I am impressed today that we are all in the midst of a great mission field in our country. It seems as the years progress, our nation has the need to become more introspective regarding its “religious roots”, don’t you agree? I’ve felt this way for some time, but some days it just seems to be right before my eyes where ever I turn.
I was sharing with a missionary friend the other morning about this idea, as I was wishing for some Christian playmates for my children:
Oh, how I wish I had a charming Christian young lady for Erin to befriend. This little girl who is coming over is 9 going on 21…has a cell phone, TV in her room, dyes her hair, wears henna tatooes and dresses sensually…I am sad for her. One can almost see the inward struggle of wanting to be a little girl but feeling compelled that she cannot because it is not “cool” in her public school circles. Our ways mystify her. Pray my daughter will be a light to her. I’d love for this neighbor girl to see our home as a haven where she can “secretly” be 9 going on….9. Her mother does not see the importance of church unless it is as a convenient babysitting service. This girl is marketed in the “beauty pageant” arena as well. I feel a little like Amy Carmichael, snatching children before their innocence entirely slips away. We have our own little mission field of sorts, I suppose…
We are strangers in a strange (some days more strange than others!) land. Any believer even remotely trying to follow in paths of righteousness cannot miss the continual decline. In the years to come, I believe there will be less and less need to distinguish those who are genuine in their faith as Christians. It will become so glaringly apparent there will be no mistaking our ownership. A few days ago I was looking for some little poem or something of spiritual significance to put on the little “scrolls” that we are including in our trick or treat bags this year. While searching, I happened accidentally upon a blog filled with scathing, venomous remarks regarding Christian folks who do not choose to participate in celebrating Halloween. The violence and mocking contempt with which these folks discussed the desire for purity and holiness on the part of believers was appalling. The unbridled wrath of these individuals is fearsome, apart from the victorious truth that we belong to One who is greater than all of their tumult. One day, He will still their roaring and commotion just as He did the squall on the Sea of Galilee.
Two thoughts are on my mind as I consider these things…one is that as a mother I must clamor more than ever to help my children seize their illusive, sometimes slippery, (even “old fashioned” idea of) innocence, and to hold on to it with all their might. The other is that I must also teach my children to be stalwart and quit themselves like little men and women – as soon as ever they can. Children today are “maturing” quickly, but only in the sensual realm it seems. Regarding responsibility, faithfulness, conviction, manners and conscience, this generation of young people (don’t I sound like a crotchety “old lady”?) does not reach a grown-up level until it is thrust upon them, if then. That is, unless they have parents who take an aggressive stance.
Moms, we have a prime responsibility to grow up in the Lord ( Eph. 4:15). Without this, we don’t have a hope against the wiles the adversary is employing. Be in the Word. Then we can show our kids (our own and/or those who become our charges via church, SS, playgroups, whatever) how to sink their teeth into the scriptures with the tenacity of cute little pit bulls. That’s what I want for my kids. Know what is right, hold on to it, do it, exhort others to follow it.
A favorite piece of artwork comes to mind that I saw some time back, entitled “Spiritual Warfare” (click here to view it…I wish it showed up in more detail–might make a great Christmas gift!)
Let’s lock our shields together and follow our Captain through each hour’s skirmishes.