Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. So. of Sol. 2:15
The formula for a successful future for your child lies to a large degree in their daily routine. In the daily routine of life habits are converted into character that lasts a lifetime. In that routine “little foxes” can sneak in with us being unaware and develop into dragons that destroy life! As parents we need to be on guard to protect our children from these predators. To our shame, often we open the door and let these “little foxes” in through our own lives lived out in front of our children. Search out these seven little foxes before they ruin those tender vines!
1. A Little Laziness (Pr. 6:10-11)
A little laziness grows bigger and leads to poverty in many areas of a child’s life. Chase that little fox out of each child’s life while they are still young. They can get up on their own. Buy them an alarm clock and make them use it. They can make the bed, clean their room, put away the toys neatly, and help with house hold choirs like the dishes. Parents, follow through with a list of daily routines each child is expected to do and inspect it!
2. A Little Folly (Ecc. 10:1)
Teach your children the difference between good wholesome fun and folly. Folly is vanity and has no lasting value. Folly tears down, teases, discourages, is mischievous, and will eventually cause shame. Build your children in wisdom and honor. Read together as a family. Talk together, plan together, serve together, and play together. Just as an example, the TV steals family unity and togetherness and in my opinion is usually folly. And in many homes it’s not just a little fox but a fire-breathing dragon!
3. Little Faith (Matt. 6:30)
Without faith it’s impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6) but also the Lord is displeased by our little faith. Take advantage of opportunities to nurture “mustard-seed-size faith” in your children. Remember faith comes by hearing God’s Word. It should be heard continually in our homes. I would suggest keeping a family prayer journal to help in building faith by seeing God answer prayer.
4. Little Love (Lk. 7:47)
We are all tempted to leave our first love from time to time. (Rev. 2:4) Maybe that’s why Jesus summed up all the law in one command, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind..” Be alert to anything or anybody that comes into your child’s life and steals that first love for the Lord!
5. A Little Leaven (1 Cor. 5:6)
No one wants a little cancer, do they? Yet we tolerate a little leaven in our homes. It comes in many different disguises such as: books, games, toys, videos, music, TV, radio, and clothing. Sometimes it comes in the form of a dishonoring attitude as opposed to open rebellion. None of us live or die to ourselves. These foxes can destroy a whole family. Be alert to the wiles of the devil! (Rom. 14:7, 1 Cor. 15:33, 1 Pet. 5:8)
6. The Little Tongue (Ja. 3:5-6)
Insist your children speak kindly one to another. They need to speak respectfully to all their elders. Only good, loving, gentle, truthful words should be acceptable in our homes. Our homes are to be a refuge, not a war zone. Parents, it begins with you.
7. Little Gratitude (Zech. 4:10)
Develop an attitude of gratitude for our daily usual blessings. This includes our family, home, food, health, church, and salvation. The list is endless. Children should be taught by example to have a grateful spirit. If gratefulness does not flow from their lives, you know a fox has stolen something precious. Rescue that child before it’s too late.
Love your children enough to be ALERT to the dangers outlined above. An ounce of prevention is worth a TON of cure. But when cure is needed it is ALWAYS rooted in the gospel. (Repentance, confession, forgivness, peace)
Wise parents are alert for these same dangers in their own lives.