We need to prepare our children to stay strong in an ungodly world, and to possibly even face persecution. It saddens me to even have to put this among the list of parenting advice/suggestions. Five years ago, I never would have thought that there would be a need to write something like this. But sadly, Bible believing Christians are being targeted more and more for simply standing up for their convictions. And even more sadly, even some fellow believers think we are wrong and unloving to do so. While it would be very unwise to instill fear in our children, we do need to lovingly, and age appropriately, prepare them for the future, whatever it may hold.
How do we prepare our children to face the future in such an uncertain world?
Here are some of my thoughts (Jeff and I have talked about this quite at length.)
1) First and foremost, we need to ground them in the Word.
We need to have them read the Bible daily.
We need to have family devotions.
We need to faithfully attend a Bible preaching church.
Scripture memorization should be top priority. Homeschool Encouragement has a new Armor of God copywork set.
I have a friend who has talked to believers who formerly lived in persecuted countries. She tells me that the one common thread that helped all of them get through heavy fines, prison, torture, seeing their family suffer, hunger, cold and more, was having Scripture hidden away in their hearts, so they could meditate on it as they were going through their intense persecution.
2) If your children are afraid of the future (and that is perfectly natural), help them to realize that God will give them the grace and strength to go through persecution WHEN and IF the time comes.
Don’t brush away their fears, but let them talk to you about it.
Have them memorize verses on fear.
Corrie ten Boom’s book “The Hiding Place” is an excellent resource to help your children understand how God gives us grace when we need it, and not before. It is also an excellent book on how to face horrible circumstances with undaunting faith and love.
3) As a family, pray for persecuted believers around the world.
Set up a prayer calendar for missionaries and saints in different countries where fellow believers are under persecution.
Read books about martyrs, both from the past and the present.
If the Lord lays it on your heart, give money to organizations that help the persecuted church around the world.
4) Remind your children, and yourself, that this life is a blip on the radar in light of eternity.
Our eternity with our Lord and Savior will far outweigh anything man can do to us here on this earth.
5) Pray, pray, pray with and for your children.
I wanted to include the armor of God Scripture, for us to keep in mind we are fighting against the evil forces, not against man.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;Ephesians 6:10-18 (KJV)
I’d love to hear your input on what you are doing to prepare your children for the future – please share with us in the comments.