It had been a very long week. We had faced the funeral of a friend, many trips to the hospital to visit members who are sick and hurting, health scares with some of our precious youth, and stress aplenty at every turn.
We needed something to relieve the pressure.
I was on my way home near the end of said week. I called my dear wife to see how far away she and the kids were, and found out that they were about five minutes behind me. When I hung up the phone, the idea popped into my head immediately, fully formed, and I began to laugh and ease the truck forward just a little faster.
When I arrived I whipped the truck around behind the house, out of sight. I went inside, deactivated the alarm, and then re-activated it in stay mode. I cut all the lights back off, and went and hid behind a piece of furniture just inside the door.
A moment later I heard the keys in the lock. The door opened, and the alarm begin to beep. Dana walked past, then my oldest daughter, and behind her was my youngest daughter.
Now, for a little context to help your understanding, my youngest daughter for many years has made a habit of hiding in dark places and jumping out to scare us as we pass by. She is, in fact, very good at it. And that is why I felt no guilt whatsoever, as she walked by oblivious to my presence, about jumping out and screaming “Boo!”
I did not know it was possible for a human being to do quite so many things all at one time. Simultaneously, she screamed at the top of her lungs, jumped, threw her hands out wide, and landed on her posterior kicking her feet wildly.
I doubled over laughing. Everyone else gasped, and then a second later when they realized what had happened, joined me in my laughter.
For the record, I am glad that my wife is a very composed sort. She and I both have concealed carry permits, and regularly carry. Yes, I know what I did was dangerous. Please do not send me any letters lecturing me, because quite honestly, it was all worth it and I would do it over again.
It was a good thing for my daughter that I was not truly dangerous, because she, predictably, simply came unglued and lost all composure. But there are things far more dangerous to a home than a dad hiding in the shadows to jump out and scare his children.
I think of moral relativism, the idea that everyone of us can have “our own truth.” Isaiah 59:14 says, “truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Truth is not subject to whims or opinions, it is what it is, and when moral relativism enters a home we produce children who not only cannot find the truth, they do not even know there is such a thing as truth.
I think of a lack of faithfulness on the part of parents. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” A child growing up in a home where the parents are unfaithful to church, unfaithful to Bible reading, unfaithful to prayer, will grow up not valuing the very things that could nourish his soul and produce a godly Christian walk within him.
I think of the removal of consequences for actions. Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” And yet well-meaning parents often step in and remove the consequences of the wrongdoing of their children. What they do not seem to understand is that this merely emboldens a child to do greater and greater wrong, and that at some point they will do such wrong that a mother and father are incapable of removing the consequences.
There are many more dangers within a home, dangers far more real than a father jumping out to say “boo.” A godly parent should evaluate the home, and check for the hidden dangers within it. God has entrusted to us the spiritual rearing of our children. We do not have the luxury of farming it out to others, God will hold us accountable for it.
Check your home, mom and dad, shine the light of Scripture in every nook and cranny of it and make sure nothing spiritually dangerous is lurking within it.
Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, N.C., a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. Dr. Wagner can be contacted by email at email@example.com.