Jerusalem’s walls were rebuilt.
The walls could not protect themselves.
Walls without live watchmen were still poor defences for a city. A relentless enemy will find a way to breach the walls once again, if there is no one watching for him.
Recognizing the importance of protecting the rebuilt walls, gates and homes, Nehemiah appointed watchmen. To the head of each family, he assigned the task of protecting the section of wall in front of their own house (Nehemiah 7:3).
Their God-appointed responsibility?
To continue to protect and take care of what God had entrusted to them.
As leaders of our homes, that duty has not changed for us in 2013.
A guardian is one who protects; one who guards over and against.
In our homes, we may have successfully surveyed the walls, recognized the damage, removed the rubble, and rebuilt on the cornerstone of Jesus and prayer.
However, have we neglected to take up our posts as guardians?
If we have neglected to post a guard, harmful influences may have been allowed into our homes. Media is one Trojan horse through which the enemy can craftily pass through our gates.
The rising statistics show us the harsh truth that we desensitize our children with the things we allow them to listen to and watch.
A recent survey produced these results:
By the time a child graduates from high school, they will have seen over 200,000 acts of violence, including 40,000 murders.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the troublesome lyrics of some teen music:
- Advocate and glamorize the abuse of drugs or alcohol
- Present suicide as a “solution”
- Display graphic violence (Music Videos)
- Describe harmful sexual practices, incest, and a devaluing of women
At one time, pornography could only be found in magazine form, geared to men. But now, it is easily found in store catalogues, fashion magazines, on the internet and in TV commercials. Media uses the bodies of our young girls to sell anything from a soda to a car! It has brought pornography into our homes, causing damage to our girls and especially to our boys.
With the way the “acceptability line” of society and media continues to move, it would seem that line is drawn in chalk. On the flip side, we need to also recognize the slippery nature of the slope of controlling media content. We do not want to open the door of censorship, for that too would lead us down a very ugly road.
Not all media is evil or wrong.
In fact, we can use media for moral and spiritual teaching moments. As parents, we must be intentional about teaching our kids how to make right media choices.
We are responsible for what is allowed through the gates. And not just the physical gates of my front door, but also through the “eye” gates, “ear” gates, and “mouth” gates of each family member. (1 John 2:16)
What is the litmus test for things allowed through the gates of our homes and individual lives?
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” Philippians 4:8 (ESV).
Nothing should pass through our gate that doesn’t first pass the Philippians 4:8 test.
Does that become more and more challenging as media pushes the envelope?
Does it become more challenging as our kids grow?
Is it overwhelming with today’s technology, where cell phones can access the internet as easily as a home computer, making it difficult for parents to post a guard?
Yes, but that doesn’t mean I stop guarding nor does it mean I stop doing the work.
As parents, we need to know, to the best of our ability, who our children’s friends are,the books they are reading, the lyrics of the music they are listening to, what sites they are visiting on the internet (including their FB, Snapchat & Tumblr friends), and what they are watching on TV. Granted, this lessens as our children mature and as we pass the baton of responsibility for their choices to them. This “baton passing” must gradually take place, if we are to raise, healthy adult children. However, until the day they take the baton and run with it, it is our God-given responsibility to guard against wrong influences being let into our home and into the lives of our children.
That takes work.
Will it be met with resistance?
Thinking of my own teenage years, at seventeen I often was not allowed to participate in some of my friends’ activities, or listen to the same music, or watch the things they watched. Admittedly, there were times I didn’t exactly “like” my parents when they stood their ground as guardians.
However, in retrospect (especially once I became a parent!) I appreciate that my parents acted as proper guardians. I am who I am today, because my parents took seriously their role as protectors of their home.
Know Your Enemy.
Contrary to popular belief, the devil isn’t red with pointy ears, tail and pitch fork.
He is a fallen angel. He is very beautiful. He is also a crafty liar. He doesn’t attack in ways that are obviously evil.
Satan didn’t tempt Eve with rotten, unappealing fruit! Neither will he tempt us or our children with things that aren’t appealing. He even adds a tiny thread of truth to his beautiful package so that we can justify allowing the Trojan horse through our gates.
What is a Trojan horse?
Something that appears desirable and innocent but actually contains something harmful. Something used to subvert from within. (Today we use the term for computer viruses.)
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War lasted many years, as the Greeks could not penetrate the heavily barricaded city of Troy. That is…until Greece came up with a crafty plan.
The Greek soldiers brought the people of Troy a large wooden horse and tricked them into thinking it was just a peace offering. The Trojans accepted it and moved it inside the city walls. Once inside the walls and under the cover of darkness, the enemy emerged from hiding inside the horse. They opened the gates for the rest of the Greek armies to swarm into the city, slaughtered all the Trojan men, forced the women and children into slavery, and destroyed the “impenetrable” city of Troy.
BEWARE OF A TROJAN HORSE!
Let one slip past your gates and you will find your home destroyed and your family bound in slavery.
As parents, our God-appointed job is to provide guidance, protection and care for our children (teens included!) until they move out from the walls of our home. (Proverbs 29:15)
Is it time to reclaim your post?
“The character of your children tomorrow depend on what you put into their hearts today” Daily Bread, 2003