The Parapet

Parapet – now there’s a word you don’t hear very often.  Do you have a parapet?  You should have one, you know.  Perhaps a definition would help. One of the primary meanings for the word is: a low protective wall or railing.  Let me share with you my interest in parapets.

In ancient Hebrew homes, the roof was one of the most important parts of the house; however, it was for different reasons than you might think.  The roof was flat and was used as a place to get fresh air, to walk around at night when it was too dangerous to be outside, or for sleeping on hot nights.  The roof could be very dangerous without a fence or railing.  It was considered a real danger, especially for children or strangers.

A roof without a parapet was of such importance that the Lord took note. The Lord spoke to the issue in Deut. 22:8, “When you build a new house, then you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not be guilty of bloodshed on your household if anyone falls from it.”   This instruction for the physical house has a spiritual counterpart. The spiritual home we provide for our family also needs a parapet. Our homes need restraining barriers for the protection of residents and guests alike.

Space prohibits a thorough exploration of spiritual parapets, but allow me to at least start you thinking.  Four restraints come to mind:

  1. One side would be discipline. Discipline with love can help children lest they fall. Our government is preoccupied with the physical safety of children. Regulations concerning car seats, toys, food, etc., are everywhere, yet we do little for the moral and spiritual safety of our children.  Spiritual security is the role of family.
  2. A second side might be proper training. We insist on “no child left behind” in our public educational system. However, in our homes we often fail to instruct our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We need to train up our children in the way they should go.
  3. Responsibility makes a third barrier wall of my parapet. Those within our protective care must be taught to be responsible to do their fair share of work for the good of the household.  In addition, children need to be taught to take responsibility for their actions.
  4. The fourth side of my parapet is reverence.  Reverence for God and His laws are foundational to everyone’s well being. “He paid the ransom for His people. He ordered His covenant kept forever. He is so personal and holy, worthy of our reverence (respect).” Psalm 111:9

~ Brother Roy

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