One characteristic of a shepherd is that shepherds protect bravely. Think of the role of the shepherd in the Bible. They were protectors. In 1 Samuel 17, David - a young shepherd - tells of feats of killing lions and bears in order to protect his sheep! That's bravery!
So how can we, as men, protect bravely the people God has placed in our lives? It's all a matter of how we live. We have to live in order to protect our families from the negative influences that can cause harm and hurt in their lives.
Today I want you to think of 3 areas where hurt and harm can creep into the lives of your family - specifically your kids - and evaluate what you are doing to protect them in these areas.
- MEDIA - What standards are you setting for the influence that media has on your children? You are responsible for the things your children watch and listen to. What are you allowing them to be exposed to? If you're looking for a good tool to find out the content of the tv shows, music, and movies your kids are exposed to, check out this great resource: PluggedIn.com. It reviews current movies, music, and tv shows and gives you great information on what is influencing your children.
- FRIENDS - What standards have you set for the people who influence you kids? Are you making sure they have healthy friendships & are around people who will influence them in a positive way?
- INTERNET - The internet welcomes the world - good and bad - right into our living rooms and homes. What safeguards have you put on your kids' use of the internet in order to protect them from negative experiences or impacts? Can I suggest three?
- Computers are in "open" spaces only. Make sure the computer use is in the family room and not behind closed doors of a bedroom. This allows for more accountability and oversight!
- Passwords and time limits. Your computers and other devices that have online access should have a password where you can restrict your kids' access to the web. Establishing time limits as to how much time your child is allowed online is also helpful in protecting them from negative experiences online.
- Download an internet filter. You need some type of accountability and filter on your computer. Internet filters help block unwanted junk from the web that could negatively impact your child, as well as provide you with accountability to what your kids are exposing themselves to online. Two great programs I recommend are xxxchurch.com or Covenant Eyes.
It's time for men to go on the offensive and be the protector that God has called us to be for our families! We're called to protect bravely!