Life at its best: Engage in fight for your family
June 10, 2011 at 1:10 a.m.
By Jim Graff
My wife, Tamara, jokingly claims she had a drug problem growing up - she was drug to church every single Sunday, whether she wanted to go or not. But now, Tamara recognizes her parent's persistence as a successful effort to train her, and her siblings, to lead godly lives. In the midst of a confusing culture, they wanted their kids to experience the peace that results from living a life devoted to God. They recognized their obligation to engage in the fight for their family, and they didn't back down.
There's another guy in the Bible who also refused to back down. His name was Nehemiah, and in Nehemiah 4:14, he instructs parents to do the same. He says, ".Don't be afraid... Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families." See, Nehemiah realized that raising godly families required being real about two things: the presence of sin in the world and the fact God is greater than that sin.
The same stands true for us today. We don't have to be afraid of society snatching our kids away from God. Why? Because we serve a God who is awesome, who is greater than sin's struggle. But does that mean we can just sit back and expect him to do it all? Of course not. Like Tamara's parents, we need to be proactive about keeping our kids' hearts and minds fixed on God.
So how can we do that? Well, for starters, know what your children are watching. Know what they're listening to. One of the smartest investments Tamara and I made was a system that allows us to block certain sites and channels from our home computer and television. Also, I encourage you to use helpful websites like pluggedin.com to research the movies your children want to see. They might not like the strict rules now, but you can bet they'll be grateful for them later.
One of the most common excuses to this proactivity that I hear from parents and children alike is that, "They're around it all day anyway. How much could it really matter?" The best answer I have to that question is the one my wife gives my children, and it's this: "There's enough hell in the world; we're not having it in this house." Your home should be a safe place, where your kids can learn God's truth and experience His peace and hope. It should be a place where they're not just hearing from MTV, CMT, TNT and ESPN; they're hearing from God and allowing him to do a great work in their life.
The reality is that the media is already heavily engaged in the fight for our kids. Don't you think it's time we stood up and fought back? Let's not run to get the lifeguard after we're already going under; let's get Him on board now. We're not called to live afraid, but to boldly fight for our families.
Jim Graff is the senior pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria, Texas. www.faithfamilyvictoria.com