Friday, August 13, 2021

How an Article on Elitism/Classism in Homeowners' Associations Made Me (Again) Deeply Grateful for Family Worship

A friend linked to this article about a homeowner's association that conspired to get rid of a lower-class family renting a home in their neighborhood. Yes, we should beware any group with people in it, especially if it has some compulsory power over other people. But that wasn't my big takeaway from the article. Rather, I was stunned by this ancillary line from the midst of it: "One of the daughters, a middle-schooler, publicly “identifies” as bisexual and eagerly tries to share details about sexuality and the human body with my four children, all under the age of nine. Her outfits remind me of the ruckus over the 2020 French film Cuties."

My takeaway: because middleschoolers are now evangelists for perversion (in this case to four children under age 9), our children must be equipped with what to do when they begin to be verbally sexually assaulted (that's what we would have called this 20, maybe even just 10, years ago) in their driveways by prepubescent neighbors. It actually makes me thankful not to live in a neighborhood at all, to be honest.

If you do live in a neighborhood in 2021 America, your children have to be predator-aware. They have to have protectors (even older siblings, or at least older siblings-in-Christ) with them at all times.

In addition to that, our children need to be able to explain simply that we are created by God in His image, and that God made boys and girls to be different, and that how a man and woman come together is something that they don't want to hear about now, because they plan to discover it one day with their wife (or husband).

Our children should be able to call things wicked, to admit that they themselves are wicked, and to tell about the only good Man Who is also God—and that this man died for wicked people and welcomes them to be completely forgiven, if they will give themselves up and belong to Him instead.

At the earliest possible age, our children will need to develop the spiritual grace of charitable thought and speech toward the same people whose abominable ethics they will have to simultaneously ruthlessly assault

Frankly, I know few adults, even among elders in the church who are skilled in both of those aspects. The churches have been derelict in the training up of children for generations, and this new generation of children desperately need that training.

I know that I repeatedly bang the drum for family worship, but the above topics of needful instruction are the kinds of things you get opportunity to talk to your children about, right from the Bible, if you're just going straight through it in at least a couple different places. 

If you have regular family worship, and an article like this is fresh in your mind, it won't be more than a couple days before your Scripture-commanded habit brings you across a passage that at least gets you to the conversation in the right way. What else are you going to do? Hold a dozen family meetings a week, every time there is some crazy new thing in the culture? If you are one of the few who still has sit-down family meals with intentionally-led conversations by dad, you have another way in (and by all means, use it!), but it will lack the benefit of already being together under the Word as the topic comes up. 

If you're having regular family worship, you are already prepared for this in such a way as you could hardly improve upon tactically for your parenting. For example, if mom or dad is giving everyone a verse or more from Proverbs in the morning, and dad is leading some sort of systematic/longer family worship together in the afternoon or evening, you already have the necessary family meetings planned, and best of all they will already be established in the unassailable hope of the gospel.

There you are, dealing with something horrible and tempted to feel defeated in your spirit, but instead you will be doing so in the midst of having come to God through the blood and righteousness of Jesus. 

You will be doing so in the midst of adoring your all-wise, all-powerful, covenantally-loving, perfectly faithful God—conscious that your discussion now depends upon Him, and that your children's application of it and benefit from it depends upon Him. 

And you'll be practicing that dependence as your talking about such things flows from His own perfect and powerful Word. And you'll be crying out to Him for that benefit as you pray together. And you'll be singing your confidence in Him to give it as you sing together.

The fact of the matter is that every generation has desperately needed this family worship. Because every generation has desperately needed this redeeming God and Savior. And this is one of the great means by which He glorifies Himself before our hearts and works out His redemption and salvation in our lives.

So, I've got several things that I've been reminded that I need to address my children, ages 3 to 18, about. And, although I do feel in my soul the apostolic cry, "who is sufficient for such things?!," I'm glad also to feel the apostolic confidence, "our sufficiency is of God." He's got this. And family worship is a big, instrumental part of how.

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