I come from a background of abuse. So – naturally – for a long time I was hesitant to have kids. Why would I bring children into such an unsafe world? It gnawed at me and I asked the Holy Spirit for help. It made me very anxious to think my son or daughter could go off the rails as a teenager.
Then I saw this verse
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. – Ps 127:4
I began to understand that children are like arrows, they can be aimed and then they fly in that direction.
So HOW do we aim our kids to go in the right direction? Movies, playstation, song lyrics and TV might aim my kids in the WRONG direction. How do I aim them in the right direction?
Aiming our kids – with love
I am convinced that I can ensure my (future) daughter (or son) is a safe young teen and young adult… by loving and showing respect to their mom.
As my baby boy or girl grows up and tries to figure out what is ok and what not to allow in this world of wolves, she will naturally come to me and sit on my lap and ask me many times “tell me the story of you and mom met and got married”.
Here is the key: if I can answer truthfully about how we did not do the wrong things before marriage, how I showed her mom respect, how we waited and made the effort to learn to communicate, to speak each other’s love language, learning to give and receive love from one another, learning about one another’s needs, growing together, talking things through and forgiving… then my daughter (and son) will want the same things for herself (or himself) and in this way they won’t settle for less than what her mom had.
She will be safe from harm, because she won’t settle for less, she will want the same for herself! If a man tries to consume her beauty to make up for a lack in his own life, she will refuse to be used. If a man or woman with unclean hands reaches out to touch my son, he will feel the uncleanness and he will find it unpleasant and he will naturally pull away.
But this only happens because they have experienced and observed the love and kindness and goodness of Christ in me and Christ in their mother and God’s Presence in our home.
Formed in their mind is the desire to be loved like her mother is being loved. They won’t compromise. They won’t settle.
In that same way I will strive to have a home that is filled with warmth from love and the light of God’s Presence.
Why? Because if she (or he) grows up around God’s Presence and thinks that is normal, when she (or he) comes into contact with unclean people or an unclean place, she will immediately pick up on the change in atmosphere and she will know to move away from that person or place because it doesn’t feel nice to be there.
In my life the opposite was true. I was so used to being around anger and darkness that I did not know it was wrong. It was just how it always was. But no more, I stay in the light now. And the more I am in the light, the more I can stop when darkness tries to invade.
By turning this around, by showing my children – both literal and spiritual – that love is normal, that talking and a healthy exchange of views is normal, that respect is normal, that God’s Presence is normal… they will flee darkness and death if they sense a change.
This requires long term self-sacrifice
This will take a life-long commitment from me and it starts now. And then when my future wife comes along she has to see the vision and agree to work in that direction.
Just think, long before I have met my wife, I am already planning to love my child. The way I treat my wife is not just for her, but for my son and/or daughter as well. Love is like this… it is the intentional giving of ourselves for others.
In that same way, long before you met Jesus Christ He was already praying for you
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. – Heb 7:25
A prayer center
And it goes way beyond this.
Long time readers of this blog will know that I have repeatedly asked for financial support to create a prayer center where He will be manifest. I truly believe that God wants a place where people can come and taste and see that the Lord is good. A place where YOU – people of all shapes and sizes and importance – can come and experience what good and right feels like.
You see… the only way to change people’s behavior is by changing their world view. When you go to jail your world view changes – and your behavior changes, sometimes for the worst! When a person is abused their world view changes and their behavior also changes from then onwards. When abandoned children are adopted and loved for the first time, their world view changes and their behavior changes. When lonely people find love, or find a warm accepting loving church, or find God’s love… their world view changes and their behavior changes.
I believe that God wants a place where He will be manifest, a place where we can come to and experience His goodness, His Presence, light and love – and then by finally experiencing what is good, our world view can change and we can return home to our countries with our new world view and changed behavior.