The federal authorities recently issued a sobering report. Almost 7000 little children per year die in the United States as the result of their parents giving them over the counter cold and cough medicine. Apparently these medicines are too strong for young children but parents are in many cases unaware of the danger. In their anxiety to alleviate cold symptoms and relieve minor coughs they fail to read the warning labels and often cause the little one they are trying to protect grave harm-as I have mentioned, in 7000 cases a year, fatal harm.
This is the story of a human tragedy. We cannot begin to fathom the grief of good parents who see their little ones die in such a way. Our hearts go out to them. Theirs is a heavy burden, a sorrow that will persist and that will overwhelm them in long, dark, sleepless nights. While the world will forget and make their children mere statistics, they will never forget.
This human tragedy is also a modern parable. It points us to consider a parallel case in the spiritual realm. Every day, parents who desire the very best for their little ones are giving them what will ultimately destroy them. Instead of carefully considering the dangers, many parents give their children a diet of rock music, of Hollywood movies, and of sensual entertainment. They get them hooked on the celebrity cult. We all know parents who have allowed the TV to raise their kids for them. It seems an ideal way to keep rowdy kids quiet or to give bored kids something to interest them. But it is a colossal mistake.
Every TV should come with a large warning label: This machine may bring Satan into your home and may be destructive to the health and life of your family. Of course, they don't have such labels so it is up to parents to recognize the danger for themselves. Most don't and they destroy their children.
Warning labels should also be attached to schools, colleges and even churches that deny the truth of God and the gospel of Christ. Parents should be very careful before allowing their children to be brainwashed-a poor word for the introduction of moral and spiritual corruption into the mind-by academics or clerics whose teaching is poison that will destroy both body and soul.
Our children suffer from much more than the moral equivalent of a cold or cough. They are born in sin. They inherit all the depravity and spiritual corruption of Adam's fall. They need radical treatment-they need the redemption that is found alone in Christ. Anything else, however well intended, will be fatal to their souls. Let us be wise. Let us read and heed the warnings. Let us not destroy our children for all eternity by failing to make sure that they are exposed to the truth of the gospel and are protected from the poison of the world. In time they will be strong enough to face the evils of the world for themselves. Meantime, don't let us make the mistake of turning their coughin' into coffins.