Thursday, June 17, 2010


Last week, Bill and I had an adventure with our computer that involved a strange virus and the installation of firewalls.  It is a long story which engulfed two evenings and an afternoon, but we overcame the online disease, thanks to one of our computer-savvy daughters.  The security system is now in place.


Back in the 1760s when the word was first coined, firewalls were designed to prevent one small fire from spreading without control and wiping out entire neighborhoods.  The firewalls could not prevent a fire from starting, but they could keep it contained until it could be extinguished.  Nowadays with computers, we think of firewalls as fortresses to keep out a deadly foe, when in actuality, it is an internal mechanism to rout out what is unwanted .  It does not defend as much as it controls and rejects.


As far as parenting goes, it is all too tempting to build battalions around our kids, “protecting” them from innumerable foes around them, when indeed, they need not so much the barbed wire on the outside as they need the scaffolding within.  You never know what is truly dangerous to them.   As a result, your kids need  internal equipment and awareness.  They need firewalls to help them know how to engage and disarm what will take them down--  socially, emotionally, and spiritually.   Talk about Biblical worldview, so that they can see for themselves a different perspective.  Let them articulate their observations, listen to their concerns, help them to think through the real questions, not just adopt your words or memorize a script of sorts.  Let them actually use the firewalls while they are under your roof.  You will not always be around to protect them, but God is.  They need to experience that.  The firewalls may help them avoid trouble, but when difficulties invade (and they will), your kids will know what to do about them – and not just embrace it or run away.  They can engage the culture, ask the right questions, and defend the Truth.


Just another tool for their toolbox.

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