This story appeared in our March 2014 Women’s Ministry newsletter.
By Rhonda Loucks
I am fifty years old and the world is still sometimes confusing to me. I grew up in a Christian home and in a holiness church. I studied statements of belief in Caravans, heard countless
Old and New Testament stories in Sunday School, and was made to memorize lengthy scripture passages as a prerequisite for mission trips and choir tours. Still, at points in my life, I have stood completely confused before social issues and matters of the heart. And I have made supremely regrettable mistakes that have wounded others and torn huge gashes in my own emotional and spiritual progress.
Satan is clever. I don’t think we give him as much credit as is due him. He is calculating and sly. He rarely executes frontal attacks because he enjoys the slithering destruction of the festering seeds that he plants deep within our minds and hearts as he barely bumps into our lives. And with this method I believe that parenting has become one of Satan’s most enjoyable and profitable gardens.
He has bumped into our parenting with refined definitions and standards of social etiquette that have influenced our task as parents. We are so concerned about “not breaking their spirit” and “helping them find their individuality” and “elevating them to a position of worthwhileness” that we may have lost our courage to “fight the good fight”. I too want my kids to grow up to be strong, self-confident individuals. But, it would be irresponsible of me as a parent to consider my child’s feelings above what I know is good for them. It would be even more irresponsible of me as a Christian parent to indulge the tolerances of those considerations above the righteousness of God. There must be a line drawn firmly between that which will enrich and encourage and that which will ultimately confuse and become destructive. And God, not society, is the writer and keeper of that tolerance line.
Each child is unique. Each situation is different and has multiple variables that complicate the issues. But our God is constant. He is not a God of confusion and He has clearly laid out our jobs as Christian parents. We are to keep the faith, teach our children the ways of our Lord, retain the standard of sound words that we have been taught, guard and treasure the truth that has been entrusted to us, and not be ashamed, in any way, of our Christ. To be effective Christian parents we must be strong and courageous and stay in constant communion with the One who does have all the answers for our unique lives.
My parents were courageous and knew their position on that line and were relentless with me regarding it. My God has been even more so. My parents sometimes broke my heart and shattered my desires. My God still does. I was spanked and told no and kept from things I just knew I would enjoy. And still I made decisions that haunt me today. But the consequences of what I was kept from, I now clearly recognize, and am so thankful for.
Even at fifty, life is sometimes confusing and parenting is almost always difficult. But God’s standards are still the same, and we must be strong enough to lay a foundation that reveals absolute truth and leads to God. So break your child’s heart. Say no to friends and date choices. Turn off the TV and walk out of a movie. Stomp your foot and put an end in your home to ridiculous social tolerance that opposes God’ s law. Don’ t hesitate to be bold and speak directly to the point about uncomfortable issues…even though you are visibly shaking. This is your child; plant the seeds of righteousness and weed out the rest. Start when they are conceived and remain a strong influencing parent long after they think they are grown. Yes…start young and finish strong. This should be our motto…because it is already Satan’ s.