Suppose you lived in a war zone. The danger might come from guerrilla warfare, or tribal disputes, or ethnic hatred or prolonged civil war or perhaps the jungle of the inner city. For families living in one of these media-neglected zones, going outside to play can be an act of reckless endangerment.
In places like this the instructions you give your children are instructions of life and death. If your kids fail to follow your directions to the letter they may pay with their life. An inviting, innocent looking object lying the ground may be a death trap. Failing to follow the exact path you give them to bring water to your home may result in capture or death.
If you lived in a war zone how seriously would consider the daily instruction you give your children? Would your directions be casual or would you settle for partial obedience? Would you feel the heavy responsibility knowing that careless instruction could bring awful results? How often would you pray with your children each day?
In such a reality each day would begin with an earnest plea for God to keep your children safe. You would go over in detail the tasks you have for them to do that day. You would prepare your children as much as possible for the dangers they would face. You would be gracious and engaged as you work with them. You would remind them that you have no guarantee you would all be together for dinner that night. You would remind them of the love of God even in the midst of conflict. You would tenderly embrace each child not knowing whether it would be your last hug. You would speak constantly of the blessing of knowing and trusting Christ as your savior and encourage your children to do the same.
What if you lived in a war zone? What difference would it make?
Sound too dramatic?
Since the fall of Adam, the truth is you do live in a war zone, whether it is obvious or not. Your enemy, the master of deceit, may have disguised your neighborhood so that you think you are safe and not at war. But the truth is your children’s world is littered inviting objects that can hide danger or paths that lead to spiritual devastation or even death in a heartbeat. People will offer your children fun or exciting things to do in exchange for their souls. Your enemy prowls as a roaring lion. Safety is an illusion in modern America.
You do live in a war zone. Your family’s life is on the line each and every day. What difference will this make in the way you care for and protect your children? What difference will it make in your prayer life?
What difference will it make?