I don't know how this quote goes, but it is very true. If we don't have a strong conviction about something, or if we don't hold something at its proper value, for our children, it will become optional.
I think about the past generation and how different the children have turned out compared to about 100 years ago. It is even different now than when I was a kid.
People used to go to church weekly, have family gatherings, stayed married even when marriage was difficult, and everyone, for the most part, had a Bible in their homes. We don't see this today. What happened?
When I was a teenager, if a girl got pregnant out of wedlock, she was called a 'bad girl' because she had a sexual relationship outside of marriage. There are no more 'bad girls' because now it is normal for girls to have a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Something would be wrong if she didn't, at least society would think that. What is the problem here? Did our parents forget something?
Parent's convictions weakened and became shaped by society instead of by the word of God. We looked at what our neighbor was doing instead of what the Bible says about it. Society became the standard. The Bible was considered Passe, unfortunately.
We lost the fear of God. We went after other idols, many of them. We got hooked. We forgot the convictions our grandparents and ancestors had.
Something broke. Something got lost. What was it? One aspect of what happened was that lies were being taught as facts in our schools, and our children asked about what was real, and the only thing the parents would say was, "God said it. I believe it. That settles it!" Does that answer the questions of evolution that are being brought up by our children? Does it explain how we really got here in the first place? Does the Bible have anything to say about creation?
I think we all should be students of apologetics. Not all of us are going to major in apologetics, but it is helpful in giving people a reason for why we believe what we believe, and who we believe in.
So my conclusion is that the things of God were not really that important to those in the past generation. They claimed to believe in God's word and proudly had Bibles in their homes, but the truth of the Bible did not take root in their hearts. Many, if not most, went to church weekly. Many would identify with Christianity. But when the rubber meets the road, when life gets challenging, when the heat is on, so to speak, there is nothing there to hold us to what we profess to believe in.
We were founded as a nation, on Christian principles. Our forefathers believed in a high moral standard of life, although not all of them practiced them well. People respected the word of God. At some point, our major colleges, which were founded by Bible believing, God fearing men, opened the door to Atheists heading them up. Years later an Atheist woman manages to go through all the trouble of taking prayer out of schools. Someone else created the idea of 'separation of church and state' and we assumed it really was in the Constitution. No one researched it or challenged it. In law school, you may actually learn that it is in the Constitution, but if you look, you won't find it there. Young teenage girls are not required to have their parent's permission for an abortion. All this happened seemingly under the rug, but what really happened was that a passion for God was lacking in those who were professing Christians. It was more important to plan out a vacation and work through any obstacles that would prevent them from taking place than it was to take action in preventing Atheists from running our schools. It was more important that we make every effort to get tickets to the latest movie than it was for us to write letters to our senators about issues that were lowering our standards and integrity. Entertainment replaced responsibility. Now we are in a crisis and we are trying to turn the tide back, but laws and philosophies have taken root in our society and are hard to pull up.
The answer is to pray. The need is for us to fear God once again. Pray, teach the Gospel, be a responsible citizen and encourage others to do the same. We are a people who are far away from God and we don't know how to find our way back. God is our only hope.