MARCH 4

Tug-of-War (Part One)

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. GALATIANS 6:9

When you were growing up, did you ever get into a real tug-of-war? You know,the kind with a thick, scratchy rope? Two groups pulling against each other and,in between, a murky mud hole the size of Lake Erie?

There’s another tug-of-war taking place today. It’s a tug-of-war between a parent and a host of worldly influences. You’ve felt the pull. You’re getting ready to leave the house, and then you stop cold as you notice how one of your children is dressed. You take a deep breath, utter a silent prayer and say, “Excuse me. You’re not wearing that to school!”

And so the tug-of-war begins. Your child shoots you a look that would melt steel and replies, “But all of my Christian friends dress like this at school!” If you waffle (and your child will know this within a millisecond, because kids are equipped with digital sensing devices that let them know that Mom or Dad is caving in), you begin to think, I’m tired of fighting it. Besides if I pull too hard, who knows what my kids will do . . . they may run away and hate me forever!

So you let go. Like so many other parents, you probably are suffering from a new twentyfirst-century disease caused by this endless tug-of-war: moral exhaustion. Many parents are growing weary of holding on to their moral beliefs, boundaries and commitments, and little by little they loosen their grip.

So today and tomorrow I want to get a megaphone out, come alongside you as a parent, encourage you and remind you of the truth: “Don’t let go of that rope!” Get into the Scriptures. Let the truth and prayer together strengthen your grip! Hang on. Dig your heels in. Don’t quit!

DISCUSS

Talk about raising children in this culture and feeling morally exhausted. What makes you tired as a parent? Be honest.

PRAY

Ask God to empower you and your spouse, and give you moral courage to raise the next generation.

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