Yesterday we considered the importance of "saltiness" in a Believer's life. I believe it is the parents' jobs in the lives of their children to encourage the same type of "saltiness," which requires diligent discipleship.
When hubby was reading Monday's post, he commented on the latter part of Psalm 127:5. After considering his comment, I believe there is great help hidden in that verse to guide us in discipling our children and strengthening their focus on the Lord:
"They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate" (Psalm 127:5b).
Notice the families described in these verses dealt with the enemies at the gate. The enemies were stopped at the gate and not allowed in the city. The families were diligent and on watch, knowing the enemies could steal, sabotage, destroy everything they hold dear, and possibly kill or take their loved ones captive.
Oh, how we could learn from this. Do we as American Christians even realize there are enemies to our souls and enemies to our children's souls? Do you know that the thief comes to "steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (John 10:10a)? Do you know that our #1 enemy would like nothing better than to steal the souls of your children and the very life they have? He also wants to steal your diligence and your watchguard care so that he can more easily snatch their hearts. He wants to steal your influence so that any discipleship you try would be overshadowed by the discipleship they already receive from someone or something else.
What enemies does our #1 enemy have lurking outside our gates? Did your family meet those enemies at the gate, refusing their admittance? Or did you leave the gate open and remained unattentive or complacent?
The world's culture is at the gate. It beckons to come in and draw your children into this humanistic society. It longs to encourage the "me-first" attitude of selfishness and self-love. It will instill in your children an idea that undermines the absolute of the Scriptures and the authority of the One True God.
The pride of life is at the gate. It lures with temptations of power and popularity. It opposes the humility taught in the Word. It counters the Biblical principals of meekness and dying to self and raises arrogant, sarcastic, mocking individuals to their feet.
Idols of this world are at the gate. They long to become your children's first love. They come in the form of media entertainment, sports, hobbies, and even self. They want to draw your children's devotion away from Christ to the temporal things of this world.
The lust of the flesh is at the gate. It too comes in the form of television, internet, books and magazines, even Mama's catalogs. Stop them at the gate! Protect your children! Teach them to look away. Even teach them to turn the magazines at the checkout. ;-) And train your daughters in modesty! With the lack of selection on the racks, this too takes diligence, but is oh so worth it. Their hearts are too important for you to rest.
There are many other enemies at your gate even today. How many have you already let in through ignorance or even laziness? Inventory your home. Have you allowed scoffing into your home? (Do you mock your husband or your children? Do you notice the spirit of scorn among your children?) Have you allowed fear in your home? What about pride? Selfishness? Bitterness? When these sneak in and then take prevalence, they become false gods in your home. Cut them at the root with the sword:
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
Drive these enemies out of your home, and do not let them in the gate again!
Why is this so important? The very souls of your children are at stake. God has given you as parents the responsibility to train and disciple your children. He did not give it to the neighbor, the grandmother, the sitter, the school teacher, or even the Sunday School teacher. But the enemies are at the gate and want to steal your children's hearts and your influence as their discipler. They want to undermine what God's Word says to them (and all of us) by offering them lies, deception, and alternate ways.
Meet the enemies in the gate. Your children are worth it.
In the Heart of our Home,