I have heard this tear stained question too many times. Parents who have attempted to be godly parents find out their 15 year-old is living out the things they tried so desperately to prevent. The things that they thought would offer protection did not. So what does offer protection for your children? Here is one answer.
What you believe is what protects you. What your children believe will be what, ultimately, protects them. Protects them from what? From the attacks of the world.
Responsible parents are always looking for ways to protect their children. Whether it is an improved baby monitor or a new cell phone with a GPS locator or a car with more safety features, protecting our children is important. But what will protect them from the deceptive schemes of a world at war with God? Satan, as the father of lies, has constructed a world system that attempts to obscure and conceal the evil he has planned for those who follow him. This is reality according to Ephesians 2:1-3.
Does this combat seem real to you? Do you interpret your daily struggles as skirmishes and battles in the war against the world, the flesh, and the devil? Or, do you misinterpret these battles as bouts of frustration or stages or moods that will pass? You have a sworn enemy who longs to destroy you and your family whether you recognize his tactics or not. Ephesians 2:1-3 is explicit; this battle is reality.
Good intentions, well-meaning programs aimed at producing well-rounded children, cannot adequately defend against these battles. What you believe and what your children believe is what will protect you. Without the redemptive light of Scripture to lead the way, the subtle— yet deadly — forces will deceive you into following the enemy of your soul.
It is the Lord who gives wisdom. More importantly, he is the one who will protect and guard those who are faithful to him. Fidelity to the truth is essential—true wisdom comes only from the mouth of God. If God is not the source, wisdom cannot be found. But loving God, fearing him, and believing him will protect you and your children from the enemy that wants you to experience the bitterness of believing his lies. If God is loved and trusted, then understanding, wisdom, knowledge and protection await. Note the promises of Proverbs 2:9-11:
9 Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.
Sin is deceptive. It has a particular goal of enticing you and your children to love this world. The trap we must learn to avoid is loving the world, while thinking that we are actually loving God. The stakes are high. Only the wisdom God pursued with a heart conquered by redeeming grace will protect you. Don’t be deceived into relying on anything else.