Psalm 107:17 Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
You don’t have to look far to see people all around who are afflicted by their own self-inflicted choices. Choices that have defeated them, enslaved them, and oftentimes even end up killing them.
God has given us restrictions and restraints upon what we do with our behavior and with our bodies, and He has done it for our good. A wise parent will help their children see the dangers of these 4 potential killers long before they ever become a threat:
1. DRUGS & ALCOHOL
While it’s important to teach our kids to “Just Say NO to drugs!” (brings back memories, doesn’t it?), we also need to help them understand the good common sense reasons behind why we should say no to these things. Drugs and alcohol claim the lives of thousands of young people every year and ruin the lives of multiplied thousands of others.
Our kids must also understand that just as drugs are a poison to the human body, an abuse of alcohol is as well. That’s why it’s called in-toxic-ation. This is also why our bodies object to these substances with loss of motor skills, slurred speech, impaired vision, and poor judgment. Not to mention, they will destroy one’s liver, heart, kidneys, and ultimately put them into an early grave.
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
“If you smoke, it’s estimated, you have ten times the risk of getting head and neck cancer (tongue and mouth, nasal cavities, voice box, throat, and esophagus) than if you didn’t smoke. That’s true for lung cancer, too,” says Erick Sturgis, M.D.
Smoking is so deceptive because the negative effects can go unseen within our bodies, usually “hidden” for many years before the irreparable damage is done. If you haven’t recently, show your kids a picture of a healthy lung compared to a smoker’s lung. Help them understand that an abuse of the lungs through smoking can cause many future health problems, including a terrible disease called emphysema that steals your breath away as you get older, making it difficult, even painful just to breathe.
Despite being in decline in recent years, according to the AAFP (American Acadamy of Family Physicians), tobacco use is still “the leading preventable cause of death and illness” in our nation. The number of deaths (more than 400,000 annually) caused by tobacco use is greater than the combined number of deaths due to AIDS, alcohol, automobile accidents, murders, suicides, drugs, and fires. (source) Smoking is nothing short of an expensive way to die early and something we should help our children to avoid.
I Corinthians 3:17 For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Very few things are ravaging our nation and our homes like the killer of pornography. No, it is not a killer of the physical body, but it is a killer of the mind. It is a killer of purity. It is a killer of many good marriages. And it is a killer of the spiritual lives of many men (and women).
Proverbs 7:22 He goeth after her straightway as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life… Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.
The strange woman of Proverbs takes on many forms today, and one of the most prominent is porn. And yet the world flaunts it even to the point where “family” shows push the lines of soft porn by promoting it to our kids as both normal and acceptable. (If you watched the latest season of AGT, you know exactly what I’m talking about.) Not to mention the intentional advertising of it to our children through seemingly innocent apps like Snapchat and Instagram.
Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.
It is our responsibility to warn our children of the strange woman who is a killer of men’s lives and souls. And with the average age of a child’s first exposure to porn being between 8-11 years old, we cannot stay silent. We need to warn our children, and especially our boys, of her dangers. (For some practical tips on how to do this, check out this great article from Dave Willis at StrongerMarriages.com, 3 Keys to Raising Boys in a Sex-Crazed Culture)
4. SEXUAL IMMORALITY
God has made Himself very clear in the Scriptures that any form of sex outside of marriage is sinful and unacceptable, no matter what kind of spin the world puts on it.
I Corinthians 6:18 warns us to “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”
When we help our children understand that God’s precious gift of sex is to be reserved for marriage only, we protect them against future marital struggles, future regret, as well as a host of other horrors, including STDs. We must teach them that there is no such thing as “safe sex” outside of the marriage bed. Saving and sharing sex with a lifetime partner in a marital relationship is still the best way to experience the safest and best sex of a person’s life, just as God ordained (Hebrews 13:4).
Parents, we must take seriously our responsibility to prepare our children for a lifetime of purity.
While every parent needs to discern the appropriate age to address these killers with their children, the time to address them is usually sooner than we realize, but definitely long before they become a threat. No parent ever desires for their child to become enslaved by any of these four things, yet the time to do the preventative maintenance is now.
By helping our children understand the great dangers that they will face, we ultimately prepare them to avoid playing the part of the fool…
Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
Which of these four killers do you currently need to address with your child? Are there others that need to be added? I’d love to hear your feedback. Also, please share this to help other parents as well.
- Christmas is less than a month away! If you’re looking for a great way to highlight the importance of Christmas with your kids, check out my friend, Ryan Rench’s newest book, Once Upon a NON-Time: 25 Christmas Stories for Kids. I ordered ours last week, and can’t wait to read it together as a family.