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I was once held hostage by a dragonfly. This is very embarrassing, but it is
true. I was just a little guy and my cousin and I were sitting on these swings
in her backyard. I believed everything she said. And a dragonfly started to
circle us on the swings. He was a big old guy; at least he looked big
compared to the size I was then. And then he landed on the swing, and my
cousin said to me, "You know, if they get mad at you they'll drill a hole
I took one look at him and he kind of dived back and forth and started to
dive bomb us. I started imagining him boring a hole in me, and it seemed
reasonable. So I was frozen to the swing; I must have been there for a half
hour... maybe an hour, I don't know. I didn't move until the crazy dragonfly
left. Did I mention this is embarrassing? Well, today I know a dragonfly is
nothing to fear, but my cousin that day made me afraid of something that I
didn't need to be afraid of. That might be happening at your house.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about
Our word for today from the Word of God is from 2 Timothy 1:7. "For God
did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power and of love and of self-
discipline." This is a great verse for parents isn't it? Parents especially who
are raising children in a very pagan, out-of-control world. In fact, earlier in
this chapter Paul talks about Timothy's Mother, Eunice, and how her faith
was passed on to her son. She had an unbelieving husband, the Bible tells
us, she was raising Timothy in a lost culture, and yet she turned out a son
who was a great spiritual leader.
Now, one of the keys is in this seventh verse, "don't parent out of fear." You
know, I'm a Dad of three kids that grew up in this kind of a world, and I
know that we tend to look at a world where lies are taught as truth and
where wrong is promoted as the right thing to do, and where sex outside of
marriage is expected. That's the kind of world we're living in no doubt about
it. Sin is boasted about. Our tendency is to grab our child and run to a cave
with him or her and try to keep that child from ever rubbing shoulders with
that nasty world.
Do you know what we're communicating? We're saying, "You know, that
darkness out there is really big and strong, and I'm not sure Jesus is strong
enough to compete with it." We're giving the Devil and we're giving the
darkness a lot of credit when we teach our children to be afraid of it. Yes,
we need to teach them to live in a dark world, but not to be afraid of it. We
serve a Christ who blew the doors off of death. We serve a Jesus to whom
demons surrender. Let's not hide from the darkness. He empowers His
children to change the darkness.
Many days our kids came home from school with words they heard or ideas
or questions. And, well, we found that those are the moments to seize, not
to freeze. We can say to our kids, "You know, I'm glad that came up. Let me
show you how much better Jesus' idea is." See, Jesus called us to be salt
and light, and they have to be in contact with something if they're going to
change it. Right? But we forfeit a whole generation if our kids withdraw from
the people who've never touched Jesus. They're not sacrificial lambs.
They're people who can make a difference and raise their kids on two
words: GO MAD! Go make a difference! You need to change them. Don't
let them change you. You are their hope of another way to be.
I sat on a swing one day as a boy, paralyzed by something I didn't need to
fear. As Christian parents let's not do that or cause our children to do it.
Teach them the dangers of a lost world for sure; expose the darkness. And
then outfit them with a strong deathly version...Jesus who doesn't run from
the darkness. He challenges the darkness.