“Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah had a friend.” Dan.1:6 “Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.”
Parents, Pastors, and Youth Pastors for eons have asked the question: “who else is going to be there?” This question is an excellent question because who you spend time with influences your actions. Whether for the good or for the bad they still will influence. Today it doesn’t necessarily have to be a face to face interaction. It could be on any type of social media, the return on the investment is the same – Influence. Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Notice all of the personal pronouns, it was Daniel who purposed in his heart. It wasn’t a collective purposing of all the Hebrew children, it was only Daniel, but that decision influenced Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Also notice it says “among these” were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.” Apparently there were more Hebrew children there that were not influenced by Daniel’s decision. By verse 12, Daniel’s decision to be sanctified had influenced his 3 cohorts and they were all in on the ten day challenge that would change their lives. This investment works both ways. I can’t count how many times I have heard from someone in trouble: “It wasn’t my idea, I was just with…” So youth pastor, mom, dad – “Who else is going to be there?” is a great question to show that you care. Strict control or denial of social media is the same concept. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that it’s too confrontational, or divisive. We’re talking about the welfare of our kids. It’s not a matter of whether or not we have the right to intrude, it is our God given responsibility to be intrusive. Study the story of Amnon 2 Sam.13:3, “But Amnon had a friend,” and that friend was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Friendships matter! Watch out for your teens.
Tim Tullos | YP
Patuxent Baptist Church
Great Mills, MD