My wife Marlene and I are raising a 17-year-old. She’s a member of Generation Z (anyone born between 1997-2012, 7-22 years old). As I’ve observed her, her friends, her generation, it’s clear to me that Gen Zers share some common experiences and traits, and suffer under cultural pressures unique to this time in history. As parents and grandparents raising young people in Generation Z, it’s crucial to understand what distinguishes this generation so that we can equip ourselves and our young people to withstand the pressures we all face.
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As a teacher of fifth and sixth graders, this is a question I hear commonly from parents. As students this age are maturing in their literacy skills and taking on more complex reading material, some kids fall in love with books. These book-lovers need little to no encouragement when it comes to reading. In fact, some kids may need to be told to put a book down every once in a while (at a family dinner, for example).
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One of the grand themes of Scripture is that of the Creation, Fall and Redemption. It first appears in Genesis 1 with a sweeping account of the creation of the universe. God establishes himself as creator, ruler, and sustainer of all that exists. Just two chapters later, we learn of the pervasive and devastating effects of the fall. The introduction of sin into the world shatters everything. The world is no longer as it was meant to be. Then finally, in Revelation 21 and 22, we receive a glimpse of the redemption of all things, when God restores the entire creation back to its original created order. Everything in between those beginning and ending narratives is the story of God accomplishing this purpose.