When my son died, I clung to a piece of truth that gave me hope. He was saved.
One of the things that kept me from climbing into the grave with him that day was that my five remaining children would grow up and need saved too. I had five kids that would be tempted. Five kids who would be searching for themselves, for truth and for their way. Five kids who needed to find Jesus.
I still had a job to do. God called me to stand watch over these souls. Even though I knew this was my mission, I am afraid I fell asleep at the wheel. In my grief, in a new pregnancy, in our pursuit of adoption, I quit watching.
And we fell.
From the ground looking up, this is what I see.
It happened to me. It can happen to you.
Right before your eyes one of your children could fall or could already be down. I never thought our family was immune to sin. I just wasn’t ready for it now. I thought we had more time. I thought we were doing a good job monitoring friends, relationships and technology. I was wrong.
Please know this, from drugs to sex, it could be your child. Don’t think they are too young, too protected or too safe. Wherever you are sin is crouching at the door (Gen. 4:7).
Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Prov. 16:18
Parenting in the age of social media, the internet and technology is hard.
Social media is used for everything from sexting, to selling drugs, to cyber bullying.
- The fastest growing group of internet porn addicts are boys ages 12-17.
- Online bullying is pervasive and devastating.
- Drug dealers are marketing their goods on benign sites like Instagram.
- Kids are creating multiple secret accounts on various social sites to be free of accountability.
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Pet. 5:8
Tell them NO!
It’s not just OK, it is necessary to tell our kids no. NO they can’t hang out with that crowd. NO they can’t go to that party. NO they can’t have a cell phone (I know that one hurt didn’t it?) NO they can’t have a computer or internet access in their room. No they can’t date. NO NO NO!
We don’t just tell them no because we can. We do it because they are foolish. We do it because they can’t see around the corner to know the danger ahead. We do it because they need guidance.
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away. Prov. 22:15
Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad. Prov. 29:17
It’s not about taking our kids to church, making sure their Sunday school workbook is filled out or praying as a family before dinner and bed time. Our job as parents is to eat, breathe and sleep the Word of God to our kids. Every moment is a teachable moment.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Dt. 11:18-19
Point them to Jesus
That’s to Jesus. Not to church. Not to morality. Not to good citizenship. Point them to the Savior. Point them to the one that will convict them of their sin and redeem them by his blood. Point them to mercy, to grace and to the only source of life.
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. Mt. 19:13
Pray loud. Pray intensely. Pray continuously for your kids.
Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children… Lam. 2:19
Claim the promises
We are up against a lot. Parenting is exhausting. It is discouraging.
But the Lord says, “For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children.” Is. 49:25
I am learning this one now. The battle is on. The Lord is fighting. And he wins. He wins!