At an exceedingly dark period in Israel’s history, God rebuked his chosen people for “the blood” that was “on their hands.”
With their idols they have committed adultery, and they have even offered up to them for food the children whom they had borne to me… they slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols. (Ezekiel 23:37-39)
While we may not be physically slaughtering our children before literal blocks of stone or wood, doesn’t idolatry continue to plague us? Who among us could deny that if the apostle Paul was looking over the average American city, his spirit would be “provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols” (Acts 17:16)? Though we live thousands of years after Ezekiel and Paul, our sons and daughters continue to be sacrificed on the altars of modern society.
Millions of unborn babies are slaughtered every year on the abortive altar of Selfishness. Sons are offered at the altar of Sports. Daughters are placed on the altar of Sexuality. The Temple of Materialism overflows with adherents. Shrines to Pride and Ego stand prominently in every neighborhood. Fulfillment is sought at the altar of Busyness and Celebrity is worshiped at the altar of Fame.
The time, geography and culture has changed, but the sinful tragedy marches on. With our idols we are guilty of unfaithfulness to our Creator. And we even offer our own God-given children in sacrifice to people and things that are not gods.
Dads, what do you want most for your children? Moms, what is your greatest aspiration for your sons and daughters? We know how we ought to answer that question, but what are we communicating to our heritage day after day, TV-show after TV-show, weekend after weekend? How are the priorities of our children being shaped as they follow the lead of our own living? Who or what is shown to be worthy of worship in our homes? Are we teaching our children that Almighty God is to be held as reverently ultimate and consistently worthy of the highest place in every single aspect of daily life?
Dads, the day is coming when your daughters will leave your home. Moms, the day will come when your sons are out on their own. What are you doing to prepare them for that day? What should you be doing to equip them that is consistently being left undone?
Here’s some food for thought from the February 15, 2011 edition USA Today:
Billy Ray Cyrus says his daughter Miley Cyrus’ massive success as Disney darling Hannah Montana led to the destruction of his personal life.
“I’ll tell you right now — the **** show destroyed my family,” Cyrus, who filed for divorce from wife Tish, tells the March issue of GQ magazine. “I should have been a better parent. I should have said, ‘Enough is enough — it’s getting dangerous and somebody’s going to get hurt.’ I should have, but I didn’t. Honestly, I didn’t know the ball was out of bounds until it was way up in the stands somewhere.”
He says he’s worried about the path his daughter is taking, and worries she’ll end up like other Hollywood tragedies. “Kurt (Cobain) was one of those guys. That’s why I’m concerned about Miley. I think that his world was just spinning so fast and he had so many people around him that didn’t help him. Like Anna Nicole Smith — you could see that train wreck coming.”
Let’s pray for Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus. They are sinners in need of redemption, just like you and me. And let’s not be so naive as to think that the same destruction can’t ravage our own homes. Moms and Dads, let’s not waste this precious time. When “enough is enough,” let’s have the courage to say so. As unrighteous danger and moral decay continues to creep into our homes, let’s have the fortitude to tune out, log off and fight back. Let’s take the time, not only to say “No” to our children, but to explain why. Let’s lovingly and consistently teach our children what is “out of bounds.” Let’s model for our children that the God of heaven alone is worthy of our worship.
“Train wrecks” litter the landscape in every direction. Our children have been born into a world ravaged by sin. Our task—by God’s grace, with his wisdom, and in his strength—is to help them get to heaven.
May our heavenly Father help us to keep our eyes on the goal and our lives on his track.