“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.” – Deuteronomy 4:9
“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” – Ezekiel 33:6
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” – I John 2:15-17
I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone who has tried to approach our house over the last year and a half – because if you’re one of those people, you have inevitably met Sunday. Sunday is our sweet-but-incredibly-needy-nosey-and-overprotective beagle. You can see her in her natural habitat, perched on the back of the living room couch in the front window. All visitors to the Brokaw estate, as well as pedestrians and delivery persons, will have to pass the Sunday test. She never takes a break from guard duty.
In Psalm 101, David vows to be a king who is ever on guard duty. This Psalm is believed to have been written in the early days of David’s reign. It reads like a mission statement, with a resolve to guard court and kingdom against any influences that run contrary to the wisdom and heart of God.
David’s estimated 7-8 year life on the lam (I Samuel 18:6-27:4), provided two benefits: 1. An up-close and personal look at Saul’s failed and frantic reign, and 2. Time to decide what kind of king he (David) eventually wanted to be. David was actually anointed king three times – once at his father Jesse’s house (I Samuel 16:13), once in Hebron as king over the tribe of Judah (II Samuel 2:4), and finally, as king over all Israel (II Samuel 5:3). Therefore, it’s hard to know exactly when Psalm 101 was written, but it’s easy to see a schematic for the spiritual security system that we need to put in place in our own little kingdoms:
- Walk like a Model. (Psalm 19:14, 101:2, Proverbs 14:1, 15:1, 31:25-30) Model the right behavior, because you have a constant audience in your home. Your words, actions, emotions, and responses constantly set the tone, encourage equal and opposite reactions, and create a baseline for everyone else’s behavior. Choose to be compassionate and not contentious. Choose to be faith-filled and not fearful. Model what you want to see around you.
- Be the Filter. (I Samuel 15:23, Psalm 101:3-4, Proverbs 22:15, 29:15) Worry more about your family’s purity than your children’s privacy. There is a myriad of content to which your child simply should not be exposed. Don’t be afraid to say “NO”. Much of it may seem harmless, borderline, or “not a big deal”, but a constant diet of worldly content will eventually wear down everyone’s resolve (including yours) and inspire rebellion. Over time, it will poison your family’s perspective on God and the truth of His Word. Be the filter that keeps the world from contaminating your home.
- Be the Gatekeeper. (Nehemiah 4:21-23, Psalm 1, Proverbs 14:15, 27:23) There are people – some you’ve known forever, some you love with all your heart – who are bad for your home. By God’s grace, you will know them when you see them. And the truth is, beyond prayer, they’re not your responsibility – your immediate family is. Know WHO is influencing your home, and be strong enough to make hard choices when necessary. Be kind, but don’t be careless when it comes to protecting your family.
In a world that is forever repackaging sin and trying to mix it in with the drinking water, may we always remember that we are the first and last line of defense in our homes. And as such, may we never sleep. May we never fall down on the job or drink the world’s Kool Aid or underestimate the value of vigilance.
May we understand that we will give an account some day for all that we allowed and excused and invited into our homes and into the hearts of those entrusted to us. May we never be so busy trying to keep the peace, and fit in, and please the world around us that we sacrifice the little world of blessings that God has given us to guard (Psalm 119:34, Psalm 119:145, Proverbs 4:23, John 15:10-11, 17:14-17).
Be diligent. Be intentional. And above all, be prayerful. Perch yourself in the front window if you have to, and always be on guard duty.
Has the world’s contamination already seeped into your home? Ask God to help you clean up your kingdom. Put standards in place to protect your home from the wrong influences, and stay on guard.