Today’s post deals with another topic brought out by my many interviews with second generation Christians. My desire was to discover patterns in their parents’ child training practices across many different people from many different families. These patterns are very helpful to me as I seek to raise my own children to follow the Lord. I hope they have been an encouragement to you as well! Look here for the other posts in the series!
Here is the seventh part of Lionproofing our children, or Protecting Our Children from the Devil. Again, let me remind you that it is far more important to have the internals right than the externals, although some people get this confused. What you DO, however, is still vitally important. Jesus Himself said to the Pharasees, “These things ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”
With this in mind, we must recognize the importance of sheltering our children from harmful influences.
After we married, our growing family got a small place in the country, and I bought some downy chicks. They were the cutest little things, and grew to be fat and fluffy, eventually laying the best speckled eggs! One day, however, I heard a lot of noise and commotion coming from the henhouse. When I got there, I was aghast to see a huge snake trying desperately to get out! Having eaten two chickens, he was now too large to fit through his entryway. I ran to the kitchen, grabbed my butcher knife, and delivered a fatal jab behind his head.
Later, as I inspected the hen house, I found that the door did not close tightly, leaving about an inch and a half space – enough to let a good sized snake through. Unfortunately for the two ingested chickens, my discovery was too late.
Satan will take his time, testing each link in the fence, looking for weaknesses. If he finds a hole, the entire fence is rendered ineffective in keeping him out. It’s just as if there were no fence to begin with. The fence must be secure in order to be effective. Replacing unimportant or even bad activities with good, godly ones can play a huge role in helping to secure the barrier against the Devil.
In what ways were they sheltered? Many different ways, and some of them are elucidated in my precious post. Today, however, I want to center on the principle of REPLACEMENT.
God’s House was the foundation of these families. Involvement in church activities was assumed, and many were actively involved in ministry themselves even as they were growing up. Quite a few of them were involved as families in singing, working a bus route, going on visitation, etc.
You may be wondering, “How can this be part of Sheltering?” Answer: replacement. When a family is busy about God’s business, they have less time and energy to be busy otherwise!
This is how it works: if we choose to spend our time at the House of God, we will not be involved in other things such as organized sports, local civil activities, scouts, or other secular endeavors. I’m not saying these things are necessarily wrong; I’m merely saying that our Overcomers are serving God today because their parents pointed them in that direction when they were young, and they continued on that path. The habits instilled by the parents are continued to this day.
There are some common activities in these successful families which pointed the children in the direction of serving the Lord. They are:
REGULAR CHURCH ATTENDENCE – For these second-generation Christians, church was a place of salvation, conviction, and dedication.
CONSISTENT FAMILY DEVOTIONS – Devotions created an opportunity for spiritual interaction between family members, and many issues that the young people faced were settled.
DECIDEDLY CHRISTIAN EDUCATION – Imparting a Christian world view was greatly important to these successful parents. It was so important that they sacrificed greatly to provide a solid Christian education for their children, whether it was through Christian schools, or home education.
Arianna, a red-headed Christian school teacher, made this statement: “One of the things I feel very strongly about is protecting children. I simply don’t think many people realize how vital it is to shelter young people from the manipulation of the Devil.”
Arianna’s answer was typical of these godly young people. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of them were sheltered while they were growing up.
Now that we know about the principle of replacement, we can take some important steps toward LIONPROOFING our own children. But we will not shelter our children too long, or too much, or for the wrong reasons, because we will keep asking questions, and learning what these second generation Christians already know!
Are there any other good activities you can think of that we can replace neutral or even bad activities with? Let us know!
Linking up with:
Monday – The Alabaster Jar
Wednesday – To Love, Honor, and Vacuum