“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”
A few weeks ago, I found myself in an extremely awkward situation. I was with a group of Christian women talking about the struggles of motherhood. As we sat sharing, one of the ladies began to cry, the obvious weight of her many roles and responsibilities had taken a toll on her. But, as she gained her composure, and explained her emotional response, her words hit me like a ton of bricks. She attributed her heightened sensitivity to a very popular “romance” novel that’s just about everywhere these days. The next thing I knew, I was in the middle of a conversation that made my toes curl and my cheeks blush. I excused myself as fast as I could, but not before I heard the woman say something that completely broke my heart. Despite her assertions that the book was something she “just couldn’t put down,” she also admitted that she would never allow her teenage daughter to read the book because she knew how detrimental it would be to her mental and spiritual well-being.
For the entire day, these words played over and over in my mind. I replayed the entire conversation dozens of times, always regretting that I didn’t say anything about how inappropriate the conversation was… not to mention the book itself. Usually, boldness, in these situations, isn’t something I shy away from… but, I soon realized that my inability to speak was God’s way of convicting me of my own sin in a very similar area.
That night, while putting away the dishes, God gently stirred my spirit to the truth of His Word. He rested upon my heart His true desire for all of us… to realize that we are His children. Just as the mother, earlier that morning, wanted to protect her daughter from the depravity of that book, God also wants to protect us from the depravity of the world. He sees each of us just as that mother sees her child. He wants to protect us, just as that mother wanted to protect her daughter. Instantly, I was flooded with thoughts of times where I have “shooed” my children out of the room because I was watching something that I considered inappropriate for them… wondering if it was also inappropriate for me. (Obviously, there are some things that are simply inappropriate due to the age of a child and their ability to understand adult subject matter, but this is not what I’m referring to here. Instead, I’m focusing on the things of this world that promote sinful desires and the corruption of our minds.) I began to think about the songs I listen to when I run, the television shows and movies I watch when the kids are in bed, the magazines I gloss over at the check-out line.
The following week, when I saw the mother again, I asked to have a private word with her and I revealed the things that God had placed on my heart… and why. It was a very difficult conversation that I prayed about for the entire week… that I had others pray about as well. My prayer was that I would not come across as judgmental and self-righteous, but that God’s grace and mercy would reveal a heart that was convicted by this woman’s honestly and vulnerability; that it would be clear that God used her to reveal a bitter truth about the condition of my own heart and the weakness of my flesh. And, I’m happy to say that God was most definitely glorified that morning, as we shared our thoughts about our responsibilities as mothers and our sometimes forgotten love as children of the most amazing Father.
Spend time thinking about your desires to protect loved ones from the corruption of this world. Do you guard your own heart and mind from that same corruption… or do you fall for Satan’s lie? He wants us to believe that we can withstand the temptation; that we know the difference between right and wrong, true and false… and that we can separate the two. He wants us to fill our heads with the things of this world, all the while, whispering in our ears that it’s okay. But what we forget is that as we continue filling our lives with these lies, we desensitize ourselves to the truth. The reality shows we watch, over time, become more crass, the books we read become more salacious. We become immune, which is part of Satan’s plan.