Consider your children’s first taste of real excitement. Maybe it was a first wild ride on a swing or later a roller coaster. First,”weeeeeee” explodes from his lips. Then comes, “I want to do that again!!!”
Excitement comes in other packages as well. Video games are designed to be highly addicting and some movies can provide near-real thrills.
Now consider his first exposure to the Word of God when he was old enough to understand it. Did he respond similarly to the roller coaster? Of course not.
Face it! The world offers excitement and pleasure beyond imagination. Compare that to “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). In sales, we would call that a very hard sell. If it wasn’t for the Spirit’s involvement, who could be saved and follow Christ?
Therefore, considering the opposition, the more thrills you introduce them to and give them an appetite for, which grows into a passion, might you be aiding the enemy? Is his short-term pleasure worth the long-term consequences?
I’ve been amazed at the number of young men who have no interest in meaningful work due to their passion for dopamine-providing endeavors. We all know dads who continue to fuel their physical passions of one sort or another while neglecting their Lord, His Word, and their families. Very, very sad.
Teri’s mom brought over a newspaper clipping of a man’s obituary. He was a family acquaintance for over 30 years. I’m confident he died without a relationship with the Lord Jesus. Last year he was very heavy on my heart. I stopped by his house quite a few times trying to spend some time with him, but he avoided me. I was concerned for his health and his soul. Now it is too late.
Each of us has a sphere of influence that God has given us. May we be faithful. Lovingly, relentlessly pursue each one while there is time. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
“GIGO” is a relatively common acronym. If you aren’t familiar with it, it means, “garbage in, garbage out.” If someone puts non-beneficial/harmful material into something, we can expect to get something of equal or lesser value out of it. The Scripture equivalent of that is “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”(Galatians 6:7). A very sad example of that is we are a nation that has thrown God out of the government schools, and we are reaping unimaginable moral corruption.
It is easy to point fingers, but may we examine our homes first. What place does the Word of God have in your home? Is everyone having a quality time of reading a Bible first thing followed by a prayer? Do you lead your family in the Word every night? As you experience life’s situations, do you relate them to Scripture so the family can develop understanding?
My Brothers, we are blessed beyond measure to have the written Word of God in our hands. May it be in our hearts. It is so needful and practical. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105).
I have been spraying the weeds that my yard pre-emergent didn’t kill, and there are still a lot of weeds. This is my second spraying and likely won’t be the last. I’m using an excellent weed killer, but I’m surrounded by yards full of weeds. I’m not complaining. I respect my neighbor’s choice for the level of effort they choose to make. To have a nice yard takes an investment of time and money. For some, it is important and not for others.
What a great analogy to the challenge of raising children who will follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Christian families are surrounded by people who are living for every bit of fun and pleasure/carnality they can get out of this world. Even after your children are saved and have tasted of the joy of the Lord, the pull of the flesh should never be underestimated.“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).
Worldly neighbor friends are tough but tougher are worldly extended family.. The closer and tighter those relationships, the harder it is to resist the influence of the world. On top of that, the more “fringy” attenders at church, Sunday school, and youth group, may provide the greatest pull of all on your children’s hearts toward the flesh. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).