I’m afraid. Is it really worth the possible cost? This world is a scary place – I mean, Christians are being beheaded by Isis! Wouldn’t it be easier and safer to just live here and not really follow Jesus?
These are the words of a child, whom I dearly love. These are real concerns – not something to be brushed aside flippantly. These are scary times.
I’m in my forties – with years of God building trust in my heart and soul – and I daily have to decide to trust Him with my whole life, my whole heart. My prayer is that God show up big time, in an abundant way, as only He can and show my children that He really is worth every sacrifice.
You know, the heart can tremble. Mine trembles when I think about the kind of world my children are stepping into as young adults. My soul aches from gripping that anchor of hope – the truth instead of fear.
It’s been said that being a parent is the hardest and most rewarding job in the world. That statement is partially true… the hard part is a guarantee, the rewarding part depends on us.
(I’m going to be transparent here. And I’m going to try to give the churnings of my spirit words from the English language.)
The Bible states in many locations that God “will repay each according to his own work” (Romans 2:6 is the address of that particular verse).
This doesn’t mean that the outcome of our life (or our children’s lives) rest entirely upon our own shoulders. Thank goodness we serve a God who is capable of lifting the corner of decisions in order to peer down underneath to the motives and apply grace and mercy as needed.
But it is clear that we do have a responsibility to act according to our faith in the Almighty God of the Universe. In other words, we can’t sit on our hands and do nothing. We must invest. We must bend our will to His. We must give our faith action (James 2:14).
We must be an active part of His work in our lives.
As parents, a great deal of that work comes in the form of interactions and relationships with our children.
I have recently been reminded of how much Satan wants to destroy, kill, or at least divide.
A man and wife (or in some cases, a single parent) who are trying with every fiber of their heart and soul to bring up their children in the admonition of the Lord – working daily in the strength of the Lord, to show their children what it means to be an ambassador for Christ, are going to be targeted as a threat to the Satanic agenda.
He will hit them with everything he can muster.
He will go after their marriage.
He will go after their faith.
He will go after their passion for Jesus.
He will go after their children.
He will hit them with fear.
He will hit them with anxiety.
He will dredge past (forgiven) mistakes.
He will hit them with whatever lies he thinks they will fall for…or at least give a second thought to.
Satan doesn’t throw random fireballs at our heads. No, he studies us, our weaknesses, our natural tendencies. That’s his strategy. He hits where he knows he can hurt us the most.
For me, that’s my family.
It’s my children.
It’s my husband.
His attacks are personal.
He daily invites me to put myself first. He tries to turn my heart against my children’s hearts with the lie that their mistakes are a reflection on me, and their childish behavior is a personal affront to me.
He constantly nags me with fear that I’ve been a failure as a mom and a wife.
He consistently tries to highlight my shortcomings, my weaknesses, and my humanness.
He pokes his boney finger at my unfinished to-do lists, the unchecked boxes on my homeschool planner, and at that ever-present pile of dirty dishes in the sink.
He whispers in my ear that my husband doesn’t really care as much as he appears to – that secretly, he’s sick of me.
He tries to convince me that I stink at my life.
He hisses that I am unqualified to do anything I do everyday.
I’ve come to realize that among other agendas, one of the enemy’s goals is to distract me from investing in my children’s lives. The main way he does this is by trying to distract me from investing in purposeful, strategic prayer.
He knows that a prayerless life is a powerless life.
He knows if he can get me to listen to even one of the lies he constantly throws at me, I’m a lot less likely to be available to my children when they need to talk through their life issues.
If I fall for the “it’s all about me – my feelings, my failures, my schedules, my bla bla bla,” then he has just accomplished the division he is looking for.
I don’t know about you, but the Enemy’s lies make me so mad! The attacks have been so bad lately that I literally would love to smash a chair across his teeth – take a baseball bat to his stinkin’ head, and stomp the livin’ daylights out of him! How dare he go after me, my husband, or any of my children!
It’s time to call him out.
He has been conquered. Defeated.
So, I say NO to the lies,
NO to the destruction,
NO to the theft,
NO to the division.
I choose to invest in the truth, to be an ambassador for Christ, to put action to my faith, to hold on to the HOPE that is the anchor for my soul.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”