Is The Young Man Safe?
2 Sam 18: 32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe?
This question was first asked by David when he expressed concern for the well-being of his son Absalom. Fathers and mothers today need to be concerned about the safety and welfare of their boys and girls. Every parent worth his or her salt is concerned about the physical safety of their children. When they are young we move furniture and lock cabinets to keep them from hurting themselves. As they get older and start riding their bikes and playing outside we keep a check on them and warn them of the dangers of playing in the street. Then when they get the keys to the car we really are concerned about their safety. We warn them about making foolish decisions that could harm themselves and others. Many a parent has spent a few sleepless hours, when a teenager missed his/her curfew. Some of you may think when they get older and move away that your concerns are over but that is not so. When they are away we wait for that call telling us that they made it home safely. Yes we are concerned about our children’s physical welfare, but above all we should be concerned about their spiritual welfare. We are losing our children. It is a disturbing trend that will have a tremendous impact upon the future of the church in this country. We can spend all the money we have on TV programs and sending people to Africa and Russia or any place else. However, if we lose our children in this country the church is going to suffer tremendously. Nothing could do more to spread the cause of Christ than that of Christian parents making their home truly Christian. If the home is what it should be, then it is practically assured that the Church will be what it ought to be. Parents ought to give the highest priorities to being what God would have them be and to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of theLord. In this article I want to give 4 ways we can keep our children spiritually safe.
First of all, we can keep our children safe by teaching them about the uniqueness of the Church. Parents should teach their children that the Lord’s Church is the only Church authorized by the Scriptures. The principle of authority must be impressed upon young minds. Once this principle is understood it will produce in them a cautious and conservative approach to life. Children need to learn that the Church is the way to heaven and the exclusive route to glory. Children can grow up understanding that only faithful Christians are heaven bound according to the promises of God. Children should be taught about the exclusive nature of the church to help them appreciate that salvation is exclusively available to those who are in Christ, to help them want to help those who are lost to come to a knowledge of truth, and to help them hate every false way. Parents can teach their children about the uniqueness of the church by bringing their children up in an atmosphere where the church is viewed as vital, where its welfare is pursued, where dangers to it are viewed with great concern and where prayer is offered on its behalf. Parents can teach their children about the uniqueness of the church by talking of its rich historical heritage. The Church of our Lord has a rich and unique heritage and we can keep our children safe by teaching them about it.
Secondly, we can keep our children safe by teaching them that they are ultimately responsible to God. I believe that our children will think twice about doing something wrong if they know that they are not only responsible to us, but also to God. Children quickly learn that if they can successfully hide their inappropriate actions from their parents they are not held responsible or accountable for those actions. Sometimes our children succeed in keeping things from us and in their minds they think they “get by” with things. If our children think they can “get by “with things as they grow older this attitude could cause many problems. We must teach our children at an early age that in reality no one “gets by” with anything. Rom. 14: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. It is unfortunate that many parents fail to communicate this principle to their children. As a result the children grow up thinking that if Mom and Dad don’t see what they do and other earthly authorities do not see what they do they have gotten away with something. If we teach our children that they are ultimately responsible to God they will be forced to think twice before they do something wrong when we are not around. When we teach our children that they are responsible to God we keep them safe.
Third, we can keep our children safe by teaching them the importance of prayer. As parents we must teach our children the importance of prayer. Prayer must be a part of our daily lives and we should let our children know this. When we pray together as a family we will develop a family unity that no problems or storms of life can destroy. We should teach our children that God listens to prayer and encourage them to pray about decisions concerning their standards and values, as well as their behavior. Our children need to realize the importance of prayer in their daily lives. Without learning to pray and depend completely on God, our children will look for something or someone else to meet their needs. When we teach our children the importance of prayer they will have the background for making wise and godly decisions. 1 Pet.5:7 casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you. We need to let our children know that they can cast their cares upon the one that cares for them. As parents we must teach our children the importance of prayer. Prayer can keep our children safe.
Fourth, we can keep our children safe by teaching them how to resist a permissive society. The most fundamental thing in teaching our children to resist a permissive society is to show them that there is an absolute standard for morality. This standard is God’s Word. It is inspired. 2 Tim 3:16-17. It is a guide to all Christians in life. The basic error of the permissive society of our day is the philosophy of “get all out of life you can to satisfy yourself.” This philosophy leads to many sinful activities. Some of these sinful activities are even participated in, while attending some of our “big meetings”. Why is this philosophy wrong? It is wrong because it stands against God’s standard for His creatures. Our lives are to be lived for the glory of God and in order to do this, man must be obedient to God’s will. From the standard, God’s Word, it must be pointed out that whatever we sow, we will reap. Gal.6:7-8, and that an accounting will be given for our life for whatever lifestyle we follow 2 Cor. 5:10.
A desire to live eternally in heaven must be created in the hearts of the young. That desire will come from a knowledge of God’s word. This is difficult to do because of the materialistic society in which we live, but it can be accomplished and will go a long way in helping the young resist the charms of a permissive lifestyle.
Conclusion: Is the young man Safe? There is no evidence that David gave time, attention and interest in the training of Absalom, spiritually or otherwise. There was not the proper discipline when Absalom did evil. Spiritual training was obviously lacking, seeing the kind of person Absalom was. Parents harm their children immeasurably when they withhold proper discipline from them, when they are not attentive to the upbringing of their children, when they are too busy with other things, such as house, jobs, sports and fulfilling their own ambitions. David was a busy man.
Some parents have traded a life for a living. Yet, “a living” is not the most important thing, a life is. Many parents are scrambling daily to make more money so they can buy more and better things, but oh what a price they pay! We are wasting our best when we waste our children. Our children are our future. They are our evangelistic field. If we lose them, we have lost it all. I ask the question, Is the Young Man Safe?