Now that you know, what should a parent do to protect their children?
It may sound like the Sunday School Answer but can I just tell you categorically the answer is: Jesus. Look carefully at these eight danger zones. Who came to bind up the brokenhearted and set the captives free, free from addictions, free from wreckless behavior, free from the weeds that choke out sleep and good choices? Answer: Jesus
Yes we need to get our young drivers the experience behind the wheel and share our experience that hopefully we modeled well. However, the rest of the list is clearly sin. The only cure for sin is the precious blood of Christ and why is that? I’m glad you ask.
Our heavenly Father is Holy, so Holy and righteous that if sin gets into his presence it is consumed by His Glory. Fire, yes as lighting quickly consumes it/them. Read the story of Aaron’s sons finding this out the hard/crispy kritter way. Since the fall of Adam and Eve we are all born into sin, (distracted, drowsy, wreckless, impaired) with no way to the Father or poof; crispy kritter.
Enter the hero of the story, Jesus, Fully God and Fully Man, born of a virgin so he would not have Adam’s sin built in. Then Jesus lived a sinless life so that he could and would become the Lamb of God, that takes away sin. Just like the Passover lamb and the blood on the door frame, Jesus blood covers us cleansing our sin so that we can now be with God without the krispy critter problem.
At this point you could easily ask; so why do Christians keep on sinning? Once again, I’m glad you asked. Because we need a process to bring the new creation here on earth as it already is in heaven. Yes, we now have access to the Father through the Son and in the Holy Spirit, but the process of becoming clean here on earth has a fancy church name called sanctification.
Here is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to helping our children or anyone defeat sin, (which really starts with me first getting the plank out of my eye), here is where Jesus is the answer and the only answer. Let me share an example from my own life of how Jesus set me free and perhaps this will provide a better answer to the question of why Jesus blood provides the deep cleansing necessary to set us free from sin.
On my sixteenth birthday I attempted suicide, I would call that sin wouldn’t you. That sin festered inside me and led to other addictions, (distracted, drowsy, wreckless, impaired). By the time I was 55 my addictions laid the ground work for another member of my family, one very close to me to try the same thing, yet I was so traumatized by that night that I could remember the attempt but I could not remember why. Here is how Jesus bound up my broken heart and freed me.
In 2010 I attended a Dangerous Heart boot camp fashioned after John Eldredge’s Ransom Heart Boot Camps put on by an amazing local ministry I am now a part of. One of the really cool aspects of these camps is time to go get alone with God and ask him questions like these, called covenant of silence times.
At that camp during the free time we played paint ball. I had always wanted to play but never had. I was remarkably bad because of my size and lack of speed; I am a very large slow moving target and got shot numerous times. The thing that shocked me was, (I would imagine in a war it would be similar) that I never saw where the shots were coming from before it was too late.
Having been shot at and hit we went into a talk called ‘The Wound’ with the start of a headache from the paintball fiasco. During that talk they played the “D” day landing scene from the movie Saving Private Ryan. That scene is tremendously graphic, shots being fired and killing our Normandy heroes, blood, bullets flashing through underwater scenes causing clouds of blood to rise, it’s almost too much for me to watch to this day I have seen it many times but that day was just after being shot and I felt the war was upon me.
The speaker that day went on to explain that Satan may hate us but he really, really hates God. So when “Satan is prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour”, (1Peter 5:8), he looks across the horizon searching for God’s Glory being reflected by someone who is walking with God and in the identity God gave them. Essentially, when you peek your head out of the fox hole and show off God, then Satan comes along and Whacks you like, ‘Whack a Mole’. Satan hates God’s glory and if you are reflecting it then you show up big time. He went on to say that each of us has a unique way that only we reflect God’s glory and if we don’t do it nobody else can.
So if Satan can get you to hide in your fox hole that aspect of God that you reflect will be lost to the world. He went on to explain that by analyzing Satan’s attacks in your life it is a marvelous clue to what aspect of God’s Glory you reflect, your real identity. The speaker himself, Sam Main, had been told as a child by several members of his family constantly, “shut up, you have nothing worth listening to.” and again as a young adult. With these wounds Sam struggled to even give this talk. Satan was attempting to keep Sam’s ability to teach down in his fox hole hidden. However, Sam has a great deal to say and this very talk changed my life forever.
So Sam sent us out to our covenant of silence time that night to analyze our lives and what wounds we may have that would be a clue to our true identity. Like the paint ball game I had experienced we would then know where the shots would be coming from and so encourage us to walk in our true identity and know to protect our hearts from such attacks.
My head hurt so bad I just went back and lay in my bunk eyes closed trying to think about my life’s story and where I had been attacked. All of the sudden God brought back a memory of me attempting suicide. Wow! that was clear back when I was in Albuquerque as a teenager, I could remember taking the sleeping pills but I couldn’t remember why, why would I do such a thing? I thought and thought, all I could think of was something Darrin Koone had said about the normal family. He once shared that often when talking with men about their story he would ask about their childhood and they would tell him, “I had a normal childhood”. Then that person would go onto explain how their mother would get drunk every night and their father would come with a shotgun and blow the back door down or something crazy like that and Darrin would say, “and that was normal?” So I was thinking to myself that perhaps my suicide attempt was along those lines not at all normal and certainly an attack by Satan but, Why, Why did I want to take my own life? I could remember taking a whole bottle of Sominex, sleeping pills and then being so terrified of dying I never went to sleep. The next day I went to school totally dazed but never told anyone what I did.
Lying in my bed after that talk at Boot Camp I just couldn’t remember why I had tried to kill myself, try and try as I did I couldn’t, so a little while later came the “New Name Talk”.
The speaker, Sam, shared how God has a name for us just like Peter, Israel, Paul and Abraham, and along those lines that name too would have to do with our Glory, how we reflect God to the world. At the end of that talk they showed a movie clip from the Older Movie Le Miserables where the Bishop shows Jean Valjean grace by not telling the police how he stole the silver but instead gives him the silver candlesticks. This is one of the greatest scenes ever as far as I am concerned illustrating both grace and identity. Although Jean Valjean couldn’t see his own glory the Bishop could and called him out of the fox hole, even pulling back his hood from his head as he charged Jean to become the “New Man” he had promised.
The speaker then sent us out to ask God to pull back our hood and call us by name into our New Identity in a covenant of silence time. I had to go back to Winston Salem that night because the next day I was doing my radio shows. I love to drive and it was a quiet night and a great covenant of silence time with me and God on the hour long way home. So I asked God, “What do you call me?”
I heard “Faithful”, nah, couldn’t be. Faithful, really, can’t I get a cool name like Warrior, Brave One? That sounds like a dog, Old Faithful, really, am I sure I heard this right?”
So I went back and asked, “God I am hearing Faithful is that what you said?”
“Yes, Faithful, think about it.” I heard it clearly, so I started to think about that and I reasoned, OK based on Sam’s talk on the wound if my glory is Faithful, if I were Satan how would I attack Faithful?”
Like a shot my memories came flooding back of the suicide attempt. There I was on my sixteenth birthday standing at the door of my girlfriend, Susan Seacrest’s house waiting for her to see my new car my father had given me, (it was cool a 1971 Javalin, Pierre Cardin edition, Platinum Silver with black interior and a purple stripe that went up the seats that matched the stripe on the sides, a 304 engine, manual transmission, oh my what a car). At the same time my basketball team mate, point guard Brian Younkin, (who was also a good friend and had really supported me on the team), came walking up the driveway as well.
I asked him what he was doing and he told me he was there to pick up Susan, right about then she came to the door and left with him. How would you attack faithful? Betrayal! Years and years of betrayals flashed through my mind right up to losing the dealership from the betrayal of my office manager. Satan set the trap and I walked right into it, the trap was sin but let’s break down the sin involved.
Brokenhearted I reasoned something had to die, my initial plan was that would be me by suicide. A naive boy who was not even close to understanding what taking my own life would mean, as a 60 year old adult now I can see some of would have resulted. Had I taken my life, there would be no three Dilmore children who alone have touched how many lives, not to mention the generations and generations, I now have a grand daughter, who will eventually have great grands etc.. Now I take on the consideration, that truly I would have killed my own children, and grandchildren. How horrible is that! How could I, what was I thinking, all over a teen age crush. How could I ever forgive myself for such a horrible choice. Then Jesus asks the question that changes everything, “Robby, didn’t I pay enough?” If and I do mean ‘if‘, I can humble myself enough to ask Jesus for that sacrifice; Jesus did pay it all, He took a beating, shed his blood and died a horrific torturous death for it. With Jesus forgiveness also comes what happened three days later as well, death was defeated, Jesus rose from the grave and gives me His life.
However, there is more to this so much more that has to happen to break the chains that bound me and set me free from,(distracted, drowsy, wreckless, impaired). I kinda had to write all of the previous explanation for this next part to make any sense so if you stayed with me here comes the payoff.
Bitter Root, Judgements, Expectancies, Vows and Agreements.
All our lives we are feeding from roots good and bad, sweet and bitter so we can abide in the Vine of Christ and take in nourishing grace and truth, or we can suck on our bitter roots and take in envy, strife, etc…Hebrews 12:15 and defile many including our children. That night in 1971, I judged both Susan and Brian and the bitter root was planted. Satan no doubt spun the message, “See what happens when you give your heart to someone, people can’t be trusted.” So I now had a bitter root expectancy that I would be betrayed if I gave my heart to someone.” Boy have I experienced that and sucked on that root for years.
Next came the Vow,”I can make this life on my own I won’t allow anyone that close again”. Satan is on a roll now and has entrance to my live through the vow as well.
Satan’s next trick was to get me to agree to his label, “See Robby, you don’t have what it takes to keep a girl friend, you are unlovable.” The moment I agree with that lie, Satan now has me with that agreement, and yet another entrance into my world.
Who can save me from this body of death, yes, Jesus. Here inside my story at this point, Susan, Brian and I are all stuck in October 30, 1971 until Jesus and I go back there and reason with the 16 year old Robby or as I was called, Bob back then. Bob needs Jesus and his blood to rip up this bitter root and forgive Susan and Brian. Jesus is there now to help me forgive Brian and Susan as He forgave me. With Jesus’ forgiveness I can now feed on His grace and once again I can favor both Brian and Susan and release them from 1971. I now know the truth and the truth has set me free from expecting betrayal from those I give my heart to and be who God made me, Faithful.
Now that I have become a Christian, I am betrothed to Jesus, 2 Cor 11:2. As Jesus betrothed He has the right to break my vows, yes spiritually Jesus has that authority, read Numbers 30:3-8. Notice again that we have to go back to that Day, October 30, 1971, there Jesus can now break my vow and I am free to allow people close to me again and Satan has lost his right to that area.
At last I can now clearly see the truth; that I am by all means lovable, so much so that Jesus took those nails, shed his blood and I now claim that blood to break my agreement with the lie that I am unlovable. FREEDOM
So Jesus is the answer, but I too have a 16 year old daughter and I am afraid she has many wounds and bitter roots and vows and agreements too. Can I just tell her all this and she will no longer be distracted, drowsy, wreckless, impaired? It seems that God has another plan. Like the oxygen mask that comes down in an emergency on airplanes, it would seem we need to first put the mask on ourselves so we can have the needed LIFE, then we can love clearly enough to help get the spec out of our children’s eye.