"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my sprirt hath rejoiced in God my saviour, for He that is mighty has done to me great things, and holy is His name...and His mercy is upon them that fear Him from generation to generation..." (Lk. 1:47 - 55)
I've been following with much interest the discussions about the Ludwig/Borden murders. By far the most edifying comments are over at the Common Room under God is Not Your Vending Machine, at Heart Wars by Anne on Choosing Home, and Extreme Parenting on Spunky Homeschooler. And I've written a column about it for a secular audience over at the American Chronicle. But so much that needs to be said can't be said to a secular audience.
The Common Room article is especially helpful in pointing out the warning signs that were evident in the lives and blogs of Kara Borden and David Ludwig. The Headmistress there advocates expecting more from our teens than banal adolescent gushings over Christian rock bands as evidence of a solid faith (here, I oversimplify), and publishes an excellent summary for young people on how to recognize the gravity-well of lust.
Earlier, the Rebelution posted a controversial article accepting Kara's and David's protestations of genuine faith at face value, and opining "there, but for the grace of God, go I". The young men who write the Rebelution are men of integrity and faith, and I commend their spiritual humility. However, their approach has many teens circling the unproductive question: "Am I really saved? If teens who give all the 'right' signals like David and Kara did, could do such terrible things, how will I ever be certain that I will stay the course?"
There are some certainties we can hang on to, but they won't be found in the 'right signals' nor, indeed, in anything based solely in ourselves. But God has made promises to those who fear Him. HE can be trusted even when we cannot trust ourselves. Even when the accepted formulae for success fail.
We can act with confidence, working as parents to raise our children well, and as young people to acquire maturity and usefulness because God is faithful. Not because we are.