How is a fool made? What happens to her relationships? Today AMBrewster details the sad state of affairs in the life and relationships of a zombie, and he helps Christian parents understand the weight and significance of unchecked foolishness.
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One of the common threads that ties together the families whom I serve at Victory Academy is the fact that sin has caused a lot of relational carnage in the family.
And that’s what sin does. It’s hurts everyone all the time.
Today we want to look at how a zombie is created, how they interact with each other, how non-zombies interact with them, and how they interact with non-zombies.
But before we do that, if this is your first time with us, I welcome you. Truth.Love.Parent. is all about helping dads and moms became the parents God called and created them to be.
My wife and I have have two kids ages 11.5 and 9. But we are also temporary parents to eight teenage guys ages 13-18 and mentors to two college age men who work as Residence Assistants with us at Victory Academy for Boys.
If you know of a family where the boy refuses to obey his parents, I would ask you to tell them about our ministry. I’ve met too many people who have — with a look of sad longing in their eyes — said, “I wish I had known a place like yours existed.”
Also, this is part 4 of a series called “Parenting a Zombie.” If you did not hear the first three, please stop this episode and check those out.
Lastly, for nearly every show we include a free transcript and episodes notes on our blog, Taking Back the Family. You can find it and many other valuable resources at TruthLoveParent.com.
Okay, let’s talk about zombie relationships.
In the movies, zombies are made by being infected, and that normally includes being bitten by other zombies.
Now, before we continue, I have to point out that the spiritual realities of zombie behavior have more in common with zombies from The Walking Dead than they do others.
In The Walking Dead, everyone on the planet carries the virus that will eventually turn them into zombies when they die. Even if they never come in contact with the reanimated dead, every person who dies of even natural causes will come back to life as a walker.
That’s closer to the spiritual reality, but it’s not there.
Humans are born in sin. We’re infected with it in the womb. We come into this world as tiny zombies dead-set on getting what we want when we want it, doing what we want when we want to do it, and crying when someone or something gets in our way.
Of course, most children — even the unsaved ones — develop social graces and enough fleshly self-control to function in life without annoying too many people. That doesn’t mean they’re living for any higher or nobler goal, it just means they’ve stopped — for the most part — hitting each other with toys to get what they want.
But, left unchecked, even adults will start acting like kids. Addictions, violence, rampant sexuality, fierce competition in the work place, gossip at church, speeding, and the like are things that man-babies and woman-babies do. We’re going to do what we’re going to do and we’re going to throw a tempter tantrum if we don’t get our way.
And we somehow justify it because we’re older.
The image I want us to have is that we’re all prone to zombie behavior. And though some people may look more decomposed and though their breathing may rattle more than ours, zombie behavior is zombie behavior.
Basically, we’re born zombies, and it’s God’s common grace that keeps us from being as foolish and sinful as we could be.
But that doesn’t mean that being bitten by other zombies won’t cause us more problems.
1. Zombies are made by being bitten by other zombies.
Consider Proverbs 13:20: “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
When we (or our children) hang out with zombies, they will be harmed. Like we learned last time, zombies feed on folly, themselves, and other people. When your kids hang out with zombies, they’re on the menu.
And as they’re fed upon by the folly of the fools with whom they associate, they will likely become more and more like them.
Before we read Proverbs 1:8-19, let me encourage you to listen to our “Friends” series that starts in episode 164. That will be a good follow-up to today’s discussion.
Okay, Proverbs 1:8-19 reads, “Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”— my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.”
I cannot over-exaggerate the significant impact your kids’ friends will have on them. And I cannot over-exaggerate the fact that too many parents have hardly any idea who their kids’ friends are.
If your child is growing in their zombie-like tendencies, then they’re potentially in the company of other zombies. Don’t forget I Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.’”
And the really scary thing is that your zombie children won’t know any better. There they’ll be, acting foolishly, enjoying their folly, and — in God’s eyes — they’re literally chewing on each other’s flesh, slowing destroying each other. They think they’re having fun, but they’re lying in wait for their own blood, ambushing their own lives, and they’re going to lose their lives.
That’s how fools relate to each other. Here’s how other’s respond to them.
2. Just like with zombies, people will try to hurt the fool.
Proverbs 18:6 says, “A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.”
Proverbs 19:18 tells us to, “Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.”
We’ve touched on this verse before, but — in case you hadn’t heard that episode — then let me explain it a bit.
The Jewish law made provision for executing a rebellious son. Deuteronomy 21:18-21, “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”
But even though the law allowed it, God prefers that parents dedicate themselves to disciplining their children.
The point I want to make is this, as horrible as it would be to consider killing your children in this dispensation, the fact of the matter is that fools are so destructive that people will often consider death as the only remedy.
Of course it’s not, but this exemplifies the horrendous nature of foolishness.
So, instead of killing the fool . . .
3. Some people try to limit and discipline the zombie.
Proverbs 14:3, “By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back.”
Proverbs 19:29, “Condemnation is ready for scoffers, and beating for the backs of fools. “
Proverbs 22:15, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.”
Proverbs 14:3, “By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.”
Proverbs 26:3, “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.”
The idea of a rod is the corrective discipline of painful consequences. It’s an attempt to remind the child that sin hurts, but the pain received from the rod is nothing compared to the death and destruction that comes from being a fool.
These three points show us how others relate to the fool, next two show us how others are affected by the fool.
1. Those who trust the Zombie regret it.
Proverbs 26:6, “Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.”
Proverbs 26:8, “Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool.”
Proverbs 26:10, “Like an archer who wounds everyone is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.”
Proverbs 29:9, “If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.”
There’s never a time when interacting with a zombie is a beneficial experience.
There’s a similar example I could pull from my martial arts experience. In a knife fight, everyone loses. There is very little chance that the attacker or the defender will escape that conflict without being cut somehow.
It doesn’t matter if you’re arguing with a fool, hiring a fool, tasking a fool with a responsibility, or even trying to give honor to a fool . . . you will regret it.
Sometimes I encounter parents who have a zombie child, and they believe that giving the child opportunities to succeed will help reform them. But this is an example of trying to train without the right education and interpretation. Without the proper instruction and accountability, the fool takes those learning opportunities and destroys them . . . often leaving the parents regretting their choice.
And this leads us to our next observation.
2. Those who love the Zombie are broken hearted.
Proverbs 10:1, “A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.”
Proverbs 15:20, “A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.”
Proverbs 17:21, “He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow, and the father of a fool has no joy.”
Proverbs 17:25, “A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.”
Proverbs 19:13, “A foolish son is ruin to his father.”
All throughout the Bible we read about the heartache of siring a fool. Every parent of a terrorist, every parent of rebellious child knows this to be true.
So far we’ve seen how people react to fools and how the fools affects them. This last point shows us that the fool isn’t interested in changing.
1. The Zombie doesn’t care about anything.
Proverbs 23:9,”Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.”
Proverbs 17:10, "A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding than a hundred blows into a fool.”
Proverbs 27:22, “Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his folly will not depart from him.”
Proverbs 29:9, “If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.”
Now, again, I admit that this isn’t very encouraging. And there are many of you living in this reality right now.
Trust me. This is important. I work with many parents every year, and each year many of them come to me for assistance, but they don’t truly understand the scope or magnitude of the problem. They don’t understand their own involvement in the problem.
It’s like driving my car off a cliff, and then wondering why the mechanic won’t have it ready for me next week.
My understanding of the problem is going to keep me from knowing what it’s really going to take to fix the problem.
One of my goals is that I want us to truly see our children for what they are. Even our little babies are unregenerate sinners. The moment we see them as innocent blank slates brimming with the positive potential of the universe, we’re failing our kids.
We need to roll of our sleeves, grab God’s Word, and wear out the knees of our jeans in prayer. We need to acknowledge that parenting is a life-or-death struggle against sin, and our kids do not start their lives on our side.
The saddest thing I see in broken families is not a child who foolishly invites destruction into his life because he’s living for his own sinful pleasures. The saddest thing I see are parents who think it’s normal, no big deal, a minor problem, or something they hope their kid will grow out of.
But the absolute saddest thing I see — and I mean this; In my mind, there is nothing more tragic — are parents who blithely step into parenting thinking that everything will be okay if they just provide the kid’s basic necessities, when they think that clothes and food and school are more important than a deep understanding of God’s Truth, when they live like everything will be okay as long as they teach their child to be true to themselves and respect others.
Without a solid understanding of the nature and consequences of sin, and without a determined focus on Christ and His Gospel, our kids do not have a chance.
Please, take the time to study the passages on today’s episode notes. They’re linked in the description.
On our next episode we’ll talk about consequences that will come when our children are allowed to continue in their zombie behavior. We must not be blind to it. We have to come face to face with the fact that the consequences we’ve seen and the destruction God’s promises are levied against our youngest children.
Lastly, please allow me to thank Johanna for being a cherished Patron of Truth.Love.Parent. Without the sacrificial gifts of our Patrons, TLP couldn’t do what it’s doing.
Will you please consider patterning with us. It’s easy to set up and can be as simple as just $1 a month. Just click the “5 Ways to Support TLP” link below to see your options.
Listen, I know how hopeless you may feel right now. But don’t believe that lie. This is not a zombie movie where a few communities of bedraggled survivors must face the impossible odds of rebuilding society in a world where the zombies are a lost cause.
No, we serve a God of change who has and is the cure.
See you next time.
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