Have you noticed how it seems like the world is a million shades of gray, and a clear sense of right and wrong is a fading commodity? People proudly pronounce how they are getting a divorce because they have ‘fallen out of love’, they look for ways to get assistance rather than be of assistance, or they sit around the dinner table as they criticize and gossip about the very people they claim to love or call friends.
As many of you know, our family participates in Bible Quizzing. This year, my three boys are each learning over 400 scriptures and my oldest is learning over 500. Daily, over 1200 scriptures are being recited for approximately three hours per day. My son said this year is our ninth year of quizzing. As the Word of God goes forth, faith and a resounding clarity of truth fills our home. All practicality says that doing this probably makes us more prone to discern things that are contrary to The Word, agreed?
Well, recently, my son left an event and was very disturbed. Someone had given him an earful about what someone else had done to him or her. He was genuinely concerned, and you could tell that he was a little fired up and that this person had swayed him about ‘the accused person’. We are very close, so I’m grateful he tells me everything. Now, while we are preparing to have dinner and are setting the table, here is my son telling me about what has happened. I’m sure this is a common occurrence in many family discussions, but for me it was as if an alarm was sounded and I was faced with a choice. Sure, I could have jumped on the bandwagon and been a listening ear under the auspice of ministry.
I know as parents, we spend years building our children’s confidence and self-esteem. Any parent in their right mind would not want to destroy that after years of effort, but did you know that clarity, boundaries, and even ‘no’ help define a child and make them feel more secure? After all, I do not want my children to be confident in doing wrong, or worst yet fall prey to living by the world’s definition of what is acceptable.
So, I chose to use this situation to show my son first hand that this is how gossip and division start.
In Matthew 5:23-24, it reads, “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Unfortunately, it does not say to go to everyone, except the person that you actually have the conflict. You certainly should not talk up the situation to try and build an army in your favor. It says, to go and be reconciled to your brother or to the one who you think has a problem with you.
So, I explained to our son that this was clearly gossip, and he needed to go back to this person and encourage them to go to the person with whom they have the issue.
Since that time, not only has it helped my son to detect and beware of gossip and sowing discord among the brethren, but also it has brought reconciliation and unity to all parties involved.
Again, this is scriptural and a promise in The Word of God. In Psalm 133, it clearly says, “Behold, how GOOD and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in UNITY! It continues a few verses down in chapter 133, “for THERE (IN UNITY) the Lord commanded the BLESSING, even life for evermore.”
I want my children blessed! I want them to know what true unity is and that it doesn’t come easily and sometimes you have to fight for it.
This is just one instance of how easily things can creep in and take up residence in your home. I recently had a virus attack my computer. I believe it came through a download of a template for a homeschool progress report, not your usual suspected threat. My husband to the rescue loaded anti-virus software on my system. The program scared us to death as it would literally growl each time it found something of harm.
Wouldn’t it be nice if our inner man would ‘growl’ each time something entered our minds that was harmful. Well, as parents, I think that falls under our job description.
In all of your efforts to love, it is still important to be a clear voice and sometimes even roar….