Transformation Before Conformation
One of the most challenging tasks for my wife and I as parents in today’s society is competing for our children’s moral stability. There are distractions outside the home, the wilderness, that steal away our children’s focus. These distractions disassemble the structure that parents like us strive to keep in tact. We live in a world where a morally fallen society has more influence on our children than we do. In some cases, we as parents are active participants in the fallacy ourselves and are distracted just as much as the teenager we are trying to raise. When this is the case, transformation must begin with us as parents before conformation to God’s Kingdom can be rooted in our homes.
My wife and I make it a necessity that our family sit down every night at the dinner table and talk. Yes, good old fashioned look me in the eye talking. We find that this is healthy spiritually, mentally and emotionally as we have relevant discussions with our children. It also allows us as parents to gauge the effectiveness of the topics we have taught on by measuring the maturation of their spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being. The talks we have aren’t one way. Our children are able to respectfully express themselves to us. Their feedback is essential in helping us plan what avenues we need to take to eliminate distractions before they occur. Being proactive prevents reaction I’ve been told. Would you agree?
As we talked one night about the wilderness and the distractions contained within, one question that came to mind was this: “How do we get from the wilderness to the Kingdom?” Another question is this: “How do we keep from going back to the wilderness?” Our flesh has the overwhelming propensity to be pleasured. The wilderness cleverly offers us those pleasures that appeal to us the most. Oftentimes, it isn’t the offering of new pleasures that distract us. The old pleasures are equipped with new ways of tempting us to return to the darkness. Have you ever experienced this? What did you do to combat the desire to return?
If we look to the Word, we find that Romans 12:2 (KJV) provides us a clear answer of how to come in from the wilderness and into the Kingdom. The text states: “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” It is my understanding from this verse that if we truly want to separate from the wilderness, then we must allow God to renew our way of thinking. By doing so, we can then see what His perfect will is for our life. I found out the hard way that my old way of thinking brought me the same results over and over. Was I expecting a different result? Only by entering a new realm of thinking did I get a different result.
Can I tell you what the hardest part is about having a renewed thought process? The old thought process is always standing right outside the door. I asked a couple paragraphs ago if you had experienced the new and improved tactics your former pleasures have of tempting you to return to darkness and what you did to combat the issue. The Bible offers us many a defense against the devil’s plan to destroy us. Here is my favorite verse to keep myself in a renewed state of mind when it comes to temptation: “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:9 (NIV) If I stand steadfast against the devil and resist returning to the blinding darkness, I can be an example to my brothers and sisters who are going through the same sins that once consumed me. Yes, from the wilderness to the Kingdom. For the Kingdom I stand.