7 Ways to Protect Your Kids from Eternal Destruction
We are living in the last days, and we are seeing the great falling away of the Church. As prominent pastors, worship leaders and artists are walking away from their faith and denying Christ, they are taking with them entire generations of fans and followers, especially the younger generation. We are seeing record high suicides among children, and the internet has brought a new level of compromise and bullying that we as parents and caregivers did not have to deal with previously. The enemy has been relentless in deceiving and attacking our kids.
The Lord is sending out the alarm to His Church to be prayerful, vigilant and obedient to do whatever it takes to save our children from eternal destruction. With access to every evil portal into hell through the internet, social media, television, music and relationships, we as Christian parents cannot be naïve into thinking that our children have not been exposed, tempted or engaged in sin and compromise.
No matter how much we shelter and protect them, they still open access to evil through these outlets, and many times do not want to hurt or disappoint their families, so they keep the sin hidden, and it festers into their adult years. Many times, parents are unaware of their children’s struggles because they are either not paying attention to what their kids are watching and doing online, unaware of who they are hanging out with or want to be the cool and accepted parents, so they allow a little bit of compromise to stay “relevant” and often turn a blind eye to sin. Others assume that since their kids are being raised right, attend church and youth group regularly and think they know what friends they are associating with daily, they do not have to worry. I was one of those parents.
A few years back, when I discovered that my own teenager was struggling with hidden sin, it was like the rug was pulled out from under me. Through anger, I asked God how this could happen when I thought I was so resolute in protecting her. Where did I miss it? He reminded me of a prayer I prayed over her not too long before everything was revealed. I prayed that God would expose anything in her life that would affect her eternity and the call He had on her life. Although I was not prepared in any way for what was about to be exposed, He faithfully answered my prayers.
We went through a long season of pain as roots were revealed. I relentlessly tried to send the alarm to other Christian parents and pastors whose kids were also in trouble. Many ignored the call and swept it under the rug. Many ostracized and mocked me. I was resented by many and felt the sting of rejection. However, I was going to what it took to help my child and any others who were struggling. Even though the journey to healing was painful, I realized that I was not alone, and that God would help me stand and fight for my child and for this generation.
Our children are being granted open access to sin right under our noses! They are being overtly exposed to adult content and expected to handle it as an adult. As we witness record high addiction, promiscuity, suicide, murder, pornography and human trafficking rates skyrocket among children, it is time to wake up and do something! God gave us the care of His children, and we need to take it seriously!
Here are 7 ways you can help protect your kids from eternal destruction.
1. Pray ask God to reveal anything He needs you to know about your children. This is one of the most powerful prayers you can pray. It can also be the most painful. However, through His Holy Spirit, God is there to bring the peace, healing and strategy to start the steps in helping them. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come”. John 16:13 ESV
2. Be a parent, not friend! When is the last time you looked at your children’s phone, social media accounts, browsing history or what they are watching on television? When is the last time you went into their rooms and looked around? Do you really know the friends and their parents well enough before sending them over for sleepovers and outings? If you think that your child would never be engaged in sin through these mediums because they are strong and godly, you are being deceived. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” 1 John 1:8 ESV Ask the Holy Spirit to show you anything you need to know and be vigilant to find and deal with it! “The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that He has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions”. Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV We are called to be the stewards of these kids for God. While we can have friendship as part of the parent/child relationship, we are to be parents and God’s caregivers first and foremost.
3. Set and adhere to Holy Spirit-led rules, boundaries and consequences. If your child is struggling, ask God to show you the steps to take to help them as their spiritual authorities. Remove what needs to be removed and set what needs to set according to God’s strategy to protect and help our kids. Watch who you allow your kids to be around. Make them accountable for their decisions and actions by correcting and disciplining them! As painful as it may seem at the moment it is vital for their spiritual well-being. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 ESV
4. Do not be a bystander parent. If we see our own or other kids mistreating, gossiping or compromising, we need to address it immediately in love. Bullies are not the only perpetrators to the victim. Bystanders are as well. Do not be a bystander parent and do not allow your children to be bystanders to evil. Teach them to stand up for God’s Word, Christ’s examples and go reach out and those who are hurting and in trouble. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6 ESV
5. Ask God to reveal the root of the sin. When you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the root and the open door where the enemy was allowed in. Something may have happened to them that you did not know, or they may have willingly chosen to sin. No matter what the root is, once it is exposed, walk your children through the Word and prayer to seek forgiveness and help. This may take time and much persistence, but do not give up, no matter how much pushback you get. The enemy wants to wear you down and make you give in or give up. We do not have to handle this on our own! The Holy Spirit is here to help! “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NLT
6. Do not allow disappointment in your children or even in you change your perceptions on their God-given identities and your roles as parents and caregivers. When you discover that your child is struggling with hidden sin, remind them that you are displeased with the actions but not them. The enemy will immediately try and bring shame and hopelessness when sin is exposed. Point them immediately to the Word and to God’s and your forgiveness. “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy”. Proverbs 28:13 ESV. Also accept God’s grace and mercy when the enemy tries to bring guilt to you for not knowing, and thank Him for revealing it. Just as we are not perfect, neither are our kids. Just like we are exposed to sin, they are too. You are not a failure!
7. Speak life into your children! The enemy attacked your kids and now it’s time to fight back in prayer, worship and thanksgiving! Pray without ceasing for your kids to have hearts of repentance and be ready to return to, serve and honor God. “But now this is what the LORD says: “Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you,” says the LORD. “Your children will come back to you from the distant land of the enemy. There is hope for your future,” says the LORD. Jeremiah 31:16-17 NLT
Remember, we will one day stand before Jesus and give accounts for how we raised His children. When choosing to be godly, vigilant, wise and uncompromising parents or caregivers, one moment of resentment from our kids and others who choose to turn a blind eye to sin and compromise will be well worth the eternal safekeeping of our children and future generations.