Ephesians 6 reads.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and have done all, to stand.
The “darkness of our age” comes from covert and overt places. On the overt occasions, we can see and respond with our opinion when we encounter a situation or question about our faith. We try to teach our children the Biblical foundations of living a Christ-like life, and how to respond to the many challenges each day that we experience. There are times when we can witness to our friends, family, and children during a family dinner, a phone conversation, or a ride in the car.
The covert places of “darkness” are what I worry about. The daily saturation of our friends, family and children with social media that is constantly barraging their hearts and minds to see things they shouldn’t see and tempt them in ways they may not be prepared. Our “armor of God” can be eroded each day by one swipe, one comment on a post, and the daily grind of trying to keep up with a technologically connected world.
I worry about the sexually explicit images young boys are tempted with every day. Social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are constantly saturating our sons, nephews, and grandsons with sexually implicit images that demean women. How do I know this? Because I have profiles on these platforms to see what my children are experiencing. Literally, they are one click away from pornography, on their phone, without any accountability.
The simple nature of “staying connected” with friends can create a desire to be included and accepted in a fictitious world that will never be satisfied. Rather than having a strong foundation of faith in Christ, believing they are loved for who they are, regardless of what they look like, that they are loved, cherished, and were perfectly designed by their Father in Heaven, our young people and adults are being barraged with images and ideas that they are missing something. The pressures and temptations of social media platforms cause our youth to question their looks, wish they had more material items like their “cool friends” who are having so much fun without them, and seed a constant desire that they should be something different than they are. You are missing out…if you only had…you would be so much happier if you only…you would be so much thinner, funnier, cooler, and the list goes on of feelings and desires that will never be met.
The only constant and predictable solution to ridding ourselves of selfish desires, eliminating feelings of inadequacy, and removing doubt and guilt from our lives is following Jesus Christ. When I hear of someone’s unhappiness or troubles, I think “they need some Jesus.” Jesus is the one who removes all shame, doubt, and unhappiness. Jesus is the one who turned away the devil, in the flesh, after being tempted many times. Having “more Jesus” in our lives is not some cliché statement without tangible meaning. Our God, who came to earth to be a man in our flesh as Jesus, changed the course of the world for billions of people by providing us guidance and a formula to a genuine sense of fulfillment, satisfaction and happiness in our lives.
Wondering how to get your family, friends, or children on the right course? I would implore you to find a great Bible-based church, in person or online, to listen and read the words of our Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only “true armor” that will ride with us each day that will fulfill us when times of doubt and temptation arise. No doubt, these moments will happen but our faith in Jesus is the best defense against a world of sin working against those that we love.