It’s that time of year again, so I thought I would kick-off this column the right way. Intentional grounding is a rather common mistake that a quarterback may slip up and make when he is not careful.
Intentional grounding is the name of a penalty in the game of American football in which the quarterback is about to be sacked (tackled behind the line of scrimmage) and out of desperation, he throws the ball in a place either on the field or in the stands where there is no possibility of a player catching the ball.
Intentional grounding is a penalty because it is an illegitimate way to avoid getting sacked. Either way, there is lost yardage on the play. Who wants to lose yardage, right? Doesn’t it hurt when we work so hard to get ahead, but we get set back by something, and we wind up losing yardage? Yes, it hurts!
Well, contrary to the penalty in the great game of American football, this column discusses why we do need to implement intentional grounding in our children’s lives (Ephesians 3:14-19).
There is something we all need to be very conscious of and that is the realization that there are two worlds of influence that we live in, according to the Bible.
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
You see, there is a whole side of world power we can’t even understand apart from the scriptures and the Holy Spirit. But we do know that Satan infiltrates the world very heavily, and Jesus calls us out of this world and into His world. So basically, there is worldly influence, and there is heavenly influence.
In light of all of this, Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” This implies that there is a giant tug‑of‑war going on between the two worlds, and we are caught up in the middle of the rope.
Satan calls us one way, which is this world’s way, and Satan’s way leads to death; whereas Jesus calls us His way, the heavenly way, which leads to life. So, when we send our kids and young students off to school, there will be a surrounding influence that will infiltrate the ”ground level” of their lives – if indeed there is wide open ground available for infiltration.
Whether it is at school, a party, the skating rink, a neighbor’s home, the bus, on Facebook, on Instagram, on Snapchat or even at a youth event at church, which influence do you believe will be prominent – worldly or heavenly?
Coming from someone who pastors youth students and works at a Christian school, I can tell you worldly influence finds its way to even the healthiest of environments. We try so hard to build a healthy environment, we are in constant prayer, worship and service, and we do our very best to plaster the walls and fill in the leaks with the Word of God. Even still, it may seem small, it may seem discreet, but the world always finds the cracks. As long as sin and flesh still exists, so do their influences … and their problems.
The point is; we can’t solely trust other environments to ground our children properly. There needs to be intentional grounding at home.
When you look at the news channels and see the problems of this world, it’s bad enough; but when those problems walk through the doors of your home, sit at your table, mock you along with your principles, and they are riding on your children’s’ backs, those problems become a bit more personal. The thing is, this happens; and it is difficult to deal with; but if we do our part at home, this is less likely to happen; and if it does it is not likely to last long. The reason for this is that prominent influence starts at home.
If we are unintentionally allowing our children to make their own way, the world and its deadly influence will dominate their minds and their hearts.
Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Intentionally grounding our children in God’s Word is for their benefit. When our children are up to bat, the pitcher throws a curve ball and they are used to the fast ball they will know the difference and they will hesitate to swing.
In other words, if we ground our children in truth of Scripture and they are up against making a right or wrong decision, they will know the right decision to make because they recognize right and wrong very clearly. That is the first step in making good decisions: knowing them!
The second step in making good decisions is knowing why to make them. All of these answers are in God’s Word and in God’s character – heavenly world stuff! That is a benefit of the two worlds – they are worlds apart!
A lot of this can only be properly taught and received from the daily living at home. Perhaps when your child is older, they walk through the fields of rebellion. Your child will still know the truth, and understand what is right – even if they don’t act like it.
This grounding of the faith may be the only beacon of light in their lives that they are able to receive, but it is a bright and shining light that is strong enough to guide them back to Jesus in God’s timing. It may take some bitter tastes from the world to remember the sweetness of the Lord and His comfort, but the reward for grounding your child in the way of the Lord is very wonderful (Proverbs 29:17).
Intentional grounding may not look so stellar from the sidelines, but it makes all the difference in the world to your children.
Isaac Redman is a 22-year-old youth pastor at Pleasant Grove Church. He is a servant of Christ and loves music and the outdoors