There is probably no one more aware of the ripple effect of sin than me. How can I say that you ask? Because I have witnessed the sin of my impatient anger crop up in my own kids (I’ll never tell which ones). I used to get on to them when they were impatient or had reactive anger and later would awake to the fact of where they learned it and if I didn’t Barbie was faithful to hold that “despised” spiritual mirror up to my face. I have repented both to the Lord and my kids for the horrible example I set and Barbie and I regularly do spiritual battle for the redemptive power of Christ in our lives and our family’s lives. We can never thank you enough Lord for your faithfulness to our family!
Over the years we have observed many sinful rocks drop in the pond of our lives, our kid’s lives and others. The ripples go on and on seemingly without end and if you watch the video below, you will notice that the point of impact becomes smooth water pretty quickly while the ripple waves grow wider as they expand endlessly outward.
When our son Wesley got into using and dealing drugs we quickly noticed how it began to affect others. At that point, with much initiation by Barbie, we went on the war path against Satan in spiritual battle as well as proactive steps in the natural – like turning our own son into the police. That day was not a happy day. Wesley expressed in terms I cannot repeat here the great betrayal he felt. When further corrective efforts on our part were met with scorn, we sent out request for prayer to everyone who would listen, conducted an intervention with family and pastors and eventually took the ultimate step of kicking him out of the house when he breeched the most basic of house rules.
I am sure we have lots and lots to learn about spiritual authority since the “greater works than these” Jesus spoke of are not all that plentiful in our lives. But with what little we did understand we fought and fought hard for Wesley with what most of you know to be a miraculous story of God answering the battle cry of prayer as the outcome.
As we have observed numerous other tragic events of sin impacting lives we have also witnessed various ways those impacted have responded to those sinful “rocks”. Some instances have seen quick repentance and hard fought battles. Others have seen a walk of denial or an understandable desire to be less than open about the event or person involved due to the shame it brings. But in all the cases above the ripple effect was and/or is present in varying degrees.
Although I walk with a greater patience than ever before, I still see impatient anger raising its ugly head on occasion in my family. And while I know Wesley’s heart of repentance and devotion to Christ, who can know those still affected today in the drug world. I know of one couple whose marriage is stronger than ever after surviving an affair while half of their children rejected Christ in the ensuing years. Another repentant individual is having an impact for Christ from a prison cell while almost all his children are living away from God.
Stories like mine and others are all too abundant. What can we do when we, our kids, a friend or a spouse gives into sin, an affair or chooses a deviant lifestyle? What can do to fight for our family, our marriages and our descendents? Exactly that, we fight and we fight hard. And we fight with as many others as we can muster. I am not suggesting that you must broadcast on facebook your particular battle, but our battle is against a large host of principalities in the heavenlies and we do not want to face that battle alone. Over the years, we have enlisted the company of close friends, home fellowship groups, our Sunday school, family and pastors to join in our hard fought battles. The lines of authority in scripture would suggest God gives special power in particular to parents and grandparents.
We must attack the enemy from as many angles as possible with less concern about any embarrassment it might bring and a greater awareness that some brief shame on this earth should always be cast aside in preference of the vastly greater prize of an eternity with Christ because the alternative is that same eternity away from Christ.