Your home can be an ark of safety or a prison of isolation. What it is depends on what you want it to be. Frankly, there’s a lot of difference between the two, but the darker the world and more violent our culture, the more important it is that your home be a safe zone, a place where your kids are physically, emotionally, and spiritually safe.
It is interesting to the thoughtful observer of what’s happening out there, that history repeats itself. If you were to choose two words which summarize our world today, perhaps even the streets which intersect your neighborhood, the words corrupt and violent would be quite accurate. Do what I just did this morning: Count the number of times you see the word violent or violence in the news. Take a red felt pen and circle them. You will be surprised.
No, you won’t find the term corrupt mentioned very often, but you’ll find descriptions of it as it plays out in life—the politician who has taken money and stashed it in his Swiss bank account, thinking that he’s above the law, the president of the corporation who has laundered bribes under the counter, the star who sleeps her way to the silver screen, and the cop who turns his head to protect his buddy.
Am I fair in suggesting that corruption and violence have become two of the hallmarks of what is happening today? OK, is any of this new? I mentioned your home as an “ark of safety.” Remember? Do you recall the great ark that God instructed old Noah to build? Right—Genesis 6 in your Bible. No, it wasn’t a myth or a fairy tale. It’s history, and what is significant, relating to this commentary, is that Moses used those two words—corrupt and violent—to describe the culture that was a stench in the nostrils of God. Genesis 6 says, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence.”
Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. Genesis 6:11
The record of Moses is that God finally said, “Enough is enough!” Here’s the story: “God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth’” (Genesis 6:12,13).
It is also noteworthy that when Jesus Christ talked about the end of the age, He used the days of Noah as a parallel showing what to expect. The ark, which Noah finally constructed, became home to his family and an ark of safety, a shelter from the storm, an escape from the corruption and violence of the age– but it could have been a prison of isolation.
Noah took his three sons—probably young men who had recently married. Moses described Noah using three terms: righteous, blameless before his generation, and one who walked with God—a pretty good recommendation. But the young women who married into the family didn’t know him, as did Noah’s three sons. And what might their mothers have told them? Perhaps, “You have married into a bunch of religious crazies, absolute fanatics who think the world is going to be destroyed by a flood. If you go into that ark, it’s going to be worse than a prison.”
Who knows? But I do know that you as a parent can make your home an ark of safety, protecting your kids from the corruption and violence of the world, and someday, you will be very, very glad that you did.
We cannot control the severity of the storm out there, but you can maintain an atmosphere of peace and tranquility within the four walls of the house you call home.
Instead of cursing the corruption and violence, focus on making your home an ark of safety. Noah did and saved his boys. You may well do the same thing.
Resource reading: Genesis 6:1-22
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally entitled, “What Does God Say About Parenting in a Violent World?”