This morning, Nathan woke up crazy early and so we got into our routine early:
Mommy makes bottle. Mommy changes diaper. Mommy prays over bottle. Mommy sits on the couch as Nathan drinks bottle. Mommy turns on cartoons for Nathan.
However, we had to make a slight change in our routine after that. Every (and I repeat, EVERY) cartoon show this morning was about Halloween (or Hell-o-ween as some friends have rightly labeled it.) Nathan loves watching Mickey Mouse, so I put it on. And low and behold, I hear "We're about to go trick-or-treating! What is Minnie going as? That's right! A witch!" My jaw hit the ground, I groaned, and changed the channel. How about Little Einsteins? Another favorite. But what do I see? The little smart group of kiddos trick-or-treating to spooky music that turns out to be a ghost. *another groan* On to Special Agent Oso (Mommy's favorite). What do I see? The helpful bear helping Naveah make a Jack 'O Lantern.
Every cartoon was about ghosts, monsters, jack 'o lanterns, witches, vampires, and evil magic. My poor little boy. So after he finished his bottle, he began playing with his toys on the living room floor. I went into the bedroom where Grant was getting ready for work and told him about the TV shows. He, in turn, informed me that he was beginning to feel uncomfortable with several of the shows. Our media is growing increasingly more evil and worldly and if we want to protect our son from those influences, sacrifices must be made....and walls must be built.
I remember a Bible study several years ago on the book of Nehemiah. One of my favorite stories in all the Bible is the story of Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. When Nehemiah heard that the walls of his beloved city were broken down and its gates were burned with fire, he sat down and wept and fasted and mourned for days! He then goes to rebuild the walls.
Once he begins to rebuild, the enemy comes along trying to sway him, hinder the work, have him come down, and doing everything in their power to get his attention elsewhere. In chapter 4, Nehemiah and the builders are mocked because they refused to cease or slow their work. Ignoring the laughter, they "had a mind to work," and continued on.
Nehemiah 4:7-9 But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth, And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it. Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.
When opposition came against the building up of the wall, Nehemiah set watchmen to keep guard - day and night - to protect the work of the Lord. It got so bad that along with their hammers and tools, they had their bows and swords and their weapons with them as they worked.
Walls are important. Wall keeps things in. And walls keep things out.
Think of America. Our borders are there for a reason. They should be protected. When our borders fall....well, you can see what happens.
Now think of your home. Walls keep things in....your air and heat....your toddlers. :) They also keep things out....like pests....rain.... fill in the blank. How silly would it be to leave your front door wide open all the time? Anybody could walk in and take your little ones or your belongings. Any animal can sneak in and do harm. Your little boy could stumble out and walk out into the street. Your little girl could go out and get hurt or be taken and never seen again. Walls are for a reason.
Now think of your heart. Do we have walls that keep certain things in and certain things out? Are we protected from outside forces that would love to wreak havoc in our lives? Are we safe behind fortified walls that keep Satan out and holiness in?
In chapter 6, verses 15-16, it says, "So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days. And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God."
Today, I was reminded of the walls. I have a big responsibility to protect my little boy's well-being, both physically and spiritually. If a murderer breaks in to hurt my son, he will have to go through, first, Grant. Than me. If a car loses control and heads straight for my son, I'll throw myself in its path to save him. And in like-manner, I know Satan is after my little boy. He would love nothing more than to steal his soul. It is mine and Grant's job to protect him and lead him to Jesus. Satan's desire is to fill his little mind - even now! - with evil. Disobedience, rebellion, lying....he'll start anywhere. He will even start with Mickey Mouse, making light of what God calls an abomination. Later in life, he will try to introduce him to alcohol, porn, witchcraft, drugs and violence. It is our job, as his parents, to raise up walls, protecting him.
I know many will make remarks about sheltering him from the "real world." Such comments were made about me when my parents built up walls. There was plenty of laughter. They were plenty who tried to hinder the work. Thankfully, my parents did not come down and stop the building of the walls. Grant and I have no intention of doing so either. Should we let our children run wild and "experience" sin? Should we loosen the reins and let him live "la vida loca?" OR should we build walls and make restrictions, sheltering him from all that would harm his body and his soul? Should we, as the leaders of the home, train him up in the way he should go instead of training him to be his own boss; compromising; desensitized to evil? He will most definitely be hit with the real world one day. We all are at some point. But, by God's grace, he will know the boundaries. God helping us, he will be safe behind the walls and, one day, build up his own.
This Halloween, we have our walls up. There is no participating.
I encourage all you, parents, to build up the walls for the sake of our children's spiritual well being. Satan doesn't always come in the scariest form imaginable. He most often comes in with sheep's clothing. He comes in looking innocent and harmless enough....but he is really the enemy trying to destroy our walls and defeat us. Let us build up the walls....
Nehemiah 6:9 "For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands."