October 31, 2006

Understanding Hidden Dangers Part 1

Written By Cary Schmidt

A Four Part Series of Articles for Discerning Parents

God’s Word says in Job 6:30, “Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?” In this passage Job is defending the purity of his heart and he references discernment in the form of a word picture. He compares his ability to discern good and evil in his own heart to his ability to taste good and perverse things with his tongue.

As parents, our spiritual discernment should be as acute as our physical taste. Our spiritual taste buds should be sensitive to discern good and evil. But this isn’t the case in today’s culture. In fact, for many Christian parents, our spiritual taste buds are all but dead. We’ve allowed the world’s philosophy to cloud our thinking, numb our hearts, and deaden our sensitivity to spiritual things.

The prophet Ezekiel wrote in Ezekiel 44:23, “And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” God desires that we learn discernment. He wants us to have sensitive taste buds to that which is clean versus that which is unclean.

I believe one of the most detrimental developments in Christian families in recent years is a deadening of spiritual discernment. We have lost some of our ability to discern between clean and unclean—holy and profane. We have become tolerant and even accepting of sin and wickedness. We have lowered our standards and deadened our hearts to that which displeases the Lord.

It’s time that we awaken our taste buds. It’s time that we regain a God-given sensitivity to right and wrong in our homes. If we are going to raise godly children, we must be able to discern the attack and the arsenal of our enemy. We must have an alertness and an awareness to the harmful influences of our culture.

In the coming editions of the Baptist Voice I want to present several articles about discerning hidden dangers in our homes. In these articles, we will discuss the three primary kinds of dangers that Christian parents are most often blind to. These are the areas where Satan has pulled the wool over our eyes. These are his “back-doors” to our kids’ hearts—how he sneaks in undetected by undiscerning families.

In this first article I simply wanted to lay the foundation of this key word: discernment. To discern is “to seem something that is not very clear or obvious, or to be able to tell the difference between two or more things.” The bible word means to examine, to prove, or to test. In addition, God commands us to “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. (Ephesians 5:15) He commands us to walk through life diligently looking in all directions—wary of our enemy and alert to His relentless attempts to penetrate our lives and families.

Parent, I challenge you to learn discernment. I beg you to ask God daily to enlighten the eyes of your understanding and to help you see what others cannot. Discernment is a product of the Word of God and the wisdom of God. You must daily hear, study, and apply God’s Word to your parenting, and you must daily ask God to give you wisdom. He will grow you in discernment if you will seek His truth.

Finally, discernment will ultimately require action—courage. When you discern something harmful, it will take courage to step into the gap and take action. Your teenager may not understand why he cannot watch that show, listen to that song, hang around that friend, or visit that website. She may even fight you on it. Go with your “gut” spiritually speaking. Don’t ignore the prompting and leading of the Holy Spirit in your heart when He is trying to give you discernment. Don’t second-guess Him. Just explain to your teenager that you are discerning something harmful. Your young person will ultimately appreciate your committed love.

In the next issue, we will discuss the first area of hidden dangers that Christian parents are facing. Until then, pray that God will give you discernment for your home, starting right now.

Written by Cary Schmidt
Originally Printed in the November 2006 Baptist Voice