Much of what’s true of every generation throughout all time is true of millennials. We are just people. Yet, just like every other generation, we have some particular tendencies, challenges, strengths, and weaknesses that result from the time, place, and society into which we were born. Here are three harmful characteristics I’ve observed in millennial motherhood, along with ways I’ve sought to align my mothering with God’s word.
The Book of Revelation contains vivid imagery, wild analogies, and rhetoric rife with end-times judgment. John’s enigmatic vision has tempted many people to treat Revelation as a code to break, and to look around the world for “signs of the apocalypse.” We wonder whether Black Hawk helicopters are locusts, rare eclipses over China are the infamous “blood moons,” Catholic popes are Babylonian whores, and Barack Obama or Donald Trump is the Antichrist (depending on your political convictions). When we do this, we assume that Revelation was written solely to us and applies directly to our situation. That assumption is problematic, to say the least. But most importantly, any fearful chart-making and number-decoding distorts the point of the Book of Revelation—distorts the fact that it is a hopeful document, not a dire one.
We use our words to talk about others—even people we love and admire. We grumble about them, we disclose information about them. Often we don’t even really mean what we say. Often the words coming out of our mouths are harsher than the thoughts in our heads or the feelings in our hearts. We poke fun at people. We mock them for their eccentricities. We get cheap laughs from recounting their flaws and foibles. Though we harbor no real malice toward them, still we say malicious things, still we recount awkward moments. It’s wrong, it’s shameful, and it’s far too common.
I’m so thankful my dad didn’t come to all of my football, basketball, and baseball games. He was thankful too. He never even pretended that perfect attendance at our ball games was a goal, or that his identity was tied into whether or not he showed up. Of course, I was excited to see him on occasion standing down the first base line just outside the fence, with his tie loosened cheering me on while I tried to crush the ball. But those days he wasn’t there I knew why—he was working. His absences were a real gift to me, a gift I didn’t fully appreciate until decades later.
Dad refused to make me the center of his world.
When the resurrected Lord rebuked the Ephesian church for leaving its first love, he was also serving notice to Christians of all times that they must labor to not lose the passionate commitment and joy that attended their conversion. This should remind us that the Christian life has many temptations, none of which is more insidious than leaving our “first love” (Rev. 2:4).
Ray Ortlund shares three reasons why we grow so slowly as Christians from Archibald Alexander.
A favorite from the archives:
Periodically, the accusation of “bibliolatry” pops up in a book or a blog, usually as a shot at those who hold to a high view of Scripture. The idea that the Bible is the written Word of God, authoritative and free from error in all it teaches, is an uncomfortable one in an increasingly pluralistic and relativistic culture. It’s too… absolute, so it doesn’t sit right with many people today.
But is it fair to call a high view of Scripture—one that takes Paul’s words in 2 Tim 3:16-17 seriously, and therefore demands that all aspects of our lives be brought under Scripture’s authority—idolatry?