Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Discernment 101

I just added a new class to school today. It really isn't a class. It is training for a lifetime.

Lately, I have been VERY burdened by how much discernment we need to survive these days. Some things are obvious lies coming through our computer and TV screens but some things AREN'T. Like the lies infiltrating our Churches and Christian books and sermons. Satan is a crafty liar. He is very skilled at his professions... Stealing, Killing, and Destroying US.

"When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

I am watching him already subtly trick my children through different avenues... making light of sin so that it looks fun and FUNNY.

Just the other day in the car my boys were watching Tom and Jerry when one of them said,
"Momma, this is so funny. Tom is reading a magazine with a girl cat in a red dress on the front and his eyes got really big and it said, "WOW!!"."

Immediately my blood pressure begins to shoot out the roof since I pray every night that the Lord would place a covenant over my boys eyes to keep their bodies, minds and hearts pure for their future wife. So, thanks to Tom and Jerry, my boys first exposure to pornography is that it is HARMLESS and it is FUNNY.

Stop. Right. There.

Is That TRUE?

I am confident that if I took a survey of the wives who read this blog, the results would be that PORNOGRAPHY is not harmless and it is not FUNNY. For the last 2 years I have held the hand of one of my best friends whose husband is addicted to pornography. Pornography led to extra-marital affairs. I feel like I have watched her die a slow death. She is no longer the girl she once was. He is no longer the guy he once was. Innocence was stolen, purity-lost, and trust shattered. Jesus Christ is the only One powerful enough to take this tragedy and put the shrapnel back together and she is begging Him to do it. Because of Christ, there is hope for their marriage but it will take YEARS to restore all that the enemy has taken. But, Jesus is greater than our lying enemy.

So, was that just a silly cartoon or was it a message being sent to start forming a boy's mindset from his earliest memories?

The boys and I memorized Colossians 3:1-17 when they were 3 and 4 years old. We say it every day in homeschool along with a ton of other scripture that we have hidden in our hearts over these years of homeschool.

(Sidenote: Homeschooling my children has been THE greatest springboard for spiritual growth in my walk with the Lord. It was in that little room where I realized I could memorize scripture. God shows up in that little room. It isn't anything fancy or glamorous- Tim calls it the "weight room" or "the gym" because we work hard at hiding God's Word in our heart and then watch it produce beautiful fruit all around us. But, you can do all of this whether you choose to homeschool or not. )

In that Colossians passage, it tells us to PUT TO DEATH sexual immorality. My boys don't know what sexual immorality is. My best explanation was that it is kissing someone who isn't your wife or... if daddy kissed another girl besides momma. They can get that and immediately know in their souls that there is something VERY wrong about daddy kissing someone other than me.

We are just finishing memorizing 1 Thessalonians 4. In this (amazing chapter of the Bible) it says,

"It is God's will that you should be sanctified and AVOID SEXUAL IMMORALITY. that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life."

So, back to my buddies Tom and Jerry... In a moment of mother bear instinct, I pushed eject and cracked the DVD in half right in front of the boys. They sat there with their jaws open as I quoted Col 3. They didn't cry or scream about it. They listened because they know those Words are true. AND they know how much I love them.

I said, "Guys you may not understand a lot yet but what if daddy fell in love with someone else and left us. What if I fell in love with another man that I saw a picture of in a magazine and left? Would that be funny? We don't play around with sexual sin. We PUT IT TO DEATH."

Now, I hope that they never forget this situation and they learn to run like Joseph because they are going to have to do that often in this culture. I know the enemy wants to steal from my boys. Steal their innocence. Destroy their lives and their futures and I will die trying to protect them. Are they going to think girls are pretty and their eyes bulge out of their heads when they see them? Of course! But, this girl was in a magazine. The inference is unmistakable.

It may seem radical but when you start to understand how the most beautiful angel operates, you HAVE to get radical. Because the enemy wants you to think that sin ISN'T dangerous. That it won't hurt you. That you have control. That it is just a punch line in a comedy routine.

I have seen too many marriages destroyed by sexual sin and children devastated. I have held too many girls as they weep in my arms over their sexual sin and its consequences. Am I extreme on this one? YES.

So, Discernment 101 in our school goes like this...

I will say a passage of Scripture that they have already memorized and replace one word. They have to listen and immediately recognize the lie. Because, girls, Satan usually isn't obvious. Sometimes, but not most times. Usually it looks really good. We have to know God's Word so well that we can IMMEDIATELY spot the lie and refute it with the truth. Now, this is only by the power of our Helper, the Holy Spirit, of course.

But, if you don't know your Bible in these days, you will be deceived. False teaching is rampant IN THE CHURCH. A pastor may stand up and give the most amazing and eloquent sermon but YOU have to be a Berean and search the scriptures to see if what he is telling you is true. You may read an amazing book that all the other Christians you know are reading and it is a #1 bestseller, but is it based on the truth of God's Word?

And, why read "junk food" when you can read "the steak"?

Know that I am writing to MYSELF in this post.

We have to be able to discern through these fine sounding arguments to know if it is based on the Word of God or WE will be swept away by "every wind of doctrine". I am sure the apostle Paul was happy that his listeners double checked his teachings when they went home. That is what you need to do too! When Satan tried to deceive Jesus in the garden, what he said was mostly true. He EVEN laced it with Scripture! Don't think Satan is a fool.

His tactics are very crafty and often 99% true.

It reminds me of the story about the flight where everyone was seated and the pilot announces that the flight to Hawaii is getting ready for take off. "There is a tiny glitch in the system and the plane will be flying 1 degree off. Not a big deal so fasten your seat belts and get ready for take off."

That one degree will get the plane further and further and further from the destination and eventually land in the middle of the ocean.

I hope and pray that if you were on that plane, you would not be stowing your tray table... you would be GETTING OFF THAT PLANE!

"The safest road to hell is the gradual one- the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, whithout signposts".

C.S. Lewis

"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 1:17

"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming." Eph 4:14

"I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments." Col 2:4

There are so many winds of teaching that blow in and out of the Church. We cannot get swept away by the latest "Christian speaker" or pastor and begin to idolize them and read every one of their books, commentaries, etc... Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to read good commentaries and books. I am not saying that is bad but if they keep you from finding out what the Bible says for yourself, you are wide open for deceit. Study it yourselves!

YES you CAN do it!!!

Open your Bible and start reading, then start meditating and memorizing. Then write down things God is teaching you. THEN, go to http://www.blb.org/ and look up the original Greek and read commentaries.

Never forget that THE TEACHER LIVES IN YOU!!!

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." John 16:13

Deception is getting worse. Please be sober-minded (don't take mind altering medications if you don't need them- the Holy Spirit can tell you if you need them. You have to be spiritually ALERT!! "Be self-controlled and ALERT. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8). Ask God to give you a love for His Word. If you have no hunger, maybe it is because it has been so long since you fed your Spirit that the hunger pains stopped. I can guarantee you that the more you open this BREATHING BOOK, the more you will want to open it.

I just started a book that I really really like. I think you will too.

It is called "Loving God's Word: 7 Strategies for Slaying Bible Apathy".
I would LOVE for you to read it with me!
It is kind of hard to find and, honestly, I don't remember how I found it but Tim and I are reading a chapter together at night before we go to bed. We have also started waking the older 2 boys up for family Bible time in the mornings where we all 4 sit at the table and read our Bibles quietly. We are reading Matthew so we can all talk about what we read. The boys are to write down 5 things that stood out to them and they usually draw a picture at the bottom. It has been a HUGE blessing already and I am seeing true understanding and growth in the boys.
I don't know how to be a wife. I don't know how to be a good mom. I don't know how to do anything that the Lord is asking of me... BUT HE DOES. And He loves to teach me. I just have to not be lazy and study! There is such treasure to be found in these pages. A relationship with a living God who speaks to us through a Book! That is unimaginable and staggering to think about!!
Oh, that we will cling to this book with all our heart and soul and seek after wisdom! May I always remember that complacency is not neutral.
"...the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm." Prov 1:32

I have a motto in life as God continues to lead me FURTHER and FURTHER from the boat.

Here it is...

"If I honor God's Word, I canNOT fail."

That is why I use so much of God's Word in homeschool and when I teach young girls. God's Word is useful for teaching! And it won't return void. I can put all my eggs in that basket-- I mean Book EVERY TIME!

I can't turn back now anyway. The boat is too far away. I don't even think I can see it anymore.

He is calling you to walk on water too. The only way you and I can live the life of faith and be who He has created us to be is to love and know that Breathing Book.

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword"

Hebrews 4:12

"Part of Scripture is God‑breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

2 Tim 3:16,17

Any Bereans out there catch something off in that last one?


Don't you dare believe what I tell you. Search the Scriptures and see if what I am telling you is true.

Be ALERT, girls. Know that breathing Book!!!!

*For you local girls I am starting a Bible Study on my back porch. We will be studying 1 John. Email me for info.

I love you.



Skamamama said...

AMEN! i look forward to your posts and i love reading *ALL* of God's truth! thanks for sharing your heart & the way God is speaking to yours.

Tracy said...

Awesome post! Very motivating & stern, but not condemning. Thanks!

The Bontekoes said...

Love you girl - standing with you. Call me and tell me when on the girls Bible study. Lauren wants to see if she can come...

Anonymous said...

Awesome Post! You are so right about teaching your children at a young age and not letting them watch something just because it is a supposedly innocent "cartoon". Sin has been dressed in such an appealing way it is sometimes hard to recognize. Keep it up Step - I love reading your post!


Anonymous said...

This is awesome. Been praying to yearn more for His word and I AM :) So good. Thank you for this Steph!

HIS Child said...

I love you Steph! I love your heart, your honesty and your passion for the Only thing that will keep us in these last days.

I also love that ALL scripture is God-breathed.

Have a blessed day,

HennHouse said...

I did the SAME THING with a Tom and Jerry DVD. We just don't have space in our minds and hearts for that kinds of thing.

Love when you said that we have to get radical... It's true. It might not be popular, but I don't care if my kids are popular, I care if I see them in Heaven.

Taylor said...

ALL of Scripture is God-breathed!!! I love the idea of teaching your kids discernment by changing one teensy little part of the Scripture.

I wish I was a local girl. I would be there in a heart beat. I learn so much from you. :)

Jill said...

and that my friend was A HOMERUN! Just just a one pointer, but all bases were loaded and it went out of the park! Preach "it"! Sing "it"! Just keep doing "it"! I especially loved the replacment idea of words to show desception. Good stuff lady!

Trinity said...

I can't stand Tom & Jerry. I have really regretted buying that dvd- even if it was only $4 at Target. I think it is about to disappear from the shelf....

Anonymous said...

My first comment on your blog and I would just like to say, "thank you", you blog is very inspiring to me. Every time I read your blog I think of a quote that I'm sure you have heard a million times, "A woman's heart should be so lost in God that a man needs to seek Him in order to find her.", thank you so much for being my role-model.
a 21 year old student who is keeping the faith