Read this, Matthew 18.6-9
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. ;Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”
The word stumble is defined in the Greek “to cause to sin” The implication being that we provide the circumstances which contribute to sinful behavior. (Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains).
How would a person who loves Christ, create the circumstances “to cause sin”. The context here in Matthew 18 is children. Of course harming a child physically or sexually is pretty much the worst, as Jesus gives a very strong metaphor of judgement. but what about…..
—Yelling and swearing at your children? Putting them down and berating them. They will live with these wounds and it will be a stumbling block. They will struggle with anger, depression, identity, and their self worth.
—Not living for Christ in your home (thus causing them to stumble). No prayer, no Bible, no saying grace, no standards on TV, Cable, Redbox, or Netflix. Not honoring God in your home will make faith unimportant and they will struggle and won’t honor God most likely either.
—Not making worship and Christ a first priority.
—Skipping church, worship, children’s discipleship (your kids will stumble in life without Christ in their life now). If church is not important to you, it will not be important to them. We live in a dark world and need all of God and positive friendships we can get and our children do too.
—Neglecting them and causing them to hurt, be angry, be lonely, and feel unwanted.
—Not spending time with them. Listening, talking, laughing and letting them know a lot, that they are loved, and treasured, secure, and important.
—Allowing ungodliness in their lives that cause them to stumble. I am dumbfounded and honestly very irritated by the R rated movies parents are ok with their kids seeing. Sex scenes, F-bombs, Nudity, and Christian parents just drop them off at the mall, like it was a youth group event. This is causing the circumstances in their life for sin and Jesus is speaking directly to this issue in Matthew 18. We must guard our children!
—Not paying attention to your kids online activity. Just handing them a phone or Ipod, Ipad with total access to Vine (no filter porn is on Vine), the internet (25 % of the internet is now porn), etc. Not responsible parenting at all nd could very well cause them to stumble. The nicest kids can be trapped in sick, sexual, junk online, not too mention adult predators posing as kids. Please protect them from those who promote evil online. Protect them from the flesh. Protect them from sexual perverts, porn, and potential long-term addictions that will hurt them and their future spouse and family.
—Buying them whatever they want without having them work, or do chores. Their work-ethic will stumble, thus their family will someday. They will become lazy and have an attitude of entitlement.
—Not living for Christ and being examples of a growing Christian will cause them to not live for Jesus also.
I know parenting is hard, and many of these things seem like no big deal when kids are younger, but I have been in the ministry for 28 years and have youth pastored for 10 of them and pastored students and families and these things tend to manifest themselves.
So maybe we can all take a Turn in our parenting and really not put a stumbling Block in the way of a child, our children or anyone else. Jesus is pretty serious about this and we should be too. Changes in homes need to be made. And Jesus through the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do this. So go for it, and remove stumbling blocks and bless your kids with a life free from the crap of the world.
The New International Version. (2011). (Mt 18:6–7). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.