I’ve been saddened and disappointed at the amount of fear-mongering that I’ve heard over the past couple days from people who claim to trust God, yet seem to have put their hopes in a presidential election. Honestly? It’s a poor testimony. Especially to my children.
By the end of this presidential term my kids will be 10 and 12. These are important years for training up my children. And I will not waste them by walking in fear and worry. And I will not allow others to instill fear in their little hearts.
I remembered a post I wrote awhile back for Catapult Magazine. I figured it was time to pull it out and review it again. I hope this encourages you no matter where you stand on the political line.
It’s a terrible time in world history to be raising kids. Or so I’ve been informed by those in my parents’ and grandparents’ generations.
My kids were born post 9/11. They will never know what it’s like to fly without having to take off their shoes and nearly strip down for security. In their world, no longer do mean kids pass gossipy notes back and forth in class. Instead, they use their cell phones when the teacher’s back is turned to post their comments on their social media sites for the world to see.
At first, I was afraid to parent this next generation in an often scary world. As the older generations shuddered and looked at me with pity, thankful that their parenting task was complete, I couldn’t help but feel as helpless as the sweet, innocent, fuzzy-headed child in my arms.
Then one day as I was contemplating this world of war and terrorism, in which kids bring guns to school and commit felonies with their cell phones, I suddenly felt at peace and empowered.
Not only is this a different world than I grew up in, I’m also a different parent than the generations before me. That isn’t to say that I have this labyrinth of 21st century parenting solved. But I am courageous, and my senses are heightened to the world around me. Most importantly, I’m not afraid. I know I have been placed in this time in history to help raise this next generation — to give them the gift of empowering love and to instill in them courage and a hope for peace.
While I will teach them to be alert to the world’s dangers, I will not raise them to be afraid of the world or think it’s a terrible place to live. Instead, I will guide them to see the gifts of beauty that surround them every day. I will teach them, to the degree that they are able, to live peaceably with all people, and that when others choose a way that is not peaceful, they still have the power to love.
The greatness of the world depends not on world peace or the economy or whether we agree with current governmental policies. The world’s greatness lies within our own hearts and our ability to share love with those around us.
I love this piece, my friend! Thank you for reposting it today. We all need to read it, breathe it in and live in the peace, hope, joy and victory that is ours in Jesus!
Thank you Susan! I needed the reminder too!
Amelia, I could have written many parts of this post years ago as a scared mom in the 1990’s when Christians feared the rapid changes happening. I crouched in fear. My third child was born on Sept. 11 and we spent his 4th birthday contemplating celebrating a play date with others at a park with other kids who didn’t know the horror engulfing the adult world. How our world has changed even more since then. But I’ve grown to have a deeper perspective of God and family as I’ve seen Him deliver in the hardest places. Teaching history to high schoolers for several years recently has taught my there have been worse times behind us and yet we still stand. I love your courage and resolve to be strong parents in a generation that will face newer challenges not because of terror but because of the new morality. I’m encouraged by you and your peers who are thirsting after God in a new way, not taking the task of raising godly children lightly. Your world is broader than that of parents before you, and gives you even more wisdom. Thank you for these words!
Oh Brenda, wow! Thanks for sharing this bit of your story. And I am always encouraged by parents, like you, who are just a few steps ahead of me and are also seeking to honor God in this parenthood labyrinth. Thanks for your encouragement and wisdom!