The following article is by Dr. Kirk Elliot CEO of J2911 Holdings and is an excerpt from our Parenting on Purpose eBook.
Christian parents raising kids in America today are doing one of the most important jobs in our society. This nation desperately needs a generation of world-changers to arise—those who understand that our society hangs in the balance of great spiritual stakes, and that a turning of the tide will only happen through those who are equipped with courage, purity of heart, and grounding in the truth to take a stand against the advance of spiritual darkness.
We see the war in the spiritual world manifesting in today’s politics, economy, natural disasters, terrorism, sickness, disease, and more. The greatest threat to our nation is that we will be destroyed from within through spiritual, moral, financial, and political division and decay. Our society has become so politically correct, godless, and morally relative that calling evil and good for what they are has not only been frowned upon, but made illegal in many circumstances.
Christian parents, the great news is that we know how to win a spiritual battle. We pray and fast. But we also raise our voices and take a stand for truth. In doing this, we must remember our Source. For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of love and a sound mind (see 2 Timothy 1:7). Perfect love casts out all fear (see 1 John 4:18). Our mission in this generation is to speak and live the truth in love, and raise our children to do the same.
Here are 4 practices that I encourage every Christian family to establish in their family culture so we are trained and prepared to be salt and light in our day.
Study World Changers in the Bible
The Bible is filled with amazing stories of ordinary men and women who partnered with God to save their nation or bring them back to God—Joseph, Moses, Deborah, Gideon, Josiah, and more.
One of the greatest stories of courage in the Bible is the story of Queen Esther, a Jewish orphan living in exile in Persia, who through a series of events, was chosen by King Xerxes to be his queen. When Haman, the king’s right-hand man, tricked the king into signing a law that would sentence all Jews to death, Mordecai sent a message to Esther urging her to go before the king and ask for mercy for her people:
“If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
As a result of Mordecai’s exhortation, Esther conquered her fear, put her life on the line, entered the king’s chamber, and made her request to the king to have the horrible law changed. Because of her courage, her people were saved, and their enemy was destroyed.
Parents, we are called to be both Esthers—by recognizing and courageously stepping into the assignments to which God is calling us—and Mordecais to our children—by calling them to rise up and take the role for which they were born, for the saving of many lives.
Study World Changers in History
Many great men and women in history have stood up in evil days to proclaim the truth and fight for justice and righteousness. Martin Luther King, Jr. did this in his fight for human rights. Patrick Henry took a stand when he rallied the masses to fight for freedom during the Revolutionary War and boldly declared, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Harriet Tubman put her life on the line to lead enslaved people to freedom along the underground railroad. Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist, put his family fortune on the line and was credited with saving over 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust.
Instead of reading these stories as heroic legends, we must study them with our children as models for what we can and must do in our own day. Like these heroes, we need to speak out, make our voices heard, and change the course of history so future generations will still have a country to call home. It’s especially important to study what these men and women in the past endured—mockery, hatred, persecution, and even death—so we can count the cost and take courage to do what is right.
We must also ask ourselves, what if these heroes never acted? Where would we be if they hadn’t stood for the truth? Whatever price we pay for doing the right thing can’t compare with the price we—and the next generation—pay for not acting.
Pray and Worship Together
Our children need to understand that our battle is not against flesh and blood, that Jesus is victorious over sin, death, hell, and the devil, and that it is our great privilege to fulfill the mission He has given us to see His kingdom advance in the earth using the spiritual resources He has given us. Our prayers and worship are powerful and empowering. They are the place where we connect with the Spirit of God to gain His perspective and direction on how to step into the difficult circumstances around us.
Take time daily or weekly to pray and worship as a family. Learn and pray the Lord’s Prayer together.
Start with Loving Your Neighbors
Changing the world starts with loving our neighbors. Scripture is clear that we are to pay attention to the lives and needs of those closest to us. Think of the people you know who you feel like you could defend. Are there friends, family members, or even entire groups of disadvantaged people in your community that need help? Write them down. Then, talk about what you could do as a family. These dinner-table conversations could be deep, thought-provoking, and ultimately action-provoking.
Remember—you might be the only Jesus your neighbor ever sees. Maybe you are living in your house for this reason. Reach out to your neighbor and ask if you can pray for them. I bet they are hurting. I bet they have something that is troubling them.
Parents, we have the privilege and responsibility of showing our children that as followers of Jesus, we have the answer! We have hope. We have a peace that surpasses all understanding, an unquenchable fire burning inside us, and a light radiating from us that can cast out the darkness. As families, let’s move forward in boldly declaring and demonstrating Jesus’ love to those around us.
PS) If you haven’t already signed up make sure and register for the Parenting Track: Guided Edition that starts on Sept 18th.
P.S. If you haven’t downloaded the eBook that his article is from: Parenting with Purpose you can download it for free here.