Guest post by Alan Melton
Our family lives on the edge of a natural area. The abundant wildlife attracts abundant predators. Coyotes in particular proliferate in our area; their distinctive yelping is rather eerie when they attack and consume their victim. At twice the size of a coyote, wolves are similarly very cunning animals. They instinctively work together to separate and devour unprotected sheep and other weak prey.
Jesus used wolves as an analogy for dangers. In Luke 10:3 Jesus instructed His disciples as He sent them out in pairs, “Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” Jesus was talking about human wolves that are agents of the devil. Today the wolves are more numerous, more cunning and more sophisticated! Even more alarming is this fact: wolf attacks are not limited to outside the home. Consider the cyberworld. Wolves are attacking inside our homes too.
How do wolves attack? They try to make us disciples of the devil by convincing us to spend our time being taught and influenced by them. These wolves separate, disarm and devour unprotected victims.
Jesus gave us a warning about wolves, but He also gave us a promise, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus defended His followers by keeping them together (usually with Him), by warning them and by teaching them the gospel.
Here is my top ten list of wolves attacking inside your home and some Christ-like defenses:
10. Wolves attacking through books with worldly philosophies. All kinds of non-biblical lifestyles are being promoted through books; occult, sex-romance, evolution, etc. Jesus exposed His disciples to biblical content, not rubbish! When you select books, consider the worldview that is being taught. Select books that are written by Christian authors from trusted publishers. Research them online first.
9. Wolves attacking through network television and movies. Entertainment helps no one except those who sell it! Families waste massive time on this medium. The lion’s share of entertainment is produced by unbelievers, promoting all kinds of unbiblical lifestyles. Soap operas and sitcoms are training the minds and hearts of parents, and animated movies ”babysit” and are training the hearts and minds of children. Jesus personally “entertained” by telling stories with biblical themes, and grounding His followers in the gospel. He warned them about false philosophies.
Place your television in a public area. Carefully select videos and movies. Point out false philosophies and unbiblical lifestyles. Install a filter, or better yet, don’t subscribe to cable. Tell, read and watch biblically-based stories.
8. Wolves attacking through video games: more entertainment. Graphic nudity and pornographic sex are installed on many video games, even some children’s versions! Players are trained to kill and seduce. Other dangers exist through gaming with strangers. Jesus was always interacting with His disciples. Choose games that encourage you to interact in conversation while playing. Play board games, card games, outdoor games and family video games that you can do together.
7. Wolves attacking through secular music. Now Satan uses music to seduce and to indoctrinate disciples. Jesus provided the gospel and now Christ-glorifying music is available in every genre. Select Christian music for your home and car. Train your heart, soul and mind for Jesus!
6. Wolves attacking through texting. Texting is another activity that can be used for evil. The sports icon Tiger Woods used texting inside his home to arrange for sexual liaisons. You have probably read about “Sexting,” a common way that teenagers are sharing pornographic images of themselves. A device that is enabled for texting is a tool that is very hard to monitor and not essential to living a productive life or glorifying Christ. Jesus was open in His communication. Avoid secret activities in your family.
5. Wolves attacking through guests in your home. Hospitality is a biblical way to share the gospel with your neighbors, service people and extended family. You should practice hospitality! But be aware that we all can fall if separated. Jesus interacted in groups. Remember that wolves separate in order to harm but Jesus kept believers together for safety and accountability. Keep your family together when you have guests, or at minimum make sure that you or your spouse visit along with your children.
4. Wolves attacking through the Internet. The Internet is one of the greatest inventions of our time! It is being used to spread the gospel and to help in many ways. However every category of attacking wolf exists on the Internet through websites, e-mail and chatting. Pornography is attacking the minds and hearts of most, including Christians. Place your computer in a public room. Use a good Internet content filter for the children. Use accountability software like Covenant Eyes for adults and older children.
3. Wolves attacking through social networking. Although this medium is used in great ways, this may be the most dangerous tool of all. Just this past weekend a man was convicted for seducing four underage girls he captured through social networking. Spouses are meeting old flames. Children are being kidnapped. Families are being destroyed. The wisdom of twos employed by Jesus in Luke 10 is the key here. Establish joint accounts with your spouse or know one another’s passwords. Know your child’s password and carefully monitor their activity. Warn them about predators. Only allow friends and followers that you personally know. Once again, use Covenant Eyes software for protection.
2. Wolves attacking through your children’s sin nature. Sin entered all people in the garden. Your children do not require outside influences in order to sin! They are born sinners; help them to know that fact. Help them to learn to self-diagnose sinful behavior and readily confess their sins.
1. Wolves attacking through your sin nature. This is the “top wolf” for a reason. Your sins will blind you to the wolves that are attacking you and your family. Be spiritually cleansed so that you can see the enemy and protect your family! Confess your sins to the Lord and to your family. Be accountable to your spouse and church. Get the victory over your sins by asking the Lord for help.
You and your children are being discipled every waking moment! Who or what is doing the disciple-making: Jesus or wolves? As a family shepherd, you must protect your sheep. Destroy the wolves that threaten your family, or at least keep them at bay. The writer of the 23rd Psalm had no fear of wolves because Jesus was with him. Do what Jesus did and experience the abundant life He promised.
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Alan Melton founded Disciple Like Jesus ministry in 2008. The ministry equips parents and grandparents to disciple their children in the same manner that Jesus made disciples. He is co-author of two books, Disciple Like Jesus for Parents, available through Calvary Press, and Little Disciples, available in Spring 2011.