“We are the temple of the living God.” 2 Corinthians 6:16
Most days are pretty ordinary in our home. We each have our morning routines, break at noon for lunch, followed by an hour of quiet time/rest time, activities, chores, dinner, scripture reading, play and then bed. Then we get up and do it all over again. However, somedays have more added to them. Yesterday was one of those days. Our entire family climbed in the van and traveled to a college our oldest wanted to check out. Some of us went on the campus tour and some played at the park and got ice cream. We talked on the way home about what we liked and how it compared to other colleges we have seen. The distance of the school from home seemed to be the only thing we did not care for. There were long stretches of nothing and cell service went in and out. My husband was already thinking of ways for our daughter to be protected on the way home, mainly by him.
I love how he models the Father’s love by the way he is very intentional in how he protects our kids. It is not smothering or controlled by fear. Quite the contrary. We both know it is a privilege to protect the children we have been entrusted with. I do not want to be found asleep in this role and nor do I want to be fearful. It seems the enemy would love to keep us believing it is easier to do both. It only takes a few seconds for evil to enter our homes. We have learned this the hard way.
We have a great software on our devices that blocks access to all the web has to offer. Do you find it interesting that spiders also have webs and most of its victims do not realize they have been caught until they are trapped? Funny how similar the two can be. Recently, one of our kids downloaded a social media app that we had said no to. The whole point of taking pictures is to remember after the moment is gone. So why have an app where pictures disappear in 20 seconds? However, those 20 seconds can brand an image onto a mind. Now my child is stamped with images of the opposite sex that are far from appropriate. The boundary was in place, but the popular thing to do was more important and the protective line was crossed. While the images were not asked for, they were sent. My heart breaks for the ones that did the sending and for my child. Innocence seems to be erased with lighting speed in todays world. Only God can restore what has been stolen.
Because of this incident, it has caused us to reexamine the guards we have in place to make sure they are secure. It is exhausting at times, but souls are at stake here. Can I as a parent do anything less than fight? Talk to anyone whose life has been derailed by sin and I know they would have given anything for someone to love them enough to fight on their behalf. I am loved by the God of the universe, who is all powerful and He gives strategies, ideas and insight like you wouldn’t believe to fight for what is precious to Him. I ask and He directs. You would be surprised at what we have uncovered.
For example, so many kids have an XBox long before they have a cell phone. There is something called Microsoft Edge that is built into the gaming system. We had no idea about this feature. This gives kids direct access to the internet. While other devices have guards, this one is wide open but had not been activated by my kids. My husband typed in a few words to test it and nothing was off limits. He searched and found a way to set controls to stop the access to say porn and music with lyrics that will make you turn 10 shades of red.
Can I stop a minute and talk about music? With so much music and so many creative artists, why listen to words that are pure evil? I am not against any genre of music, but I am against disrespect and exploitation of woman, violence and cursing. Put those words into your thoughts and tell me they do not change you. It is popular because it gives an outlet for frustration, ignorance and hate. Keep promoting it, gathering listeners in and it becomes accepted because evil is now being celebrated by the masses. Such a waste of creativity! In my opinion, it sounds like death with the beat of hell drowning out all the true life God offers every human being. Why are we allowing this into our children’s ears, minds and hearts? Reminds me of this promise, “Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.” (Proverbs 10:6). Please consider what is thumping through kids AirPods and their consequences.
This I know because God’s Word is always true, we are His temple. What we allow in, we are allowing into the very place God dwells. This can be the worst decorating decision we could make. Think about it, would we plaster the inside of our sanctuary walls with these lyrics as wallpaper? Would we play these music videos on our big screens for all to watch? Back to the images that last for 20 seconds. Can you imagine a video with these disappearing images? It would be considered child pornography. Jail time is the punishment for those who partake.
So, what do we do as parents to protect our children who are the temple of God? We wake up and we stand up! Who has been entrusted with much here and who has the years of experience to look back and see that sin does not deliever what it promises? What gift are we giving them by allowing an open door to sin? I love my kids too much to skip out on the whole “train up a child in the way they should go” and the promise that goes with it of, “even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). Oh, the way is narrow and very unpopular. Honestly, I gave up the popularity thing and what it costs a long time ago. I have more than today in mind with this temple training.
With our families desire to be the house all the kids friends want to be, this attack as I see it, does not surprise me. One more shot by the enemy and a black mark on my child for having a mom who exposed sin. I would do it again and will do it again. These temples are worth it because they are “fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are your works, and my soul knows very well.” (Psalm 139:14). That which is precious is worth protecting. It may mean protection on a highway or a device, but I trust the One who does the equipping. And like the days of old when the original temple was being built, God provided. “And now, I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman skilled… to accomplish any plan which may be given to him..” (2 Chronicles 2:13-14). He knows the understanding and the skills we need to raise our children in todays world. Let’s keep building temples who are glorious reflections of grace, mercy, life and love!!
*Image was taken at Abilene Christian University.