When we were kids, we lived in an area of the country that had several different kinds of poisonous snakes … and we lived in the woods where the snakes also liked to live.
Our parents could’ve refused to let us go outside, but they didn’t. Instead, they taught us to kick aside the long grass before blindly taking a step, to not stick our hands in tree holes or to pick up rocks or logs without first checking the space out with a long branch. We also heard stories of people who unfortunately came face-to-face with one of the creatures (including our neighbor who was bit while hiking. He had to cut his finger off with an axe because he was too far away from town to get help.)
Our parents taught us how to walk through the woods and grassy areas, identify area snakes and what to do if we did see a poisonous snake.
They equipped us with the knowledge to be aware of our surroundings and to handle the danger.
Most parents would’ve done the same.
Paul wrote to young Timothy (2:22). So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
Flee means “run away from.” Our kids can’t run away from something if they don’t know it’s there in the first place.
We’re willing to talk to our kids about snakes, but what about sin? Sometimes we think that NOT talking about certain sins will help our child avoid them. But take that snake-infested area – would we have been better prepared if our parents hadn’t talked to us about the danger?
When parents think that by not talking about sin and not teaching their kids to recognize tempting situations, they are helping their kids avoid dangerous situations – they are really doing their kids a disservice.
We need to equip our kids for life – a life where we won’t always be around to pull our kids away from volatile situations.
The world wants your kids. The world makes sin look attractive. The world doesn’t show the pictures of the brokenhearted girl sitting with her parents in the pastor’s living room. The world doesn’t show her sobbing her heart out for lost dreams. The world doesn’t show the after-party car crash or the kid ending up in jail. No, the world presents it all with gorgeously-suntanned bodies, laughter and a-good-time-was-had-by-all mentality.
Parents may think they’re isolating their kids from sin and maybe they are. But the rest of the world isn’t. They’re doing what they can to draw the kids in. If kids aren’t hearing about the dangers of sin from their parents, they are hearing about the “fun” of sin from their friends, their neighbors, TV/movies, grocery-store check-out lines, etc.
Wouldn’t you rather be the one talking to them and giving them a godly perspective than allowing them to hear it from someone else?
We need to equip them to face a world that has the wrong agenda.
Let’s not only teach our kids to flee.
But let’s be intentional in teaching them what they’re supposed to flee from.