Maybe that seems like an odd question to you. And then again, maybe it’s something that’s crossed your mind as well. Children are amazing gifts, beautiful portrayals of grace and testers of patience and grit, and…incredibly fragile. And malleable. And easily influenced. It’s difficult enough raising kids in a safe, sterile world where justice is served, peace reigns, and common sense is the norm. But the world is quickly descending into chaos. What now?
I read an article today (thanks a lot, Facebook…and my weak self-control) where the writer predicted that the U.S. could be in a civil or global war/altercation by Christmas of this year. THIS YEAR PEOPLE. That’s, like, three months out. If that didn’t cause me to quiver down to my bare, gel-polished toes, I don’t know what would.
It would be scary if I were single. It would be a frightening thought if I were married and childless. But we have a toddler, a baby, and another on the way and that my friends is downright terrifying. How will I keep them safe? What will life look like for them? And then, it came. That thought: is it fair to keep bringing kids into this world of darkness?
God help me. Let’s break this down:
Children are a Gift from the Lord
The Bible says this numerous times. Look it up. Your friend Google is a great assistant in the concordance department of life when you don’t have a Bible handy or the references memorized. Kids aren’t a gift only for those well-equipped to raise them (I’ll give you a giant hint and let you know that we’re all ill-equipped sinners FULLY equipped by God for what He’s called us to…so there’s that) or for those times that seem well and good to do so. They are always a gift, always to be celebrated.
Reality Check: Not the First Rodeo
This isn’t the first time the world has gone bad. In fact, if you look outside of the scope of the United States, the world has been going bad for, like, ever. War, death, racism, genocide, and all varieties of wickedness have been simmering and exploding in sequence since the inception of sin at Eden. It is the nature of man.
If not us, then who?
My apologies if this song is now stuck in your head. Nasty bugger to get rid of. 😉
But seriously: if ardent lovers of Jesus and truth aren’t having and raising the next generation of believers, what’s the world going to look like? It’s our honor and privilege to navigate these dangerous waters with our families. These moments in history separate the dross from the gold. James tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials; doing the hard work of shepherding children in a godless world promises endless measures of joy when those babies rise up as adults to glorify the Lord they’ve been directed to all of their lives.
GOD IS SOVEREIGN
Yes, that was me yelling. Hear that in a loud decibel, please. No matter what, God is on the throne. I’ve said it before. I’ll keep saying it. We can rest safe and secure in His promises because life can quite literally throw death at us and we are held. I recently had a horrendous conversation with my mom about what I’d do if it came to denouncing Christ or witnessing the death of my children, or possibly worse (?), them being taken from us by force and brainwashed by whatever wack job decides they’re god.
I still choose Christ. Because He loves my kids far more than I ever can and will and He will see to their souls. My job is to be faithful to Him first. It’s foolish of me to think that I can protect my kids from anything when I am in control of nothing. Much better to let my all-powerful and omniscient God take the reigns, yeah?
It’s sickening that I have to think these thoughts. My heart suffocates to even consider having to make a decision like that. But these stories are realities in nations where Christianity is oppressed. Are Americans immune? Can we circumvent this type of barbarity? I don’t know.
What I do know is that when we raise God-fearing children, we raise people of hope. We raise people of courage and strength and those willing to fight for truth. That is why bearing kids in a culture hell-bent on destroying childhood and devaluing life is worth it. What you’re doing, Christ-following mama, is worth it. Sow seeds of truth, water them with frequent and fervent prayer, and let hope grow with great power in and through your family.
Ignorance and Bliss?
I say all of these things with no real comprehension of what it’s like to live in a war-torn country. I don’t know what it’s like to be truly oppressed for my faith. I know no true oppression whatsoever (and I would argue very few U.S. citizens do…unpopular opinion of the day, I’m sure). Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve got gel polish on my toes (albeit funded by my sweet mama), dark chocolate sea salt caramels (courtesy of my BFF Aldi) at my side, a Yeti holding clean water by said chocolates, and I’m typing this on a MacBook Air. I hear crickets outside rather than bombs or gunshots. If I did hear gunshots, I’d assume someone was sighting in a gun and be entirely unconcerned. If someone comes to the door, I’m assuming they’re either lost or selling something (or, let’s be honest here, dropping off an Amazon package). Mal-intent would not cross my mind.
I join the ranks of Americans who have much. We are blessed with abundance and safety. We don’t even see it as abundance because it’s that normal for us to have so much. I’m not criticizing our wealth, I’m simply pointing it out. We are ignorant, I am ignorant to true atrocity.
But I do know fear. I do know uncertainty. I can recall feelings of abject terror with ease. And those things I can relate to. For that reason, ignorance is not necessarily bliss because as humans, we have the capacity for empathy. And for that reason, we have every right to speak on such matters. Don’t let another human lead you to believe something contrary to the truth set forth by Christ.
Let no one look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
Can we agree on this? Can we come to an understanding that this world needs more truth, no matter how harsh or callous that truth may sound to the ears of our listeners? Raising Godly kids is part of the resolution. We aren’t here to tickle ears. We’re here to glorify a mighty, holy God. Raise up your children to love God first and people second, and as an army of Christian soldiers, they’ll be well equipped to pierce through the inky black of sin.
This excites me, guys. The prospect of being chosen to raise up Christ-followers is beyond honoring and I am both terrified and giddy to be empowered and enabled by God to parent these lives. You should be too. Throw off the fear and the sin that so easily entangles you and run this race with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1). We haven’t been given a spirit of fear. We’ve been given one of power, and love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
May those truths spur you on and give you strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, because my friends, great is His faithfulness.