Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Life Lessons from Biblical Characters | Lot

Read Genesis 19: 1-14

As I was reading this passage, a couple of things got my attention more than what this passage is normally associated with. 

We need to be so careful about who and what we expose our children to.  When the men of the city came to attack Lot's visitors, he offered his daughters to the men in order to protect his guests.  Later in the chapter, we see that these girls had no moral values when they came up with a plan to continue their line by way of child-bearing.  These girls did not just become immoral.  They had to be exposed to immoral behavior in small doses until nothing pricked their conscience anymore. 

Brian and I love old TV shows.  One of our favorite shows to watch before turning in for the night is The Dick Van Dyke Show.  Rob and Laura Petrie are the main characters and the show explores in a very clean and humorous way the joys and struggles of married life.  One thing that certainly makes an obvious distinction in the time period of when this show was made is the fact that Rob and Laura each sleep in their own twin beds.  Why?  Because there was a certain level of morality expected to be displayed on TV, even between couples that were supposed to be married.  Fast forward to today and there is very little out there that is safe to watch because the bedroom scenes (and based on what commercials show, the bedroom is not even necessary) no longer contain twin beds... if you catch my meaning.

How did this happen?  Because every few years, the envelope is pushed just a little to see what is socially acceptable.  Once society is desensitized to one level of immorality, a newer more risky level is attempted.  I am afraid to think of what is going to be displayed in a few years at the rate things are going.  

We need to make sure that we do not inoculate our children to wrong or immoral behavior by exposing them to "acceptable" amounts of it through television, magazines, books, stories, and movies.  We have to be very careful and cautious about what we allow them to view in order to preserve their innocence.

Part of the moral decline, I believe, also has to do with socialization.  By socialization, I am talking about how people say that we need to expose our children to other children.  Now, yes, it is important for our children to have friendships with other children outside of the home.  But by not having guidelines set about who we expose our children to opens them up to be exposed to things and ideas that we would never expose them to in our homes. 

I'm sure Lot's girls started out as innocent little girls.  But because Sodom was known as being a sinful city and that is where they grew up, I'm sure they were exposed to many ideas and lifestyles which went against God's law.  When Lot's little girls went to play with their neighbors, what types of things were they introduced to?  When Lot went to associate with the men of the city, what types of conversations did he join in and become a part of?  When Lot's wife went to the well with the other women of the city, what types of things did they talk about and discuss?  Little by little, any morals they had began to crumble and their conscience became less sensitive to the wrong happening all around them.

I hear the argument coming now... "But how are other children supposed to hear about the Lord if our children aren't witnessing to them?" 

Honestly? Would you expose your healthy child to a sick child in order to pass along good health? Silly, right?  Well, in reality, it is the same thing.  The same way that a healthy child could never make a sick child well, it is guaranteed that a sick child will make a healthy child sick.  1 Corinthians 15:33 states, "Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals." (NAS)

Let's think of this based on the plant world.  A gardener plants seeds in little pots and keeps them in a green house where he/she controls which elements the seeds are exposed to.  The water that the seeds receive is measured and determined by the gardener.  The temperature is controlled by the gardener.  The gardener does not see a severe thunderstorm wind high velocity winds coming and decide, "Well, this little guy is going to have to learn to withstand the elements sooner or later.  Might as well learn right now."  No! He/She keeps the little seeds, now turning into seedlings, inside of the greenhouse until the little plant grows strong and has well developed roots.  Then, during times of pleasant weather, the gardener plants it in an area conducive to the growth of the plant.  Only when the gardener sees that the plant is ready to withstand the elements does he expose the plant to them.

Our children are so much more precious than plants.  We need to protect these precious souls and minds from becoming exposed to the bad attitudes and behaviors that the general population accepts and considers to be normal.  By choosing the children our little ones play with and are exposed to based on similar values and upbringing, we are being responsible as parents and protecting their hearts from being exposed to negative attitudes and behaviors.

Right now, Addie is really "into" school- in fact, she has been known to get upset when it's time to put our books away.  She thinks learning is the best thing in the entire world.  She is disappointed when school time is over and usually wants to do more after nap time.  So, do I want to expose her to children who hate school or even adults who teach children that it is normal to hate learning? Absolutely not.

By choosing who our children socialize with also ensures that they will not only be able to play with and carry on a conversation with others their own age, but with people across the ages.  I love how Addie is able to carry on a conversation with her grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, my aunts, my uncles, and my cousins.  

Not only do we need to be careful about who our children socialize with, but we need to watch who we spend our time with.  We need to ask God for wisdom in choosing our friends.  Our close friends need to be people who first and foremost share our love for the Lord and want to walk in His will.  They also need to be an encouragement in our lives as we strive to be better women, wives, and mothers for the glory of God.

Next week we will continue looking at this passage.  This section of scripture has so many lessons in it, and I don't want to skip any of them.

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