Thursday, February 2, 2012

Culture Molds

We all want our children and grandchildren to be thought of as smart, excellent, outstanding, and "above average", don't we?  Did you know God's Word has something to say about being smart, excellent and outstanding?  In Daniel chapter 1 we read about Daniel and the three Hewbrew young men who resolved to honor the Lord and refused to let the Babylonian culture swallow them: to mold their opinion and behavior. 

In Psalm 111:10 (NIV) God tells us, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise."  I believe the word "fear" here does not mean to be terrified or scared of God; rather it means "to honor, reverence, respect, to exalt His words over your own opinion."  This tells me that unless we honor and have God's Word as our mold for life, we really don't have wisdom or understanding.

Our children will not get wisdom and understanding in public schools; parents and the church have to lead the young ones into the fear of the Lord.  That is a major reason why the Lord led me to write my books for young children.  Books that unashamedly has the parents teach the children what the Word of God says about problems in life.  There was a moment or two as I was writing "Biff and Becka's Springtime Adventures" where I debated being open and "up front" about mentioning sin, Jesus, the cross and resurrection because a voice inside my head argued that I'll "narrow my reading base" if I do that.  In other words, I wouldn't sell as many books.  But I had to come to the point of saying, "You know what?  I don't care about that.  I care about being obedient."

In our morally-compromised Americn culture, parents really have to be diligent in training their children to honor and value the Lord's Word over anything they hear taught in school, especially when evolution and moral relativism is espoused. The trouble is, many parents don't fear the Lord, either.  Our culture is made up of many different religions and opinions that blatantly disregard the Lord Jesus Christ; a spirit of anti-Christ is afoot in our world.  I am here to encourage parents to return to the fear of the Lord and instill the same in your children.  I pray my children's books will help you do that.

Behavior + Attitude = Culture.  By that I mean if we as Christian believers have a blase attitude about what God calls sin, not speaking out about it and allowing it to continue in our homes and churches, it becomes our culture.  It becomes accepted opinion across our nation.  Christian parents and pastors are guilty of contributing to this plague as well.  There are absolutes; Jesus is the Rock of Truth we must stand on, know what He thinks, and agree with Him.

Ever have your son or daugher accuse you of being "old-fashioned" and "not with it"?  I am deeply troubled that Christian young people have sex outside of marriage, live together before marriage, and do what everybody else is doing.  I am troubled that young Christian girls don't dress in a modest way that pleases the Lord.  Parents can get weary of "bucking their children", so to speak.  It's much easier to just go along with whatever the child wants especially if tempers flare and you're already tired and stressed from your own day and don't feel like dealing with issues of right and wrong.  I believe it's important to show the child from Scripture what God says, and encourage him/her to come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and yield their lives to Him.  Love your children and pray much for them.  A child can tell if he's loved or not.

Satan indeed tries to "wear out the saints" (Daniel 7:25) and control culture his way.  We're in a battle, folks.  This is no time to lay down on the job.  I like the way J.B. Phillips' translation puts Romans 12:2:  "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within. . ."

Change in the home and church begins when parents/leaders read the Word of God on a consistent basis, and tell the Lord they will exalt His Word over their own opinion and experience.  A committment needs to be made like Daniel and his three friends who stood seemingly alone in that Babylonian culture.  In the end, we see that King Nebuchadnezzar who tried to "do them in" repented and issued a decree that Daniel's God is the true God, and urged citizens to worship Him instead of that stupid golden statue he had set up.  All because 4 people stood up in defiance to his edict and threats. 

Are you molding the culture for good, or is the secular culture squeezing you into its mold?  We owe it to our children and grandchildren to model the fear of the Lord in all we do.  Let's not be swayed by the opinions or threats of man.  The Word says in Proverbs 29:25 that the fear of man brings a snare (a trap).  If we are afraid of what people think or say of us rather than what the Lord thinks or says, we do not have the fear of the Lord.  Stand firm on God's Word and walk in love.

"Lord Jesus, I pray a blessing and encouragement for each person reading this post; I pray You will cause the fear of the Lord to rise in each one.  Help their families to be godly families, their children to be wise and full of understanding.  Amen."

I bless you in Jesus' Name to walk in the fear of the Lord.  Your obedience can help change a culture!

Copyright © 2012 Elaine Beachy

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