Monday, February 28, 2011

Sacrificing Your Children

When I say that, you probably had the image of Abraham taking his son Isaac up on a mountain, tying him down to the altar, just in time for the sacrificial lamb to arrive. That’s a great story about trusting and loving God above all else and about God’s provision and faithfulness. But no, that’s not what we’re talking about. I’m talking about sacrificing our children, and not in a good way.

Child sacrifice, that’s a pleasant thought to think of early in the morning, isn’t it? Picture the Aztecs, as they took perfectly innocent babies and threw them in to a pit of fire to one of their gods. If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering how on earth could they do that?!? I have no idea to be honest. After 9 months, full of morning sickness, heartburn, insomnia, backaches, and so forth, and after twenty four hours of unmedicated labor, not to mention the months of nursing, how could I just willingly hand my baby over to someone I knew would kill him or her is beyond my understanding! Surely I am not alone in this, right? Of course not! It is in our very nature as mothers to protect them from harm. Even before our children arrive, we think about their safety. We buy outlet plug covers, sleep positioners, top of the line car seats and strollers, baby gates, and so forth. Some people even hire “experts” to come in and find all of the potential dangers lurking in their homes. Once they’re here, we take them to the doctor for well check-ups, and give them immunizations to protect them from diseases that could cause great bodily harm. We do extensive research on the people we will entrust the care of our little one with if we must return to work. Background checks, personal references, etc.

We do all of these things to protect them from physical harm, but my question for you today is what have you done about the spiritual dangers that are just as harmful to your child’s soul? We bring our kids to church with us, maybe they’re involved in Sunday school, or a club on Wednesday nights. We pray with them, and maybe we even do family devotions. These are GREAT, and I am proud of you for taking this time with your family. But is there something we’re still missing?

In Psalm 106, it says “They [the Israelites] sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan…” (vs. 37-38) Clearly, we are not physically sacrificing our children; we’re not shedding actual blood. We have no altar, no place to drop our kids off in masses, a place where we give total control of the children God has entrusted us with over to someone else, right? Or do we? Every morning, I waited in line to drop my child off at school, just one of the masses handing control of my oldest son over to a staff that I didn’t know. Now before you write me off and say I’m one of the crazy, isolationists homeschooling people, I ask you to bear with me. Stick through this, even if it’s just to prove me I’m wrong. I’m okay with that.

Let’s pretend for a minute that your 2nd grade daughter is waiting in the room after they dismiss school to be picked up in the car line. While waiting for her name to be called, she overhears a conversation by two teachers about the girl that has two mommies, and then her attention changes to the song on the radio in the room. It’s about a girl who found out their significant other has been cheating on her and to get even, she took a baseball bat to his car. By the time she gets into the car, she’s had a piece of her innocence taken from her that she will never, ever get back. Now I am not na├»ve enough to say that they can’t or won’t be exposed to this elsewhere, but these are the realities that our kids face on a daily basis when dropped off at school, even in a private school.

Imagine with me for a minute, that you drop your child off at an extra-curricular activity, maybe 4-H or soccer practice. When they get back in the car, you overhear your son and his friend talking about Wizards of Waverly Place or about the “swear word” that the coach said when he got hit by the ball in his head. You’d probably bring it to the attention of the person who is in charge or perhaps you’d even take your child out of the activity if it continued to happen, right? The problem is that when we drop our children off every day and turn them over to people who probably don’t believe exactly as we do, to spend the day with children whose parents most likely don’t believe exactly as we do, they are going to be exposed to things we don’t want them to be exposed to. They are going to be placed in situations that will not be good for them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we lock them in a tower like Princess Fiona on Shrek. I’m saying we are to shield them and guard them from anything that is not of God until they are able to fully dissect things using the Holy Spirit for discernment and the Word of God as a measuring stick.

So until then, my friends, are you willing to sacrifice the innocence of your children? Will you knowingly drop them off at the altar of the school doors? My prayer for you and for me is simple: “Out of His great love…Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations.” (Psalm 106:45, 47)

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