A few weeks ago I received a pamphlet advertising Christian Youth Camps and Events across North America. This particular organization puts on various camps with various emphases, such as a missions camp or an urban camp. But one of the options really got stuck in my craw sideways and has been lodged there ever since.
The promo for this camp, called “The Original” says:
REMOVE the DISTRACTIONS of HOME to focus teens on JESUS.
Friends, is this what it has come to in the Church? Now in order to focus teens on Jesus we must remove them from their homes, and by implication out from under their parents?!
Well, maybe our homes are so distracted that our young men and women simply cannot fill their eyes with Christ and their hearts with His Word. Maybe this youth ministry organization is on to something? Distractions, hmmm, let’s see, there’s:
- 8 hours per day of public schooling for 90% of Christian families.
- 2 hours per day of extra-curricular activities at school or associated with school.
- TV, movies, Netflix
- Internet, Twitter, Facebook
- I-phones, I-pods, I-pads
- An hour of homework per night or more depending upon the school and teachers and courses taken
- Parents working 60-80 hours per week outside the home
Yep – we’re distracted alright! Our homes are little kingdoms of distraction, instead of being outposts of the kingdom of God and His Christ where the Gospel is front and center.
Has it ever occurred to us that Deuteronomy 6:1-10 demands far more than just a few minutes of Bible reading or family worship each evening? The standard set forth by God for His people in this text is 24/7, 365 teaching, training and equipping of children in the Law of God. Our schedules today all but prevent us from obeying God in this matter at all. We’re never home and when we are we are engaging in mindless distractions galore!
God help us rise to the occasion and fight this very uphill battle to recover the heavenly vision of the home. May our houses be houses of prayer. May our homes be gospel-saturation zones where kids are prepared to stand against the wiles of the devil in the power of the Spirit and the Word. This will not happen by accident. It happens only when Dads and Moms decide to burn hot for Jesus and forsake the trash heap of the world, the flesh and the devil.
I have so far to go in my own home. God change me. God help me. Renew my zeal for pointing my children to Jesus, for turning every conversation towards His Word, and for fanning the flames of a new reformation right there in my living room each night.
God, by Your grace and for Your glory may my teens never feel as if they need to get away from my home in order to focus on Jesus. Make it so, Lord. Amen.