Updated: Jan 19, 2021
“But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in Me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck.” Mark 9:42 NLT
It's dangerous out there! A roaring, devouring, carnivorous lion is at large in our culture and our world, and he will consume anyone he can get his filthy, bloody paws on. His need to destroy people created in God's image is insatiable, and yet, it's hardly surprising. He has been doing just that for millennia, and he knows what works. His tools of destruction have always been available, and while I know that "there is nothing new under the sun," it seems, at least to my perception, that he has more weapons at his wily disposal now than ever.
Even more alarming is that he is especially fond of devouring children. Frequently, he doesn't even wait for them to depart the womb but rather convinces the mother to sacrifice that precious child on the altar of convenience. When they survive the birth experience, he redoubles his efforts and makes it his goal to have totally deceived the child by adolescence. That accomplished, he can quickly wolf them down without even wiping his mouth. He is also an excellent tactician. He can spot a godless home or school in a flash, and his stealthy yet inevitable encroachment is sure to follow.
However, none of this is surprising. After all, even Jesus told His disciples that it was "impossible that no offenses should come." (Luke 17:1) But what is most troublesome is what Jesus said next. "But woe to him through whom they do come." So, the premise is simply this:
We live in a fallen and sinful world. Check.
Satan is the god of this age. Check.
Satan hates people made in God's image and wants to destroy them. Check.
The question then becomes, are you helping him to capture your child? "Of course not!" you protest. "I would never do that!" Perhaps not intentionally, no, you wouldn't. But are your lifestyle choices teaching your children what is essential in life? Do they see church attendance as optional and less necessary than the big game or the camping trip? Have they seen you pray in the home, even at meals? Are your choices in entertainment teaching them that worldliness is more beneficial than godliness? If they picked up your phone, would they see porn or Spurgeon quotes? Are you teaching them in the ways of the Lord? Deuteronomy 6 charges parents to "teach them diligently when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." (Deut. 6:7) Or are you delegating that responsibility to others or neglecting it altogether?
If you are still with me, you probably think that this blog post is preachy at best and downright depressing at worst. If that's the case, so be it. But I, for one, am sick and tired of seeing our children and youth flowing downstream along with our culture toward a frightening abyss all because we as parents and grandparents have refused to be "salt and light."
The good news is that God is still on the throne, and He always forgives. What if you made a deliberate and intentional choice today to disciple your children? Don't forget, Satan wants your children. For their sake and your own, resist him! (James 4:7-8)
Discipleship begins in the home,