Protecting Your Family from Harmful Influences

June 25, 2005 Ephesians 6:10-13

Introduction:
1.  This summer we’ve been doing a series: Embracing the Adventure of a Growing Family
- While all of this is a challenge, we can embrace the adventure because the Bible helps us understand that this fundamental building block of society was designed by God Himself...
- and because of that, we can expect to receive all the direction, help, hope, and strength we need from His all-sufficient hand.
2.  I’m sure we all tend to ask the question Paul asked:
• 2 Corinthians 2:16 - ...And who is sufficient for these things?
- and the answer is, no one, in and of ourselves (either in ministry or the family)
- Paul didn’t stop there...he went on to say a few verses later...
• 2 Corinthians 3:5  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
3.  Let’s do a quick review/study of the topic:  Protecting Your Family from Harmful Influences.
* We want to review/study 3 important questions – [Read Ephesians 6:10-13]


I. Why Should Parents Protect their Families from Harmful Influences?


A.  Because of the significance of the struggle.
- Paul wanted his readers to have at least a glimpse of the spiritual battle being waged for the hearts and minds of people...including the people in our families...
Point: anybody who believes that we’re not in a spiritual battle needs to try to explain the conditions all around us (this is a spiritual battle!)
B.  Because when you properly protect someone else, you are being like God.
- Consider Paul’s words:
[read 3:1-5]...- the point is, providing protection is a very godly thing to do...
- the Psalmist even wrote and addressed this issue of God protecting us:
• Psalm 121:7 - The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
C.  Because children need protection from harmful influences.
- children can’ just raise themselves...just a few verses earlier in Eph. 6, Paul had said...
Ephesians 6:4  Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
- the tense of that verb ‘bring them up’  is critical...not, let them be brought up...or allow them to bring themselves up...but rather, you bring them up (be bringing them up)
- children don’t bring themselves up – they need HELP . . . specifically from the fathers (no excuses guys! God is talking to YOU!).
- mention how the church can help in a SINGLE MOM situation!


II. How Can Parents Protect their Families from Harmful Influences?


- well, let’s go back to our key text...
A. By providing positive reasons for our children to be committed to what is good.
- the more a young person is in love with a God who is holy, the less likely he/she will be with a world that is not . . . the more a young person is amazed by God’s grace and mercy, the more reasons he/she will have to direct their love and affections to the right place...
- they need to be taught that and SEE it in our lives
B.  By teaching an accurate concept of the heart.
- but please keep in context the depth of the problem inside each of our hearts...
• Ephesians 2:1-3 . . . Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
Point:  It’s not that we need to protect our families from the evil around us, but we need to protect our families from the evil within us!
C.  By leading them early and often to the cross.
• Ephesians 2:4-7 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
- learning to repent well should be one of our highest parenting goals for our kids...where they regularly find themselves going to the cross...understanding the blood of Christ!
D.  By immersing them in biblical truth.
- It is the truth of God’s Word, alive and powerful as it is, that will make the lasting impact on the hearts and lives of others!
- Remember Ps. 19:9-11 – Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.
E.  By monitoring what and who influences them.
Q:  What specific examples can you give of things that we need to monitor the level of influence that issue is having on our family?
TV/movies/other media / internet / music / friendships/activities
• Proverbs 13:20 - He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
F. By praying faithfully and fervently.
• Ephesians 6:18 - With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

G.  By leading them in a hatred of sin and an appropriate fear of God.
• Hebrews 1:9 - Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
H.  By encouraging them to develop their own biblical approach to decision making.


III. What is at Stake in this Discussion?


A. Negatively – Heartache
* 2 Examples:
• 1 Samuel 3:13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
• 1 Kings 1:6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.
B.  Positively – Gladness
• Proverbs 15:20 A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother.


Embracing the Adventure of a Growing Family
Protecting Your Family from Harmful Influences – Ephesians 6
Introduction:
I. Why Should Parents Protect their Families from Harmful Influences?
A.  Because of the __________ of the __________.

B.  Because when you properly protect someone else, you are being like ______.

C.  Because children ___________ ___________ from harmful influences.
II. How Can Parents Protect their Families from Harmful Influences?
A. By providing __________ ___________ for our children to be committed to what is good.

B.  By teaching an accurate concept of the ____________.

C.  By leading them early and often to the ___________.

D.  By immersing them in ___________ __________.
E.  By monitoring ________ and ____________ influences them.
Q:  What specific examples can you give of things that we need to monitor the level of influence that issue is having on our family?


F. By ___________ faithfully and fervently.

G.  By leading them in a hatred of sin and an appropriate fear of God.

H.  By ____________ them to develop their own biblical approach to decision making.

III. What is at Stake in this Discussion?
A. Negatively – ____________

B.  Positively – ______________


Embracing the Adventure of a Growing Family
Protecting Your Family from Harmful Influences – Ephesians 6
Introduction:
• 2 Corinthians 2:16  And who is sufficient for these things?
• 2 Corinthians 3:5  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.
I. Why Should Parents Protect their Families from Harmful Influences?
A.  Because of the significance of the struggle.
B.  Because when you properly protect someone else, you are being like God.
• Psalm 121:7  The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
C.  Because children need protection from harmful influences.
• Ephesians 6:4  Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
II. How Can Parents Protect their Families from Harmful Influences?
A. By providing positive reasons for our children to be committed to what is good.
B.  By teaching an accurate concept of the heart.
• Ephesians 2:1-3
C.  By leading them early and often to the cross.
• Ephesians 2:4-7
D.  By immersing them in biblical truth.
E.  By monitoring what and who influences them.
Q:  What specific examples can you give of things that we need to monitor the level of influence that issue is having on our family?
• Proverbs 13:20  He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

F.  By praying faithfully and fervently.
• Ephesians 6:18
G.  By leading them in a hatred of sin and an appropriate fear of God.
• Hebrews 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
H.  By encouraging them to develop their own biblical approach to decision making.
III. What is at Stake in this Discussion?
A. Negatively – Heartache
• 1 Samuel 3:13
• 1 Kings 1:6
B.  Positively – Gladness
• Proverbs 15:20 A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish man despises his mother.


Case Study #7 – Protecting Your Family from Harmful Influences!

Boyd and Belinda (B & B) had decided they wanted their children to have the most full life experience possible for the purpose of helping them become mature morally responsible adults.  Thus, B & B made certain that at various ages of their children’s life they were exposed to all kinds of social activities and events.  They were believers but concluded God put us as humans on this earth to help us develop maturity through our life experiences.  The children were given permission to do and participate in things that sometimes had questionable morality.  The goal was to let them experience both the good and bad of life so they could see the good was better.  As the children became interested in music B & B let them listen to what they wanted as long as they also listened to some CD’s the parents selected which included classical, sacred, easy listening, etc.  They could watch any TV program they desired as long as they also watched some TV programs B & B selected for them.  They could go to any of the parties with their school friends as long as they also attended the parties from the church youth group.

The kids seemed to do well with this, but as they grew B & B were encountering some puzzling situations.  It seemed that the older they got the less desirous they became of fulfilling the parents’ half of what they were expected to do.  Along with that, they were seeing less respect for them as parents and also less interest in the church activities.

One other issue that they are working on deals with the school the oldest child will attend in the fall.  B & B want her to attend a school that is known for its antichristian teaching.  Their desire is for her to learn to defend her faith.  She is very apprehensive about this and desires to attend a Christian college.

1. What do you think about the goals B & B have for their children?
 Becoming morally responsible mature adults is excellent, but it is not good enough.
They need to help the children become godly.
They need to help their children learn wisdom.  Wisdom is the ability to skillfully navigate life based upon God’s Word.
 The desire for the oldest to be able to defend her faith is also excellent.
 There is nothing about their relationship to God through salvation in any of these goals.

2. What is happening with the method they are using?
 They are learning that you can choose what you want and it is OK.
 They are being allowed to make choices without any guidelines.
 They are making decisions based on human logic and desires.
 They are seeing the undesirable parts of life as more desirable. (Why?  Possibly seeing temporary pleasures)
 They are learning to live for the moment.
 They are having a lot of experiences.

3. What is not happening with the method they are using?
 They are not learning godliness.
 They are not being told the differences between good and bad.
 They are not seeing consequences; they are not learning to see by faith the life God has in store for the righteous.
 They are not learning wisdom.
 They are not given the whole truth about their decisions.
 There is no Bible or biblical principles involved in their thinking.
 They are not gaining the changes the parents had hoped for.
 Their experiences are not being the teachers the parents anticipated.
 They may be morally responsible, but there is no guarantee from the method the parents are using.

4. How would Rom. 16:19 have helped B & B develop their philosophy of child rearing?
 This teaches them to be wise about good and ignorant about evil.
 Rather then give them equal exposure to both good and bad, they need to show the superiority of the good over the bad.
 They need to help the children learn to make good decisions based on biblical principles rather than experience.


5. What concerns would you have about the oldest child attending the secular university?  The Christian college?

 While the parents’ goal is noble, is there really any evidence that the child is prepared to handle attending the secular college?  (Additional question:  What are some good things to be looking for in the character of a child before you send the child to a secular university?)
 Christian Colleges often provide a false sense of security (Why?) If the child is “playing Christianity now” the child can just as easily “play Christianity” in a Christian College.
 Ultimately the decision has to be made based upon the spiritual needs and preparedness of the child.  The parents may not have the discernment in this case to make a wise judgment. Thus, godly counsel needs to be sought.

6. How can this family practically begin turning itself around at this late date? (Hint—See sermon)
 They need to repent of the inferior goal of morally responsible adults and change to godly adults as the goal.
 They need to ask the children’s forgiveness for not showing both by word and example the superiority of the relationship with Christ over any thing the world has to offer.
 They also need to ask the children’s forgiveness for not teaching solid biblical principles for adult decision making.
 They need to begin teaching God’s words and values and ways, in order to develop strong convictions in the child and develop godliness and wisdom in the child.
 They need to get on their knees!
 Rather than expose the children, the parents need to train the children through the use of biblical principles.
 Protection is done by being able to identify and avoid that which is bad through a more reliable standard than experience.
 They need to put all the sermon suggestions into practice.

Other questions/comments:


Case Study #7 – Protecting Your Family from Harmful Influences!

Boyd and Belinda (B & B) had decided they wanted their children to have the most full life experience possible for the purpose of helping them become mature morally responsible adults.  Thus, B & B made certain that at various ages of their children’s life they were exposed to all kinds of social activities and events.  They were believers but concluded God put us as humans on this earth to help us develop maturity through our life experiences.  The children were given permission to do and participate in things that sometimes had questionable morality.  The goal was to let them experience both the good and bad of life so they could see the good was better.  As the children became interested in music B & B let them listen to what they wanted as long as they also listened to some CD’s the parents selected which included classical, sacred, easy listening, etc.  They could watch any TV program they desired as long as they also watched some TV programs B & B selected for them.  They could go to any of the parties with their school friends as long as they also attended the parties from the church youth group.

The kids seemed to do well with this but as they grew B & B were encountering some puzzling situations.  It seemed that the older they got the less desirous of fulfilling the parents’ half of what they were expected to do.  Along with that, they were seeing less respect for them as parents and also less interest in the church activities.

One other issue that they are working on deals with the school the oldest child will attend in the fall.  B & B want her to attend a school that is known for its antichristian teaching.  Their desire is for her to learn to defend her faith.  She is very apprehensive about this and desires to attend a Christian college.

1. What do you think about the goals B & B have for their children?

 


2. What is happening with the method they are using?

 


3. What is not happening with the method they are using?

 

4. How would Rom. 16:19 have helped B & B develop their philosophy of child rearing?

 

 

 

5. What concerns would you have about the oldest child attending the secular university?  The Christian college?

 

 

 

6. How can this family practically begin turning itself around at this late date? (Hint—See sermon)

 


Other questions/comments: