Back in May we traveled to Florida. Leaving at 1 am with 4 children in a rental minivan we set off on our adventure. We made great time until we were close to our destination. All the holiday travelers with the same idea seemed to converge onto the same interstate. Once we arrived the goal was to unload, go get groceries for the week, get some take out Chic-Fil-A, take a night walk on the beach, then get some rest. The grocery store was a mad house as others had the same goals in mind. Once we reached the check out and started putting items on the counter the older gentleman checker started conversing with me. Our sixteen year old daughter had come along to help. What started as pleasantries about where we are from quickly soured for me. The checker turned my answers about our local floods to political. Bashing our standing President and then telling me who to vote for in the next election. The response I chose was simply to remain silent at that point. My look I am sure said “really dude?”. At that point he turned to my daughter and said “ahh you are the one I need to talk to”. He had hoped she was 18 and able to vote. Even after he found out her true age he still continued to push his opinions on her as her mother stood right there. Paying customers from another state simply trapped having to have this stranger’s opinion forced on our tired ears. We both remained silent in our own political and faith beliefs. At one point when he told her what party to vote for when she is 18 I did simply say “Well she does have two very conservative parents.” That was all and the conversation went back to pleasantries. The Holy Spirit definitely gives my heart a lot of discernment in what words truly matter and when silence is much more golden!
It was interesting as a mom to have to sit back and watch “the world” prey on my child forcing opinions without truth. It was politics on the surface, but so much of what is happening is actually a spiritual battle within our country and around the world. It always has been a spiritual battle more than physical.
Later that week just the 16 year old and I were on the beach one afternoon. I had gone down to the water for a while to cool off. As I came back to our chairs I found two young girls sitting with my 16 year old. As they introduced themselves to me and spoke of their intentions my heart went from worry to hope. These brave young college girls were sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ right there on the beach. They didn’t force, they asked questions, shared personal testimony and had scripture to back up all that they said. They shared Jesus as a choice that we have in our life to make him Lord. God gave us free will. It was a blessing to share what Jesus has done in my life and to pray for them before they left us. As they left I had a renewed hope that for all the false messages God will bring true messages along for my children.
Today in our Life group my one student and I ended up going into the other middle school class with it being just us. The lesson was on 1 Timothy the first chapter. Paul was urging young Timothy to stay in Ephesus to combat against all the false teaching happening with the TRUE Gospel. My friend and co teacher shared that she loves teaching middle school girls because that is the age when all the false teachings start to bombard us. She wants to help the girls go into this battle armed with the truth. We explained to the girls middle school through college they will be bombarded with a lot of teachings and opinions that are false.
As a Jesus following mom who made plenty of her own mistakes in those young years, it is so hard to sit back and watch the world try to devour her own kids. As one child already has turned against the faith it has been painful to see and hear the false messages come from her. Our relationship with Jesus has to be just that, a relationship. It can not be forced and must be chosen. This momma’s prayer for her children is that they will love Jesus with all their heart and want to share that love with others.
This world is tough and grows more brutal by the day. Our children our constantly preyed upon with so much falseness. Lies that only brings destruction when we fall victim to them My advice to other Christian parents is that I have none really. Not of my own. Prayer, scripture and completely submitting my children to the Lord are my weapons. “God they are yours and you love them even more than I do.” “Whatever it takes to keep them in your loving arms or to draw them back to your loving arms is what I ask.” That is a tough prayer. Otherwise I watch and listen hoping that the truth will protect them.
1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
For my young friends on the beach.
“Don’t let anyone 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