The Need to Belong
Proverbs 1:11–12, 14
“If they say, Come with us. Let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse.”
Let’s look more closely at those things that cause our children to give in to the enticements of sin. First there is the need to belong. These three verses make this clear. Notice the five uses of the word us in this passage. Children have a strong desire to be accepted. This is a part of nature and is not in itself rebellion. However, the forces of sin understand this drive and use it to seduce the naïve to fall in with the wrong crowd.
Consider your children. Each of them wants to feel accepted. Some are not accepted by their peers because of the way they dress, some because they are not academically sharp, some because they are not athletic, or a thousand other reasons. These children feel ostracized and are susceptible to following anyone who will show them attention. This is obvious in verse 14 when the child is willing to give his cash to this wicked crowd in order to belong.
As parents, be conscious of children—yours or others—who are on the outskirts. Make a point to draw them in and show them you love them and that they belong. Do not allow other children, brothers or sisters, to make fun of them or to leave them out. Teach your child the evils of mocking those who do not measure up. Champion those who are left out before others. Use every small victory in their lives as a platform to compliment them. Better they throw in their lot with godly parents than with the ungodly who will only take advantage of them for their own gain.
Final thought: Make home the “accepting place.”