I do realise that writing this post will put me at the very high risk of sounding like a grumpy old woman and not the “hip and happening, down with the kids” spiky haired, pierced, baggy jeaned youthworker that i truly believe I am. But when, oh when, did it become common practice to call your friend a C**t ?!?
It’s not like I’ve arrived here and never heard swearing used as the normal way of communicating before, and ofcourse I wasn’t naive enough to come here thinking that as bad as these guys were they weren’t gonna use rather choice langauge as a normal thing. And it isn’t like I haven’t been around people who swear at their friends; I went to a normal English secondary School, my school friends are not christians…so I’ve been sworn at in a completely “harmless, jokey” way quite regularly, but never to this degree. Is this just what the new generation of young people have had thrust on them? Forced into more extreme behaviour and language, simply because it seems compulsory for the next generation to be more outrageous than the last?!?
If so, then what is the “youth of today” going to look like in five or ten years?? Or more specifically what are they goign to sound like?? When I was a wee nipper at primary school c**t was the “worst swear word in the world” and in my mind it still is, it’s a disgusting word and my friends know that as tollerant of their choice of language as I am if they use this particular term in my hearing then they will get a slap upside the head!! What are teenagers going to do in a few years when they run out of the “worst words”, will they just make up new ones so they can out do the young ones of today?
Perhaps I am actually just chatting out of my arse (see once upon a time that would seem extreme, but now I wouldn’t blush saying arse in church!!) and teenagers have always sworn at each other to relate to each other in a way adults can’t. Especially in an area of economic need, like the one I am working in, where the kids use these words because they aren’t leaarning any more advanced vocab at school (I’m blaming neither the schools or the kids, it’s just a fact) so swearing just becomes what is accepted. Maybe it is just society that has changed; mild swear words that would have once upon time been taboo are now heard all over the place and the young people are just going to that extreme level because that is what it means to rebel and be a “teenager”.
So, rant being over there and having put the world to rights: Do i hear swearing here more than back home? Yes. Do my young people have sewers where their mouths should be? Er, yeah, most of them! But does it put me off working with them? Hell no!! Does Jesus carry on loving them inspite of them calling him every name under the sun? You bet your arse he does!!
I guess what I’m trying to sum up is that, yeah swearing isn’t great. I’m not gonna argue and say that is, and I do believe that Christians should try not to swear as much as they can. But should it stand in the way of reaching out to young people who are so obviously hurting?? Would it have scared Jesus off from doing his earth saving mission?? If a Christian looses control of their tongue a bit sometimes is it gonna get them kicked out of heaven?? And is swearing, infact, the biggest problem facing our church today??
Ofcourse the answer to all of them is NO…and so maybe again it is just a change that needs to happen within me!!
So, Lord, I pray… teach me not to be shocked by anything i hear, cos you sure as heck weren’t!! Amen