When I first accepted Jesus as Lord, I knew my life would be changed and would have to change even more. That has been a struggle to say the least. Jesus spoke of "little foxes" ruining the vinyard. After 10 years, I understand this verse. The big foxes aren't an issue. Greed, pornography, malice, slander...all of those were easily dispatched at the moment of my salvation. Even the litte foxes were kept at bay for a while. But, as my brothers and sisters out there can attest, they creep in eventually. Even the big ones pop up from time to time and I end up on my knees, praying for the Lord to take 'em out, like some cosmic game of Whack a Mole (remember that?).
I had started this blog today with the intention of talking about my daughter, who is bursting into her teenage years with a vengance. She, unlike me, has been raised as a Christian and embraces her faith. However, the little foxes give her (or me) no rest either. I'd like to believe that I can drop her into the world and that she'll maintain a proper bearing, resisting all forms of temptation, but that's just not the case. She is easily drawn into the same self-centered behavior typical of teenagers, often even mean-spirited.
It upsets me, but it's also a reminder that this Christian walk is not something to be undertaken with a passive attitude. Like marriage, it takes work, hard work. Yes, we're saved by faith, but living the life Christ wants for us takes effort on our part. Like a marriage, my wife may stick with me because she made a promise, but our happiness takes effort from both sides.
So, while I'm chasing the little foxes around my vinyard with a broomstick, I have to keep one eye on my children's vinyards as well, pointing out the little foxes to them as well. No easy task, this parenting thing.