Have you heard of the fable of the boiling frog? It describes a frog being slowly boiled alive. The idea is that if a frog is put into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put into warm water which is slowly brought to a boil, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
Allegedly, the frog is not able to detect the gradual increase in temperature until it is too late. As the temperature of the water rises, the frog can keep on adjusting its body temperature accordingly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will allow itself to be boiled to death.
What killed the frog? Many of us would say the boiling water. But the truth is, what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when it had to jump out.
This is an unflattering picture of what is happening to multitudes of parents today. If the frog represents us and our families, then the water represents moral values, and the changing temperature of the water represents changing moral values.
The moral climate we live in is changing – it is heating up and approaching boiling point. Many things that used to be unacceptable to us – we seem to be gradually warming up to. We may not agree with what is happening, but like the frog in the fable, we are in a kind of a stupor, believing there is nothing we can do about it. So, we stay in the pot, allowing our children to suffer the destructive heat.
The truth is that, just like the frog, we can jump out. If we want to save our children, it is crucial that we wake up out of our stupor. One day we will all stand before the judgement seat of God and give an account of our lives, and as parents, we will be held accountable for the way we have raised our children. We will not be able to blame the moral climate of the world for our own failure to take up this responsibility – God gave our children to us to care for. It is our God-given duty to place healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries around them.
Parenting is not just about driving them around to all their lessons and giving them everything they need or want. Children do not have the ability yet to maturely gauge what is good for them. Dad and Mom need to rule and reign in their homes with healthy boundaries laid down in love.
Parents carry a responsibility to shield and protect their children’s eyes.
I was chatting to a mother the other day. Her son is in boarding school. During the lockdown, while he was at home, she discovered he was visiting pornographic sites on the internet. She is shocked and deeply saddened. But the incident has caused them to have some honest conversations. He has confessed to her that “all the boys” at boarding school are doing it. They even project the movies onto the dorm room wall and if you do not want to watch, you become a target of ridicule and bullying. Sadly, mathematics is not the only thing he has been educated in at school.
After she left, I asked myself, “These boys have free access to pornography? Where are the parents? Why do they allow this?” Pornography is from the pit of hell. It sets the moral lives of our boys and our girls on hell fire, twists their thinking, grabs them into the claws of addiction, makes them slaves to demonic lust, destroys their future relationships. Why would we think it is okay to put a “loaded” cell phone in their hands and send them on their way?
It all boils down to this: Do we genuinely love them enough to be willing to make a stand and jump out of the pot?
One of the greatest responsibilities parents have, is to teach our children to walk in godly wisdom. This is a journey that we undertake to walk with them from the moment they are conceived. The journey may change as they grow older, but it never ever ends. Godly wisdom is found in the Word of God and it looks vastly different to worldly wisdom. Worldly wisdom proposes condoms, free expression, sex changes and a thousand other things. Do you realize that the age restrictions on movies also falls into the category of worldly wisdom? Other people have decided for you what is appropriate viewing for your sixteen-year-old. God’s Word refers to this kind of wisdom as sensual and demonic.
It is a spiritual law, put in place by the power of God, that when you live your life according to His wisdom, you will walk in His favour. You tap into God’s own life source, which flows into your body, your emotions, your thoughts, and your life.
Proverbs 3:13-18 (NLT)
Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.
For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold.
Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.
She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.
Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.
Can a parent ask for anything more for their child than joy, long life, wealth, honour, happiness, satisfaction, and being filled with the life of God? This is what God promises to them and to us when we learn to walk in His wisdom, when we humbly walk in fellowship with Him. There are no shortcuts here. That is what the wisdom that belongs to this world tries to do – provide shortcuts to a fulfilling life. It won’t work because it violates the Creator’s spiritual law of wisdom. It’s just as useless as trying to violate the law of gravity.
You cannot just go with the current moral flow and end up in happy land. On the contrary, you pick up so much baggage along the way that weighs you down and crushes your spirit. Children who are hiding a pornographic addiction have the added weight of guilt and shame to carry around with them, emotions the enemy uses to entice them to rebel.
But God is so gracious. He is full of mercy and the kindest love. He promises to wash us clean from all filth when we turn to Him. Godly wisdom is not about perfection. In fact, Godly wisdom includes the willingness to receive correction when you have done wrong. I think of King David as an example of this. He messed up in the biggest way when he lusted after Bathsheba. He did not only slay Goliath the enemy giant, but also Uriah, a devoted husband. When confronted with the reality of his sin regarding Uriah, David cried to God for forgiveness. Many years later, at the end of his life, we read this about King David:
1 Chronicles 29:28 (NLT) He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth, and honor.
Remember what Wisdom holds in her hand? “She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.” David fumbled, but true Wisdom brought him back onto the right path. If your family has fumbled, embrace real wisdom today. Decide to make a stand to walk in Godly wisdom. Speak honestly to your children and explain to them what you are going to do. Don’t hold back in putting boundaries in place.
There are parental control apps for the internet, such as:
Family Link, Net Nanny, Qustodio, or Norton Family
Don’t be pressurized regarding your children’s ‘rights’. They have the right to grow up in a home and school environment free from immorality, and they have a right that their parents know where they are at all times. Schools have Internet these days. Be aware of what teachers may be showing children to keep them occupied while they mark books. The school principle should know you by name if necessary. Do not keep quiet. Speak up. Do not be scared to take your child’s phone, TV or computer away if it comes to that. Help them find appropriate viewing and stay in touch with their activities on social media. If you are not comfortable with their sleepover or weekend plans, say no. And then fill the void their cancelled plans create with yourself. Take them on a walk in the forest and just chat, or a bicycle ride and then a milkshake.
How can you dare do this? Who do you think you are? You are a Parent who loves your child! It is time to jump out of that hot pot. Go for it, God is on your side!
A fellow parent xx
PS. I have included David’s song of repentance, taken from the Passion Translation of the Bible, because it is so thought-provoking and beautiful:
Psalm 51 Pardon and Purity
For the Pure and Shining One
A prayer of confession when the prophet Nathan exposed King David’s adultery with Bathsheba
1–2 God, give me mercy from your fountain of forgiveness!
I know your abundant love is enough to wash away my guilt.
Because your compassion is so great,
take away this shameful guilt of sin.
Forgive the full extent of my rebellious ways,
and erase this deep stain on my conscience.
3–4 For I’m so ashamed.
I feel such pain and anguish within me.
I can’t get away from the sting of my sin against you, Lord!
Everything I did, I did right in front of you, for you saw it all.
Against you, and you above all, have I sinned.
Everything you say to me is infallibly true
and your judgment conquers me.
5 Lord, I have been a sinner from birth,
from the moment my mother conceived me.
6 I know that you delight to set your truth deep in my spirit.
So come into the hidden places of my heart
and teach me wisdom.
7 Purify my conscience! Make this leper clean again!
Wash me in your love until I am pure in heart.
8 Satisfy me in your sweetness, and my song of joy will return.
The places within me you have crushed
will rejoice in your healing touch.
9 Hide my sins from your face;
erase all my guilt by your saving grace.
10 Create a new, clean heart within me.
Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please you.
11 May you never reject me!
May you never take from me your sacred Spirit!
12 Let my passion for life be restored,
tasting joy in every breakthrough you bring to me.
Hold me close to you with a willing spirit
that obeys whatever you say.
13 Then I can show to other guilty ones
how loving and merciful you are.
They will find their way back home to you,
knowing that you will forgive them.
14 O God, my saving God,
deliver me fully from every sin,
even the sin that brought bloodguilt.
Then my heart will once again be thrilled to sing
the passionate songs of joy and deliverance!
15 Lord God, unlock my heart, unlock my lips,
and I will overcome with my joyous praise!
16 For the source of your pleasure is not in my performance
or the sacrifices I might offer to you.
17 The fountain of your pleasure is found
in the sacrifice of my shattered heart before you.
You will not despise my tenderness
as I humbly bow down at your feet.
18 Because you favor Zion, do what is good for her.
Be the protecting wall around Jerusalem.
19 And when we are fully restored,
you will rejoice and take delight
in every offering of our lives
as we bring our sacrifices of righteousness before you in love!