In a classic Roman tale, Jason leads a ship of men in a quest for the golden fleece. As all good stories go, there are many adventures, battles and catastrophes along the way. At one point in his journey at sea, Jason is about to encounter the Sirens. Homer’s epic poem described the Sirens as women living on three small islands who have the ability to sing beautiful songs which entice sailors to head toward the Sirens’ Island, wherupon they crash their ships on the shore and meet death and destruction.
Jason fears being lured to the Island, so he suggests that someone tie the sailors to the bow of the ship and not allow them head toward the Island no matter what. He believes the ropes could prevent him from responding to the alluring call of the Sirens.
Someone suggests that instead, Jason should seek the help of Orpheus, a poet and singer. Orpheus had the ability to play more beautiful songs, more loudly than the Sirens, effectively drowning out the Sirens’ bewitching songs so the ship might pass by safely.
While talking to dear friends recently, they reminded me of this story. It seems to me to be a paradigm of what we need to consider ourselves as doing for our children. When they are young, we not only build foundations of beauty and truth and love and goodness, but we also saturate them with the celebration of life and the joy of Christ in our homes, so they will always consider our home the most comforting, beautiful, peaceful place to be--the place of the most beautiful songs.
I have had many women say to me, "Why do you go to so much effort to maintain traditions, cook real food, and celebrate life with your children? It feels to me like something more I have to do, and my plate is already full!”
It is easy enough to keep your children "on your team" when they are young and smaller than you, without ideas of their own. However, it’s not such a simple task when our children reach the teen years.
In this culture, at this time in history, there are many voices crying out to our teens. Media of all sorts brings entertainment both good and bad right to their fingertips. Peer pressure affects all of us. There is a point when all children have to grow up and own their own ideals, and most moms of young children assume their teenagers will love them and continue to submit to them, just as they do when they are small.
But in this world, at this time, the Sirens sing an alluring song. It is ours to figure out how to sing a more beautiful one.
Scripture addresses this for teens in Proverbs, which Solomon wrote for his own son when he was a youth. Proverbs 9: 13-18 depicts this voice of foolishness and destruction. Her name is Folly, and she is calling out to those who are passing by, "who are making their paths straight." She wants to bring these, our children--whose lives we have sought to put on the "path of life" for our Lord Jesus—to destruction. She calls out to them, spouting lies, deception, and promises of love and fulfillment through the world's ways.
Solomon also tells us of the other voice that is crying out: that of Wisdom. In Proverbs 9, we see that she sets her tables, she cooks her food, and fills her own home with the atmosphere where love has prepared a meal.
Wisdom then calls out to the sons of men and invites them to her home, where she has great food, beauty, music, etc. and says, "Come into my house and learn from me.” She is there to call these youth to excellence, beauty, and truth, to help them safely go through the passage of teenage years unscathed. She sings a beautiful song!
And so, as we reflect the image of God through our lives in our homes, it is a necessity of our spiritual warfare that we provide and cultivate havens of comfort, a shelter in the storms of life, filled with wisdom, love, pleasure, and deep satisfaction in an atmosphere of showing God's reality through it all. God is a creative artist. In His image, we create through the art of life, and so sing a beautiful song that will prayerfully be louder to our children's souls than that of culture.