I have been battling a family of “voles” (lawn mice) under my front porch who occasionally frustrate me with small holes in my front lawn. I thought I had fully eradicated them this past summer, or at least encouraged them to harass a neighbor instead. But a few weeks ago some new holes opened up in my front lawn and it was time to re-engage in the battle. I pulled out my vole traps, seasoned them with peanut butter, and provided a tasty trail of oats from their hole to my perfectly placed trap. A week went by with no action in my traps. And then a surprise snowstorm blanketing our community, my front lawn, and my traps. After my son made a snow fort in my yard, my traps were kicked into random places under piles of snow, though oddly still fully set. I let them be, mostly out of laziness (it is cold outside!). Then recently I came home and discovered one of my traps had caught a vole! Even after sitting there in the cold for weeks, and being kicked around, the temptation of the bait was too much to resist.
The apostle Peter reminds us that our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). His desire is to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). He is an expert in setting traps (see Genesis 3). And he can be relentless. And our children are his desired targets. Developing disciples committed to Jesus is the biggest threat to his evil plans.
I was amazed that even though my bait was old and frozen, and my traps were well out of place, they eventually still captured their prey. We should be reminded that the traps of the enemy are still present and effective in luring our children. As parents, may we remain vigilant to protect our children with consistent training. May our homes be a place of love and safety and constant truth. May the bait of the enemy be so bland and cold and distant that it has no chance with our children. As we find small "holes" in the landscape of our lives, let us re-engage in the battle.