Joshua 24:15 Choose you this day whom ye will serve.
We can all remember back to the days as kids when it was time to divide up the teams on the field. Some one would grab a stick, draw a line in the dirt, and we would begin choosing sides.
Drawing lines is not just something for kids. In the Old Testament, Joshua drew a clear line in the sand for the people of God and told them to choose. We as parents still have to do the same thing – draw some lines.
The Danger of Passivity
A great threat to the stability of the family in our society and in our churches today is passive parenting. I find myself having to fight it regularly.
Parents who assume their efforts are “good enough” and that their good intentions are what really matter are in great danger of passivity. Let’s admit it, parenting takes courage, commitment, and oftentimes even confrontation.
Parenting is not a walk in the park, so we can’t treat it like one. Effective parents are active in their parenting. They have an intentional plan to follow, they can clearly explain that plan, and they know (or at least have a good idea) how to execute that plan.
Part of mastering that plan for your family involves drawing some lines. Here are some areas where every family needs to draw some lines:
- Movies & Gaming
- Online and phone usage
- Music & Books
- Dress standards
- Dating & relationships (Who, how, when, and how far is appropriate to go in a relationship)
- Other lines your children need to know are not allowed to be crossed
The Need for Charity
All parents may not agree on where to draw the lines, and that’s okay, but we need to know exactly where the line is for our family and why it’s there.
We also need to choose to respect families who have drawn the line somewhere else, and teach our children to do the same.
The Importance of Clarity
Eventually, your children will ask you “Why do we have this line and why do we have it here and not over there?” or “Why is where we draw the line different than where they draw the line?”
We would do well as parents to know in advance how to answer those questions, as well as to have Biblical support for why and where we’ve drawn the line.
Do you have lines drawn? If the members of our immediate family don’t know what they are, then let’s be honest, we don’t have them. If we do have them, what are they, and why are they what they are?
I’d encourage you today to get out a pen and paper, write down your “family lines”, and then sit down with your family, give each of them a copy, and discuss it together. It might be an eye opening experience for everyone. It will definitely help you be able to solidify some things that may have been unclear before.
What lines have you drawn?
What lines do you need to draw?
What areas would you add to the above list of necessary lines?
I’d love to hear your answers by you leaving a comment.