Everything is going “green”—cars, home products, and even many office environments. Ask any teenager what it means to “go green” and most will respond with something about saving the environment. The current “green” attitude is recognition that the careless way we have treated the planet in the past has caused a global impact as pollution and hazardous wastes are routinely dumped into the environment. Students today are bombarded with the message of protecting “Mother Earth,” and as such, many place an enormous priority on “going green.”
There is another type of “going green” that many teenagers (and adults) are actively involved in—even in Christian homes. It is the end result of polluting their bodies with alcohol and drugs to the point that they eventually find themselves vomiting into a toilet or passing out in the floor. How ironic that a generation that is adamantly opposed to polluting the environment can justify, in their own minds, the polluting of their bodies.
Parents should know that many teenagers are masters at concealing drug use. They have learned how to use dryer sheets to mask the smell of marijuana smoke. They have mastered the art of getting high by huffing everyday aerosols that are stored in a home. Many know which stores will sell alcohol to minors or where they can purchase illegal drugs. And so, while parents are out working overtime to afford that late-model automobile and the bigger house, their kids are busy at home “going green.” How many Christian homes appear beautiful dwelling places from the outside, yet act as dark hiding places for drugs and alcohol on the inside—nothing more than white-washed tombs full of dead men’s bones (Matthew 23:27-28)?
Young people live their lives with the belief that they are immortal, and that nothing bad will ever happen to them. And so, they experiment. Sadly, many Christian parents have come to accept this behavior as just a normal phase of transitioning between adolescence to adulthood. After all, it’s not like their children are using “hard-core” drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine. Many of our children have lost sight of the fact that their bodies do not belong to them anymore—and therefore anything they do to it is a reflection on God. Paul wrote, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). It is never too early to teach this truth to our children and grandchildren.
Christian parents, it is time we do more than tell our children to “just say no.” It’s time we give them a reason why this polluting of the human body is sinful and tell them that doing so will separate us from Almighty God (Isaiah 59:2). It’s time we give them the confidence they need to avoid the crutch of peer-pressure. It’s time we teach them that God expects more! It’s time we analyze who their idols are and what message those idols are sending. After all, how many celebrities in Hollywood can honestly boast of living a life clean from drugs and alcohol? How many times have we watched celebrities giggle as they are barely slapped on the wrist for polluting their body and then getting behind the wheel of a car intoxicated? Add to this that Hollywood stars place an enormous emphasis on outward appearance, and you have the recipe for disaster.
It is time fathers uphold their roles of spiritual leaders in the home—and recognize that Satan is after our children. It is time we spend time and energy molding future preachers and elders. It’s time mothers make phone calls and find out where their children are and who they are hanging out with. It is time we know what is going on in their bedrooms. It is time our children grow up with enough self-esteem that they never feel the need to turn to drugs or alcohol.
Drug addicts on the streets are often considered deviants or low-life criminals. Ironic, is it not, that when Christian children participate in the same behavior we justify it as a “phase” or we describe them as “troubled.” Is there any difference in God’s eyes whether we pollute our bodies on street corners or in “white-washed tombs” in middle class neighborhoods? It is time we teach our children about the power of their influence, and what it really means to bring reproach on the Church. It is time.