Verse: "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1 John 5:21)
Meditation: When children are very young, pleasing their parents is their delight, and the affectionate love of their parents is their reward. Ad we get older, it becomes easier and easier for these things to be supplanted by other things. Teenagers want to please the friends, for example, and social acceptance becomes their reward. Part of this is simply the normal growing-up process, but some of it is watching sinful idolatry flower. We don't want to stop them from growing up; but how do we keep them from idols? One of the main ways is to keep ourselves from idols. We have to demonstrate the centrality of God in our own lives in a way that our children can observe us. And that means, too, not living our lives to please our children. We have to put God first in the same way that we would want them to put God first.
Prayer: Father, we know that our hearts are idol factories, that we are regularly giving our love and allegiance to something or someone besides you. Search our hearts, Lord, and make us to discover these so that they may be rooted out. Make us models for our children, not that we would be their idols, but that we would truly point them to you. Amen.