can wring from him, regardless of the ill effects upon the youth; and the priests and Levites look upon him as a nuisance to be avoided.
The innkeeper thinks of the adolescent as a customer to serve, and he fills his pockets with the money the teenager spends.
The lawyer thinks of the youth as a problem to discuss, and he spends hours analyzing him.
However, today’s Good Samaritan views the teenager as a person to love, understand, and help.
Just as the biblical Good Samaritan ignored the wide social chasm between himself and the injured Jew, today’s Good Samaritan disregards the gap between himself and the adolescent, and lovingly lifts him and leads him to firm ground.
Every teenager is an individual, and we should deal with each one personally. We are foolish when we judge all youths by the conduct of a few bad ones.
Youth of this generation are discussed more, judged more, and pampered more than youth of any preceding age.
They do face problems, and thousands of them are causing conflict as they smoke marijuana, take drugs, and have their sex parties.
We may ask, however, “Do today’s youth cause problems, or do they only react to deep-seated problems of our adult society? Are they only playing back what they see existing among the rest of the populace?”