If there’s one universal cry of parents, it’s that we want our kids to be able to make it through this tough life and come out, ok.
God bless us, we know too much.
The bumpy roads, the impasses, the tears, the messes we got into and didn’t know better and messes we dove into head first…lost jobs, maneuvering friendships, miscarriages of babies and of justice of other things not in our control…marriages that don’t work that we lament because we started with the best of intentions…just all of it, the real life, the true, every day grind that even the best morning coffee can’t fix.
Add bombs to it – another mass shooting or a terrorist attack on top of all that – and the cruel crazy of the world feels like a foe too hard to fight.
If our kids only knew how much we worry about them.
We know God doesn’t want this for us. It’s not biblical…yes, we know. But these are our kids, and turns out, even good Christian parents don’t know how to make the worry ever completely go away.
But worry won’t help these kids. It will only make us less effective. They need us, now, more than ever, to become Jesus Strong so they will learn from our example.
A crazy-hard world calls for a crazy-strong Jesus follower.
The way we will prepare our kids for the crazy of this world is not by cowering with worry in the corner but by showing them the example of a Jesus Strong life.
Teach them to pray and get in God’s Word.
If we aren’t praying for our kids, intensely, we better start right now. This is where it starts – with our example, and with our own dedication to giving our kids over to God. We need to be telling our kids that everything they need to know is found in the Word of God so when they are confused or discouraged or need wisdom or strength, to look there.
We need to be telling them that God is their Father and has all authority and He wants to listen to them so take all their burdens and hurts to Him. Long after we are gone they will have Jesus. We are foolish to think we will be there to shelter them from all the hard things. They need God, their only Help and Hope.
Teach them to put their warrior boots on and walk Jesus Strong.
Our kids need to know they are able and ready (Declarations 1 and 8 in the book, by the way) to walk through a tough, hard life because they walk in the power and authority of God and have everything they need to do so. (2 Peter 1:3) This is not wishful thinking; these are promises from the Word. Ephesians 1, John 16:33, and all throughout the Bible give us all the proof we need. Our speech at home needs to not be about how hard this world is and just end there. It needs to be about how despite the tough world we live in, Jesus has overcome the world, and when we give our lives to Jesus, we have a Hope who will not disappoint (Rom. 5:5) who provides His children with His strength to do hard things (Phil. 4:13).
We must shift our focus from doom and gloom speech to power and hope speech because we know Jesus. But make no mistake – our kids need training. Now is the time for preparation. If we are focusing all our efforts on ball schedules, cheer teams, academics and violin lessons but have not properly focused on the spiritual training and fortitude our kids desperately need, may we quickly wake to the reality of the situation. Declaration #2 in the book, I Will Know What I Believe, might just be the most important declaration for our kids to grab onto, and we must first grab onto it for ourselves so we can help them.
I’m with you, parents. One of the greatest joys of my life is parenting my three kids, and like you, I love them with every fiber of my being. There have been nights I have gone to bed afraid because of all the coulds and mights about my children, waking up in a cold sweat over the fears my mind thinks up.
But since God has rallied me with this call to put your warrior boots on in my own heart, there’s been a needed shift of perspective of how to do this life — for myself, for the body of Christ and most of all, for my kids.
They’ll need these warrior boots more than they now know.
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