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 monitoring 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. That is what Ephesians 2:1-3 is teaching us; note especially verse 2:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
Satan has a specific purpose for the world that he rules. His purpose is to tempt you and your children to gratify the sinful cravings of your flesh, to the end that you will follow its desires and thoughts instead of God’s desires and thoughts.
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? This battle is reality. Christian parents must be engaged in fighting this battle. No good intentions, no well-meaning program aimed at producing well-rounded children, can escape this deadly truth. Without the redemptive light of Scripture to lead the way, the subtle— yet powerful— forces described in the verses above will deceive you into following the enemy of your soul.
Proverbs has the balance needed to avoid the crafty schemes of the world. Look at verses 6-8 of chapter 2:
For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
These verses are clear—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 proclaimed in verse 6 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 not trusting God. If God is loved and trusted, as verses 6-8 direct, then understanding, wisdom, knowledge and protection await. Note the promises of verses 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.
This post is the first in a series dealing with how we can learn to avoid the trap of loving the world—while thinking that we are actually loving God. Sin is called deceptive for a very good reason!
Please pray for this series.