What do a lizard in the laundry, a garden, and Josh Duggar have in common? Well, I’ll tell you…
How it all began…
“Mommy, there’s a lizard in my laundry!”
Those aren’t words you hear everyday. I looked up from my computer and said,
“What? Honey, there isn’t a lizard in your laundry. It’s probably just a toy. Just go back to your room and sleep.”
It was nap time and her new — well, not new, more like continuous — habit is to come downstairs with some excuse for why she’s up or can’t sleep.
It drives me crazy. I’ve become calloused to the whole “jack-in-box” routine. Nap time is my time. I just wanted her to go back upstairs. There always seemed to be some excuse for her coming downstairs during nap time.
“But, Mommy, there is a lizard! Come see!”
I’m convinced she’s making it up. I’m half curious at what might look like a lizard, and half annoyed knowing that she’ll just come back down if someone doesn’t go and get whatever it is out of her room.
I nominate my seven year old son to go and survey the closet for lizard-like forms on the dirty clothes pile.
The next thing I hear from the hallway is,
“Whoops! I dropped it! Catch it!”
That got my mommy ears perked. I sat up a bit more on the couch, still sore from my surgery and limited as to what I can do physically.
“Look! Mom, there WAS a lizard — and I caught it!”
There it was! A baby green anole! My son was so proud of himself. Nothing makes a boy happier than holding a lizard.
The lizard was held and admired by all, then released to the “wild” to be with his “family.” My little girl went back upstairs to sleep happily knowing her room was clear of the “red” lizard she found — in her room. (Yes, we are still working on colors.)
But, in her room? Upstairs? How in the world does a baby lizard make its way upstairs to my daughter’s closet?
For some reason, the whole incident got me thinking about how sneaky sin can be — probably due to the complete awe I was still in as to how the silly, little thing got into the house and up to my daughter’s room.
In Genesis 3, we are told that there was a “sneaky lizard” that made Eve question God’s authority and word. Right there in the middle of paradise was an enemy. Adam and Eve didn’t know what hit them.
Later in Gen. 4:7 God even describes sin as being a bit sneaky, “…sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”
1 Peter 5:8 makes the devil sound pretty sneaky, too. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Am I taking the proper precautions to make sure sin is not sneaking into my life and my home?
How Do We Protect Our Families From “Sneaky Sin?”
We are a solid, Christian family. We love the Lord and are in His Word as close to daily as we can be. We homeschool. We are pretty conservative with what we allow into our home in the way of electronics, videos, magazines, etc. For goodness sakes, my thirteen year old doesn’t even have a cell phone yet!
Yet, I see Christian families being torn apart by sneaky sin that weaseled its way into their homes — lots of families. The story is, sadly, fairly common. Just look at all the Duggars have gone through. Josh Duggar was having affairs and no one was the wiser. What a horrible display of how one person’s sneaky sin could destroy a whole family — and ministry!
Before anyone casts the first stone at Josh or anyone else, we have to examine our own lives. We all have had sin sneak into our lives in one way or another. No, it may not have been as egregious as Josh Duggar’s nor have the devastating consequences as his did. However, we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We all live in a fallen world because of the consequence of sin.
So, what are we to do to keep sin from finding its way into our homes?
While there is no perfect formula, there are a few things we can do to decrease the odds of us or our children making life-altering, sinful choices.
Here are just a few things God has placed on my heart. You should pray about what He is putting on your heart. You may agree or disagree. That’s fine. Only God and His Word are infallible!
1. Know we are in a battle!
I think with the day-to-day busyness and normal, mundane routines, we sometimes forget. Distraction and busyness are two of the devil’s most effective ways of attack. He “prowls” around (1 Peter 5:8) and waits for “opportune” times to attack (Luke 4:13). The Bible says to “stand firm” & put on our armor!
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
2. Know we are all sinners in need of grace!
I honestly think the more upfront we are with our shortcomings, the more we teach our kids about God’s grace. Our kids see our sin! We lose our cool. We say the wrong things. We act unloving — and more I’m sure! They see it!! Don’t forget that! When you’ve messed up in front of your kids, you need to repent — to your kids! The more they see how we handle the sin in our lives, the more they will learn and understand how to deal with and repent of the sin in their lives.
3. Know that God’s Word says to be in God’s Word — & to pray!
It is so important to spend time in God’s Word. Keeping our knees dirty in prayer and our noses in His Word are vital to making it through our day — and keeping sin at bay. The more in tune we are with God’s heart by spending time in His Word, the more He turns our hearts to Him and strengthens us against temptation. In the desert when Jesus was tempted, He combatted the devil with His Word (Luke 4:1-13).
4. Know that we need to guard our environment!
Our home needs to be a haven. We not only need to pray throughout our homes, but we need to prayerfully consider what we allow into our homes. What electronics do we allow our kids access to? What filters will we put on? What books will we line our shelves with? What music will be playing or streaming through the ear buds in the house? What TV programs or movies will we allow to be viewed? Every home will have their own parameters.
I can’t tell you how powerful accountability has been in my life. Having a person to share my short-comings and failures with and to ask me the hard questions has made a world of difference in my walk with the Lord. As parents, we are that accountability for our kids. We are the “fruit inspectors” in their lives. We need to ask the hard questions and lovingly help them make the right choices that lead them to the truth and to the Lord.
So, how did the lizard get in the laundry? We still don’t know. All we know is that the lizard must have been on stealth mode and somehow made it upstairs and behind closed doors…
…that sneaky lizard!