Sheltering Our Children – Rev. Scott Graham

Sheltering Our Children

The sirens were sounding. There was an unnatural feeling in the air. Just one peak through the curtains at the boiling and violent clouds swirling overhead was enough to convince even the skeptic that steps to ensure our safety were to be taken.
So down the steps the Graham’s went, a family in search of safety while the storm outside raged.  Taking steps that some might deem unnecessary, but which the dynamics of the atmosphere demanded.   We were not alarmists.  We were cautious, particularly when it came to our children!
Whether we wish to admit it or not, we are living in a stormy season.  The winds that blow are many, including every wind of doctrine.  The rains of societal disarray, the winds of declining cultural mores, and the floods of relative values rage against every life and home, until the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:22 spoken of another time begin to make sense in our days.  “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”
How shall we survive?  What are the keys to keeping our children safe in such a stormy time?  Where is shelter to be found?  You, as a man and Father, have a key role to play in this process!
Before any other point is considered, we must recognize that for a life, a family, or a church to stand in a season of storms, nothing is more important than a right foundation!  Consider the words of the Lord as he taught.  “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:  25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.  26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:  27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24 – 27).
For one to withstand the storms, his life must be founded on obedience to the word of God!  Only in hearing and doing the instructions of the Lord, can anyone hope to last through the winds, the rains, and the floods which come against all.  But in order to obey one must understand, and this is where a Man's investment is such a blessing.  When the wind was blowing outside our house in Florissant, we were able to take the proper steps only because somewhere in our past we had been taught how to proceed. 
We had heard it from concerned voices.  “Go to a lower level.  Get in an inside room.  Be sure all family members are present.”  Absent such instruction, we might well have taken steps which would look foolish to the better informed simply because we were ignorant of proper direction.  One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching is seeing those into whose lives we’ve invested make wise and safe choices in the face of storms!  A foundation of obedience to the Word of God is an invaluable commodity in such a season as ours!
We must realize, however, that one of the great challenges we face today is the myriad of contradictory voices influencing our children.  While we are sounding proper instructions in the classroom, our children are being bombarded with false messages in a variety of venues.  The sites of these “lightening strikes” are many.  Error flashes and thunders on TV, in movies, over the internet, in popular music, and in video games.
The analogy would be similar to my neighbors standing in the midst of the storm, and saying, “No!  Don’t run to the basement.  That’s old information.  In today’s enlightened world, you climb up on your roof when the tornado sirens go off!”  Their counsel is illogical and contradicts good sense and years of teaching, but if enough voices echo that “new” revelation it is difficult, especially for the young, to stay true to the teaching they’ve received.  That’s why limiting the effect of these voices through guidelines and restrictions is so important.
Clearly it is primarily the parents’ responsibility to filter such influences from the lives of their children, for we all recognize the limits what a pastor, Sunday School teacher, youth pastor, etc. can do absent our involvement.  We must warn our young people that any voice contrary to Scripture is not to be heeded.  We must admonish them to submit to guidelines laid out by their parents, their pastor, and the Spirit of the Lord which draw them away from dangerous voices. 
We must encourage them to remain true to the safety found in Scripture’s imperatives.  And perhaps most importantly, we must demonstrate a life pattern of our own of “taking shelter in the basement!”
The storms will blow.  We will never stop them.  “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (II Timothy 3:13).  But for all their fury, cultural storms lack the ability to destroy the child of God hidden in obedience to His word.  As men of the Spirit, you must faithfully continue to provide the instruction and the example which makes that possible.
And just remember, one day when the skies part, we’ll come back upstairs to the sunshine of eternity with Him.  The skies were never bluer!
Rev. Scott Graham

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