Radioactive | Devotion #4: Wearing a Mask
Tommy Youngquist | Children’s Pastor
My wife and I became homeowners in June of 2016. Shortly after that, we had our first child, Heidi Lou. She has filled our hearts with so much love; we cannot even contain it. We want the world for Heidi. We want to love her, take care of her, be there for her, and protect her. Now that she is walking around and wanting to be outside, I keep thinking to myself that I need to fence in the backyard. In case you have not noticed, we live in a crazy world. I do not want to constantly worry about something happening to Heidi while she is focused on fun and playing outside. I want to protect her from cars, stray dogs, other animals and honestly, creepers! So, I will slave for multiple hours putting that fence up. Why? To protect her.
Let me ask you something. How come we, as parents, will go the extra mile to physically protect our children, but slack in the area of spiritual protection? I am guilty. I will let things into my home (the very institution structured to protect my family) that spiritually harm them in the form of movies, music, video games, and social media. In 1 Peter 5:8, it says, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour!” Why do we let him prowl in our homes?
I recently counseled with a couple that needed help with their fourth-grade son. He was suspended from school because of a violent game he had created on paper to play with other kids during recess. The game involved multiple “weapons” to use to kill each other. The object of the game was to be the last person standing. When I asked the couple what types of video games he was allowed to play at home, I heard games like “Call of Duty, GTA, and Fortnite.” You could see the parents immediately put two and two together. They had allowed something into their home that was desensitizing their son to the value of human life. They had not spiritually protected him.
That is just one example. I could go on and on about movies that I hear elementary age kids talk about, lyrics I have heard them sing, and posts that I see on their social media accounts (How do they have these accounts when they are not even old enough?). We, as parents, are charged by God to protect them. The protection is not only physical, but emotional and spiritual as well. Most of the time, with children, protection means withholding something that they want because we know it is not good for them. Spiritual protection also entails teaching them to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind (see Deuteronomy 6:7).
It is not too late fellow parent! You can make a change in your family today. It is my prayer that you place extreme importance on spiritual protection in your home. Lead your family. Set a godly example for them. Put a fence up around their hearts. Protect them from the enemy. Then watch God do amazing things with your children as they learn to love Him with all of their heart, soul, and mind.