“Family-friendly”? (Colossians 3:20–21)

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” —Colossians 3:20–21 (ESV)

A saboteur has not only been largely welcomed into our midst, but afforded a cabinet position. We’ve promoted the spy.

While fleeing Absalom (2 Samuel 15–17), David strategically sent one of his loyal advisors, Hushai the Archite, back into Jerusalem under the guise of a defector, with the purpose to give bad counsel veiled as wisdom. It takes a great deal of cunning to disguise folly as wisdom. Hushai successfully offered what seemed to be superior counsel which proved Absalom’s undoing.

A Hushai is in our midst, but one that is not loyal to God’s King. He isn’t a servant of the Savior, but the serpent. He is just as sly, dressing up folly as wisdom, but to the saint’s destruction. His successful campaign flies under the banner “family-friendly.” A couple of examples should suffice.

We have “family-friendly” programming for TV, so that the children are occupied while dad and mom do their own thing. Rather than being educated in adulthood, adolescence is reinforced, and this is said to be friendly to the family? The commercials are “friendly” as well, catering to the children, developing an addictive appetite for more stuff. We keep the tube playing just so that we won’t be interrupted by pleas of “I want!”

We have the family-friendly church; a safe place to drop off the kids and escape them for a while. We segregate the family in the name of family-friendliness. The family is segregated so each individual can do church in a way attractive to them. And we wonder why once they’ve grown, we have a traditional church, a contemporary church, and others suited to personal taste.

Instead of such safe, sterile, “family-friendly” environments, what our children desperately need is some fresh air. They need some parental supervised and sponsored danger that prepares them for life outside the bubble. Instead, we coddled them into perpetual immaturity.

Like Theoden, a Grima Wormtongue has climbed the ranks, serving as our chief advisor. We are so poisoned by his lies that we cannot see the truth. We believe our sickness to be health. Our only hope is the liberating grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Before this section on parenting and children, Paul first addresses marriage. In both instances, Paul is dealing with life in Christ. Enveloping the family, is the Christ who is sovereign over all, in whom we died and rose to the heights.

It is because Christ is not honored as Lord that children do not honor their parents.

It is because Christ is not honored as Lord that parents are not honorable.

We must repent, destroy these idols of family-friendliness, slay Hushai as a spy, and bow the knee to Christ Jesus.

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