Over the holidays I had a rare opportunity to spend time with all four of my grandchildren. Madeline (9), Ben (7), Julia (4), Jonathan (Boo) (2). As I watched them play and realized how wonderful and innocent young children are, I then realized what the Bible says in (l Peter 5:8) “….the Devil as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.” That includes my wonderful little grandchildren.
I also got to thinking how much better I had it as a young child and/or teenager. My childhood, including my teenage years, occurred in the decade of the fifties. There actually was very little crime then. We never locked our house or our cars. As I remember, I don’t believe we even had a key to our house. When we went shopping in the summer, unless it was raining, we always left the windows on the car down to keep it from getting too hot (no air conditioners). We never had anything taken from our house or car.
The television shows, for the most part were wholesome family type shows (I Love Lucy and Andy Griffith’s Mayberry). After all, we only had three channels and they were black and white. The movies we saw did not have any profanity and the actors always kept their clothes on. The books and magazines were not filled with nudity, sex, and violence. I never heard the words pornography or pedophiles, much less knew what they meant. The word gay meant to be very happy.
My parents never feared for my safety. We would play many games after dark in our neighborhood, i.e. hide-and-seek, kick-the-can, etc. I would walk by myself day or night the four blocks to get to downtown Franklin. Drugs were something to be taken when we got sick.
In school we had a prayer to start the day every morning. Once a week, during our chapel devotional, we had a local preacher come and lead us in a couple of spiritual songs and have a short lesson from the Bible.
As we jump from my generation of the fifties to my grandchildren’s generation in the 21st century, MUCH HAS CHANGED. We would not dare go to sleep at night without locking our house, nor would we go to a shopping mall and leave our car unlocked. It may still get broken into, as much crime as we have. I would not feel safe if my grandchildren even got out of my sight, much less allow them to play games in the neighborhood at night.
Today our movies as well as television shows are filthy, filled with sex, nudity, and violence. We did not have computers in the fifties. Computers are a wonderful tool in our society; unfortunately they have a dark side. They provide an avenue to bring pornography into our homes. The tragedy in this, is young children can be exposed to pornographic websites. Sexual predators use computers to trap young unsuspecting children. Magazines have to be placed on high shelves where young children can’t see the naked woman and men on the cover.
One of the other bad things in my grandchildren’s life is that many in our government have taken God and prayer out of the schools. They also push us to accept homosexuality as an appropriate alternant lifestyle.
What is the answer to this condition? Parents have an awesome responsibility to teach their children God’s principles found in the Bible. They can not leave it to Bible school teachers at church that see the children a couple hours a week. They need to start their spiritual education when their children are young. I am going to paraphrase what is found in Ephesians 6: 10-17; it is a formula parents can use.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of his might. Parents put on your children the whole armor of God that they might withstand the wiles of the devil.
Parents have your children’s loins girt about with TRUTH, put on them the breastplate of RIGHTEOUNESS, shod their feet with PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF TRUTH, give them the SHIELD OF FAITH, give them the HELMET OF SALVATION, and finally, teach them to wield the SWORD OF TRUTH, which is the word of God.
If parents will prepare their precious children as described in these verses, they will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil in this very wicked and perverse world where we live.