Based on comments from this past Sunday, here are some excerpts from my message from Proverbs 1:8-19 this past Sunday that people have said were helpful. You can hear the entire message here
The Bible assumes that God’s people will engage in the culture around them. We can’t avoid it. In fact, Jesus Christ himself sends us into the culture with a mission to be his light and witnesses to the transforming power of the Gospel. And it’s not as though all culture is off limits. There is a wonderful freedom in Christ for us to enjoy many aspects of culture as a gift from God. But the Bible recognizes that this capacity of the culture to give us enjoyment is very seductive. And it is that seductive power of the world that is its greatest danger. Nothing will shipwreck the faith of a believer more than the seductive power of the world around us. Nothing will undermine the spiritual culture of a family more than the ungodly culture of the world around us. It entices, then it entraps, then it destroys.
There is an old saying that the Christian should live in the world, but not of it. And this isn’t just call for families. EVERY CHRISTIAN regardless of age or marital status must wrestle with the question of how to interact with the culture in a God-glorifying way. This is probably a greater challenge for us, right here in this room, than it has been for any Christian at any other time in history. In spite of the current economic problems, we live in the most prosperous nation in history. But even beyond that, culture isn’t ‘out there’. The world has amazing access into our lives. In our day the world comes to us in cool boxes of all kinds of shapes, sizes and colors. Cell phones, Mp3 players, computers, televisions – Boxes O’ Culture. (Universal remotes- what a concept, a box to open all my other boxes!) What are our cars but big ‘Boxes O’ Culture? Even credit cards are just little tiny flat boxes that allow us to buy culture whenever we want it. Culture isn’t out there for us to bump into when we’re not looking. It is streaming into our lives faster than we can process it. It changes us in profound ways, and we don’t even realize we’re being changed.
But it is grace that motivates us to teach our children to resist the world by desiring Christ more, and it is grace that will make them lights and witnesses to rescue others. Yes it is hard work. Grace doesn’t make parenting easy; grace makes parenting matter! Listen to Thomas Watson’s vision for the impact of the Gospel in a family.
“A godly man should not only honor God while he lives, but do something that may promote God’s glory when he is dead. If our children are seasoned with gracious principles, they will stand up in our place when we have gone, and will glorify God in their generation.”
In closing, I want to address some parents here. You may be here today and you think you’ve lost it to the culture, that you wish you had kept your children from the enticement of the culture and now they have wandered down the wrong path. Or maybe you feel like, despite your best efforts, culture has invaded your family and taken over. It is never too late to stand in the Wisdom of Christ and display it to your children. It is never too late to fear the Lord. The promise here is not of a crown of perfection, or a crown of character, or a crown of morality. It is a crown of grace.
Beginning Today you can begin to embrace the ways of God in your family – by grace.
Beginning Today you can begin resisting the enticing entrapment of the culture in your family – by grace. Beginning Today you can begin to overcome the world in your family – by grace.