How to Protect Your Kids
One of the scariest things for a Christian parent is watching your kids grow up in a sinful and increasingly hostile world.
And while many of our fears as humans are often unfounded, these fears are not!
The world really is sinful – you don’t have to look any further than any evening news broadcast to see that. Our culture is a dangerous place for young hearts and minds to develop. And this isn’t a passive danger, a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is an active societal force seeking to influence your kids.
I’m not being an alarmist. I’m simply stating a biblical reality: The world wants to mold your children to its standards – and those standards simply do not conform to God’s.
As parents we are shepherds of the next generation, and we must not let our kids fall prey to the lies that the world and our enemy Satan is trying to sell them.
This is a monumental task, but it’s a calling you’ve been given by God, and one He can equip you to fulfill. Too often parents get stuck, feeling helpless, wondering what to do to protect our children – especially as they enter adolescence.
But you aren’t helpless, regardless of how it may feel. So I want to offer three critical steps you must take to guard your children from the evils of our world.
First, you must be vigilant and diligent.
1 Peter 5:8 counsels…
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Parenting is not a passive calling. Society’s influence is not relegated to the public sphere. Through technology, media, and your children’s friends, it can reach into your home. Parents can’t afford to fall asleep at the wheel, or we run the risk of letting our kids fall into the traps that the world and culture has set for them.
Traps like gender confusion, sexual liberation, what it means to love someone, even questioning basic morality that has held our society together for centuries. Every day your children are bombarded with messages that undermine biblical truth on these issues, and so many others.
Remaining vigilant is as much about what you don’t do as what you do.
Do not be afraid to be the “bad guy.” Take a stand against unhealthy or unproductive behavior, even if that goes against what culture says makes you a good parent. It’s not about being the fun parent, or your child’s best friend. You are there to protect, guide, and nurture them. This means you’re not afraid to say no to your child. Why? Because you know that saying no is sometimes the best way to show them you love them.
Do not let them have access to all media just because their peers do. It’s the “easy” way out to let kids have social media, watch whatever shows they want, play whatever video game is popular at the moment. But there are dangers associated with each of these things. Don’t let your kids have unrestrained access to technology.
Do not stop fiercely loving them. Show your kids that God’s love is protective, and so is yours. What you say and do may not always be what they want, but it is for their good. And recognize that a big part of fierce love is being quick to forgive, to seek reconciliation. Be quick to forgive, and to ask them to forgive you as well. Modeling this behavior will show them what real love is, and how different it is from the world’s version of love.
Do not be naïve or let your guard down. Parents often find themselves in situations where they don’t have the full picture. This is especially true with new technology. But being naive can leave your children unprotected. Educate yourself before you say yes or allow them to do something new. Be willing to seem “uncool” by asking questions about new expressions, trends, and viral sensations. Something that may seem harmless can actually be an insidious message that works its way into your child’s heart and mind.
Again, this is no easy task, and it’s not for the faint of heart. That is why the other step you must take is truly indispensable.
Secondly, pray without ceasing for your children.
Your children will face countless situations and decisions they must navigate every day. Pray that God will guide their steps and guard their hearts.
Pray that He will place godly people in their lives – friends, family members, teachers, mentors – who will bless them and help guide them to things that honor God.
Pray that they will remember what you’ve taught them, that they will be bold to stand up to those who do not speak God’s unchanging truth. Pray that Proverbs 22:6 will be true of them when it says…
“Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Pray Scripture over your children. Here are some passages you can use…
1 John 4:18
Bathe your child’s life in prayer. And as they grow, even if they choose the wrong path (especially if they do), never stop praying for them.
Remember that God is their heavenly father and wants their best as well.
Finally, give yourself grace.
God does. He’s there with you as you strive to love your kids like He does. Even if you are the best parent in the world, you will, at some point, let your kids down.
But God never will. He will never leave them or forsake them.
Trust in Him and teach them to do the same.
By Graham Allen
To learn more about Graham Allen be sure to visit his website here.