Suppose you lived in an area that was in a constant state of urban warfare. It might be guerrilla warfare, or tribal disputes, or ethnic hatred or prolonged civil war. In these types of warfare, Christians are often acceptable targets. For families living in one of these media-neglected war zones, going outside to play can act of reckless endangerment.
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 fresh water to your home may result in capture or death or worse.
How would you instruct your children? Would you cajole or settle for partial obedience? Would you yell and scream and tell them they better obey you or else?
You would begin each day with an earnest prayer 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. You would speak constantly of the blessing of knowing and trusting Christ as your savior and encourage your children to do the same. For your children your instructions are literally life and death. These actions would not be routine.
What if you lived in a war zone? What difference would it make?
The truth is you do live in a war zone. Your enemy, the master of deceit, has just disguised your environment so that you think you are safe and not at war. Your children’s world is littered inviting objects that can blow up or paths that lead to spiritual devastation or even death. 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 day. What difference will it make in the way you care for and protect your children?