Mary Pedersen urges parents to fortify children against the venom of lies by enlightening them with the truth of who they are in Christ.
As debates rage over the best way to protect our cities and communities, it’s good to remember parents are the ones primarily responsible for protecting our children. Nearly twenty-five years ago, Dr. Mary Pipher, author of The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our Families, wrote prophetically of society’s dangerous influences on the family. She begins by referencing to prairie days when families crafted homes to protect beloved members from vicious animals, destructive storms, and the occasional robber. Pipher then makes the case that today’s world is more treacherous because the enemy is stealthily breaking and entering our homes. Suddenly, the world of rattlesnakes, tornadoes, and Jesse James sound like the good old days.
In times past, the community, commerce, and institutions worked to protect children and to raise contributing citizens. Many aspects of today’s society, however, seem bent on addicting our children — from the earliest age — through consumerism, gambling, pornography, constant entertainment, drugs, and busyness. Pressure to be beautiful enough, smart enough, talented enough, rich enough, and good enough seeps into our homes through television and social media.
Scripture warns against anyone who would cause children to sin for “it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea” (Mk 9: 47). Stern words for those who seek to enslave our children. We immediately point to the natural suspects: drug dealers and human traffickers. Temptation, though, usually presents itself through an accidental click, a slick ad, or a seductive invitation. Evil slithers silently into our homes while we, and our children, privately click sites and surf channels.
As important as monitoring media and refusing to say “yes” to our children’s every whim, we are wise to stay close as a family and to arm our children with the Good News of Jesus Christ. We fortify our children against the venom of lies when we enlighten them with the truth of who they are in Christ. As parents/grandparents, we remind our children, over and over, God created them, loves them, and has a plan and purpose for their lives. When children know — to their core — God loves them infinitely and unconditionally, no amount of forked tongue can tempt them to engage in activities that will “devour the flesh” (James 5:3).
Dr. Pipher prophesied the enemy facing today’s families. And as terrifying as it may be, parents are not alone against this adversary who would cause harm to their children. The Spirit of the Lord is with those who seek God’s strength, guidance, and wisdom in teaching their children the precepts of the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord rests upon parents who bring their children to Jesus — the One who loves them far more than we could ever imagine. Now, that’s good news!
What are the dangers facing your children?
How will you actively protect your children’s hearts and souls?
About the Author
Mary Pedersen serves as "first preacher" to six and grand-preacher to ten! She holds a doctorate in preaching from the Aquinas Institute of Theology, with her thesis, "Parents as First Preachers: Naming Grace in the Domestic Church." She writes and speaks on topics of faith and family, and has been known on probably far too many occasions, to shout out a woo-hoo! Mary blogs at MaryPedersen.com.