Raising your children to face persecution and danger

Posted on October 5, 2015 · Posted in Culture, Prayer

Your objective as a Christian parent is to raise your children to live a godly life following Christ. This idea is exciting, even inspiring. But how conscious are you that there is another side to living a godly life? Encouraging your children to follow Christ also will lead them into persecution. This reality balances the excitement. Following Christ is a wonderful, fulfilling and sobering pursuit. It is a path not to be taken lightly.

Paul reminds us of this when he says, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” 2 Timothy 3:12

Following God requires courage and boldness. There are enemies on every side, both spiritual and earthly. Living as children of light angers the forces of darkness. This means you and your children are part of a cosmic battle that has been raging since creation.

Becoming complacent, desiring to be safe, will keep you from loving your God.  Jesus warns that attempting to save your life will mean losing your life. But giving your life for Christ is the one way that leads to being safe. As you know, raising children can be a wonderful blessing, but the journey is not a safe one. This is what you offer to your children when you encourage them to follow Christ. God does not call you to be safe, he calls you to trust him.

Throughout history those who have followed Christ have understood this. Being a Christian is not primarily about being safe. Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman to sail around the world. While on that voyage he wrote this prayer. May we have the courage to give this vision to our children.

“Disturb us, O Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves, when our dreams come true because we dream too little; when we have arrived in safety because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, O Lord, when with the abundance of the things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the water of life;  when having fallen in love with time, we have ceased to dream of eternity, and in our efforts to build the new earth, have allowed our vision of the new heaven to grow dim. Stir us, O Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms shall show thy mastery and, when losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes and invited the brave to follow, even the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

Sir Francis Drake, 1577

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Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.