"Children are arrows in a quiver,and they are to be trained as missionaries & shot at the Devil." -- Jim Elliot (thanks Dan Dumas for posting on Twitter)
Who do my kids belong to? Me, or God?
The answer will change everything about their life.
If they are God's, then we are to be raising them to live out His purposes, and His word is perfectly consistent with Elliot's quote.
No, I'm not excited about my kids being martyred in a foreign country -- but it's not my call!
I'm not even excited about my 15-year-old daugthers' passion to reach homeless people by feeding them and witnessing to them as they stand at street corners begging. All I see initially is some old man ogling my daughters! (It is, however, my responsibility, call and choice that they will not do this alone.)
I'm not excited about my wife potentially spending three weeks in a small town in Ukraine without me while waiting to bring home our son -- but a 12-year-old boy's life depends on it.
Someone may say, 'You are taking this all too seriously,' to which I have no choice but to answer, 'And you, if you say you are a Christian, are denying the very Word of God written by the God you say saved you!'
The trouble I see in our culture -- and I mean in our southern, evangelical, we-say-we-believe-the-whole-Bible church culture -- is that most parents are preparing their children for absolutely nothing apart from successful navigation of the American dream (which, if you haven't noticed, is becoming less and less attainable. So they are being equipped to accomplish something they are likely to fail at, and which had no altruistic purpose in the first place).
Most college freshman today are equipped to to manage high-tech toys and use a condom. Impressive, eh?
Is it any wonder so many teens are depressed? They are being led into pointless lives by unfocused parents who are as depressed and/or frustrated as they are because they live pointless lives.
Hard stuff? Yes.True stuff? Look around.
It doesn't have to be this way. Indeed, it is not this way for everyone. I see many parents making the transition to meaningful lives, and wrestling in a healthy way with how to translate that to their children. We are power agents of the Most High. The Holy Spirit is in us. We are called to be on assignment.
As Alex and Brett Harris write, our children can 'Do Hard Things.' We have to lead them into them. We have to do them first, or at least with them. We have to know by the Word and the Spirit that there is a higher calling that can bring life change to us and countless others.
What -- and who -- are you and I hanging onto?
Let's throw it all down and go for it. As Elliot also more famously said, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
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