America has come to yet another crossroads. A lone gunman went into a local nightclub frequented by the LGBT crowd on the morning of June 12 and killed 49 and wounded another 53. Driven by an Islamic inspired hatred for those who practice the LGBT lifestyle, he claimed to be sympathetic to ISIS and believed he was doing the will of Allah. Giving his assertions credence, ISIS has claimed responsibility for his actions. We now have another example of Islamic terrorism perpetrated on American soil. How do we protect ourselves from terrorists and what is our government doing to protect us from domestic and foreign terrorism?
Parents have a strong visceral desire to protect our families. A mother or father will risk death in order to save one of their children. Just recently a family was vacationing at a Disney Theme Park in Florida when their two year old son was attacked by an alligator. Both parents went into the lagoon after the child with no regard for their own safety.
God intended both parents to be protectors. However, the father is the one that must carry the mantle as protector for the family. Some feminists may balk at such a statement, but that is part of the created order established by God. Even evolutionists concede that we men have been hunter-gatherers from back in the Stone Age. God instilled in us a desire to provide for and protect that which is in our keeping.
Being a protector is an eternal undertaking. We can never waiver from the task. We are the watchmen on the wall. Who is there to sound the alarm or take up the charge if we grow faint? Movie theaters, retirement homes, schools, malls, cafes, night clubs and even city streets have become battle grounds for those who hate. Sometimes it even seems like those of us who love God and have trusted in His Son are helpless before the enemy. That, of course, is just a lie perpetrated by Satan.
While fathers can never protect our wives and children from every possible bad thing that can happen to them we can provide a protection that is everlasting beyond the physical world. Of course, I’m speaking of providing them with a protection that comes from our Creator God. In Deut. 6:6-9 we find,
and these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
How then are we to put this command of God into practice? First, we can pray for our wives and children daily. When praying make sure you pray for them by name. Something powerful happens when we lift up our loved ones by name. All throughout the Old Testament we find God’s chosen applying names to people, places, and even things that had meaning. This wasn’t because they believed it gave some magical significance to those being named. They understood that there was power in the naming: power that came from God the Father alone.
Pray with your wife and children. Remember what the Ethiopian eunuch said to Phillip when asked if he understood what he was reading out of the book of Isaiah? “How can I, unless someone guides me” (Acts 9:30-31)? Your family needs someone to guide them in learning how to communicate with God. By praying with them you allow them to see their father talking with his Father.
Then, teach your children the word of God. You can start with the familiar stories to get them engaged. Let them learn about David and Goliath, and Sampson, and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Continue teaching them about sin, repentance and, above all, grace. Keep them interested and engaged by allowing them to read out loud from the Bible. Keep in mind that many of our forefathers learned to read by sitting with their fathers in front of an open Bible. When we teach our children the Word we are equipping them for whatever the enemy tries to throw at them as they grow and become adults. We know it will happen. There has never been a person that lived who has not had to deal with temptation, sin, sorrow and death. We help our children understand that God’s word is a lamp to their feet, and a light unto their path (Psalm 119:105).
Also, pray with your children’s mother on family issues. This is extremely important. It shows your children that their parents are unified in all matters pertaining to the family. It teaches them about communication between spouses. Children need to see that decision making in the home is a joint effort.
Lastly, take the time to write out a letter with a spiritual blessing for each of your children. You may choose to do this annually on their birthday or on the anniversary of when they asked Jesus into their heart. Then, at some point in their early adult life present them all of the letters. One father gave them to his daughter on her wedding day. However the Lord leads you to handle it be sure and make it special for each son or daughter. You can be sure it will be treasured for their lifetime.
America is at a crossroad, but that is no reason to allow fear and indecision to cloud our lives. We may not be able to protect our loved ones from physical harm. We can, however, undergird them with the protection that will provide the blessed assurance of a life spent in eternity with Christ. In the flesh, it is hard for us to realize this is not our home. In spirit, we know that He promised to prepare a place for each of us who put our trust in Him. Isn’t that the kind of protection we as Christians long for our loved ones to have? We have the ability through Christ to move beyond that crossroad to a place that eye has not seen, nor ear heard. A place where death no longer exists.