by Sean Ashberry
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7
People nowadays talk about God with such an arrogance. Like they’re the first person who is going to be able to come before God and question Him. That God is gonna go, “Wow, I never thought of that before.”
Many people, when they get to the fear aspect of God they want to qualify it with, “Now when I say ‘fear’ I don’t mean fear. It’s more of a respect. It’s more of an awe.”
But that’s not what I see in the Bible. It looks to me like people were terrified.
As parents, Tressa and I talk a lot about how to protect our children spiritually and intellectually in an increasingly post-Christian culture. Truthfully, when I think about Callie I have entertained a wide range of options. Everything from complete isolation with the Bedouin Monks in the deserts of the Middle East to homeschool with the reindeer people of Mongolia. Just kidding. In a way.
All of those thoughts have yielded isolation strategies that are not the best for our kids. Those thoughts were based in an unhealthy fear of the culture and not enough fear in God. Listen to the Scripture:
In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have refuge. Proverbs 14:26
It turns out providing refuge for our children is more about our personal fear of the Lord than what school they attend or where they grow up.
Think about this. My biblical fear of the Lord causes me to follow Christ out of a deep sense of love and reverence for the King. It causes me to align my life with the Scripture and do life God’s way. When children have parents who love God and live out an authentic biblical faith in front of them, they will have refuge from the chaos of the culture.
As you think about how to protect your children, or grandchildren, or nieces, or nephews, remember the Scripture teaches we are to be part of this world, but to not let this world become a part of us. Consider Romans 12:2 where Paul writes,
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Our children need to learn to walk with Christ in the midst of the culture. They need the refuge of parents who fear God and love him deeply.
Meditate on Proverbs 14:26. The fear of the Lord is not just the beginning of wisdom, it is also a stable refuge for our children. If you want to protect your children, the best thing you have to offer is your personal fear of the Lord.
Sean is the Involvement & Outreach minister with the Somers Avenue church in N. Little Rock, Ark.