The Bible teaches us a very simple truth which, in the natural is inescapable: “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
It’s so obvious that we don’t even really pay much attention to it sometimes. Then, our child repeats a phrase you know they must have heard from you. Or worse, they repeat something you shouldn’t have said around them, making you aware that you did in fact slip that time when you hit your thumb with the framing hammer, right? You didn’t want them to hear you say it, but you later thought “Ah, I only said it once. They’ll forget it…”
What we often fail to heed in this warning is this: discipleship is always happening. My friend, John Ott once quoted to me “children may fail to obey, but the never fail to imitate”. That‘ll bug you, won’t it? Let me
say it again: discipleship is always happening… not only in what we intend to teach, but what we hope they didn’t hear. Not only is it happening in what we say, it’s happening in what others say.
When I came to faith in Christ and He began to transform me by the renewing of my mind, I began to lose my taste for a lot of my favorite artists: Metallica, Papa Roach, Anthrax, Linkin Park… Let me be clear – I still like some of the music, a lot, really. But, the lyrics that used to resonate within my soul now grate against my spirit. I understand the struggle many of these guys are going through – they’re hurt, bitter, angered by injustice, and wounded by the world. Without Christ at their core, how could they possibly express their rage in a godly way? Read Romans 8.5-8 – they can’t.
In my bitter, disillusioned teenage years, I had been discipled by James Hetfield and metal/rap rockstars that taking out my aggression in the flesh was the right way to go. I had allies who understood what it was like to dub someone “unforgiven”. Jesus would later begin to teach me otherwise. Or, should I say, unteach me what I knew and re-teach me what I needed, and still need today.
The trouble is, just because we’re discipling our kids here and there doesn’t mean they’re immune to the principalities and powers of this world.
Action items for today:
- Pray that God protects their hearts from the lyrics that discipled me through my angst ridden teenage years. Watch who’s discipling them on the radio and YouTube.
- Pray for teachable moments when they do go off the right path and help them think critically about what God’s truth is versus what the culture is teaching them. We live in an economy of truth and lies. There is only One god who is the way, the truth, and the life. There is only one father of lies.
- Read Dennis Prager’s article about “F-you from the music industry” and consider who is discpling your kids. If you don’t, someone else will.
in it with you,