I was reading a post this morning about music and how some of it is pornography whether that’s in the lyrics or videos. As a Christian parent, this is a topic that interests me so I made a comment about how Christians battle this because we are in the world but not of the world. This makes me curious where we get the idea “in the world but not of the world” so I Google it. There were two references that I saw in The Gospel of John and I picked the later. There may be others but this is where we will land.
John 17:14-19 – I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world. Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I set myself apart on their behalf, so that they too may be truly set apart.
First, we see that Jesus gave His disciples God’s Word. As Christian parents one of our biggest responsibilities is giving our children the Word of God. We do this through many avenues on a daily basis (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Ephesians 6:4). We pray that God will grow the seed we sow.
If our children take hold of God’s Word then the world will hate them. This is one thing I recently told my children – being a Christian is not easy because the world will hate you. We have to talk to them and prepare them for this battle – strengthen them. If we do not, then what we have sown in our children will be choked out by the world (Matthew 13:22).
So if we do not belong to the world, where do we belong? Our citizenship is in heaven and we are just sojourners and foreigners in this land (1 Peter). Jesus did not ask the Father to take His disciples out of the world but that He keep them safe. I was thankful when God opened my eyes to see that I would not be able to keep my kids from being attacked by the world. What I can do is teach them discernment – at least to the best of my abilities – but most importantly I could pray that He keep them safe.
Finally we see that Jesus sent His disciples into the world. We have given our children God’s Word, strengthened them with the knowledge that the world will hate them, shown them it is OK because this is just a temporary residence for us, prayed that God keep them safe, and then we send them out. Sending our kids out might be the scariest and proudest things we do as Christian parents.
Lord, keep our children safe.