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Papas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowards

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

Our current moment is eerily reminiscent of the fairy tale, The Emperor’s New Clothes. In that story, a couple of con men convince a king that they have created clothing which only the wisest are able to see. They have, in fact, created nothing. However, not wishing to be thought unwise, the king purchases and ‘wears’ the nonexistent outfit. The king’s court and his subjects also go along with the ruse either from fear of being judged unwise or of upsetting the king. This whole charade comes to a humiliating end while the king is parading through town when a little boy cries out, “The king is naked!”

In our day, a collective fear grips society and few have the courage to expose the nakedness of baseless, narcissistic claims foisted upon us by powerful self-serving institutions. Do we expect our children to speak up and rescue us? Fathers, how can we expose our kids on the front lines as we flee the field of battle. If we don’t want our children to grow up to be cowards, we must courageously lead them by speaking God’s truth in love.

Opposing Pride

Increasingly, government, media, educational institutions, and major corporations are promoting sin. What we were once asked to tolerate, we are now told to celebrate as evidenced by Pride Month. If we do not celebrate the new morality, we face the charge of being not merely out of vogue but hateful and bigoted. However, there is also an internal conflict going on in the believer.

Lead on, O King eternal;

we follow, not with fears,

for gladness breaks like morning

where’er your face appears.

Your cross is lifted o’er us,

we journey in its light;

the crown awaits the conquest;

lead on, O God of might.

Ernest W. Shurtleff (1887

As Christians, we are called to peace. We have no desire to attack and condemn others. Yet, we desire to follow and obey our Lord Jesus Christ who came “to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:27). We also want others to find the freedom of forgiveness and new life in Christ. Every true believer is a forgiven sinner, but he is also a transformed sinner. His sin is not a subject of prideful identity, but a remnant of a rejected pattern of life.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:9–11)

Fighting Words

It is our calling as disciples of Christ to offer the gospel of grace, peace, and hope to all sinners. However, grace implies ill-deserving, peace implies enmity, and hope implies hopelessness. To faithfully fulfill our calling we must expose sin as sin. At the very least, our duty demands that we withstand the coercion to celebrate what God condemns.

On top of that, our kids and grandkids look to us for leadership. It may be as basic as refusing to use society’s new vocabulary. It could require defying authorities and cost us reputation, status, or worldly goods. The price is worth it because the battle for truth is not merely academic. Our souls and the souls of future generations hang in the balance. We must show them it is better to follow the painful, heavenward path of our despised and crucified Savior than join the reveling crowd marching to hell.

Who’s Indoctrinating Our Kids?

As fathers, we ought not fear that our kids are being indoctrinated. Our concern should be who is indoctrinating our kids and what are they teaching them? Our children come into this world like sponges ready to soak up whatever is in their environment. They are being indoctrinated. God intends for us fathers to diligently and consistently teach our children.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:6–7)

 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

It is not enough to screen out ‘woke’ cartoons, denounce Drag Queen Story Hour, and block porn sites. We must instill a biblical worldview in them. That means humbly and patiently instructing them from God’s word. To do that we must be genuine men of God’s Word, men of prayer, and men who admit our flaws, mourn our sin, and celebrate the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize

To fight this battle God has given us the invincible weapon of the gospel. The promises of God are sure. A promise to those who conquer precedes the warning against cowardliness quoted at the beginning.

And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son." (Revelation 21:6–7)

Oh God, use us to arouse in our children and grandchildren a thirst for the righteousness that can only be quenched in Jesus Christ. Please grant us courage and strength to fight tenaciously for our heritage. Amen.

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