Scripture: Ezra 7:10 (NLT) – “Ezra had determined to study and obey the Law of the Lord and to teach those decrees and regulations.”
“One person in a strategic spot who is walking with God can do a world of good. They can influence others. They can bring reproof. They can model godly character. They can simply be involved in the stream of life, and our tendency is to underestimate the value of our relationships outside the family of God.” – Chuck Swindoll.
Thinking back on the days when our adult children were young and under our training, I now wonder, “Did we prepare them well for the tumultuous times in which we live?” Of course, I prayed for their future careers, spouses and that they grow in the strength and obedience of the Lord. But I genuinely have been surprised by the unprecedented upheaval in the world we live in today. Who could have ever imagined the assaults that those with a Christian worldview would face from every corner of the world? Well, I didn’t, but God did, and we can find throughout His Word comfort and direction!
Ezra can be an inspiration for you. First, determine to “study and obey the Law of the Lord” in every area of your life. Then, “teach those decrees and regulations” to your child. Unfortunately, when we practice godliness through obedience, we will have opposition from Satan and the world he influences. 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) warns, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around, looking for someone to devour.” He wants to stop the Kingdom of God from expanding by creating chaos, threatening social exclusion, financial ruin, and even death. Fear is his greatest weapon, and it is rampant in this age. Encourage yourself and your children with this ancient promise:
“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper, And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 54:17 NASB)
The Apostle Paul lived in constant peril because he was unashamed to proclaim the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a hostile world. His advice was to “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13 NASB). So, dear one, don’t fear the disapproval of others. Let your children see you stand firm, with grace, against the lies in the culture, in the classroom, and in the church. Find and follow Biblical, historical, and present-day examples of faithful, courageous people whose obedience pleased God and blessed the world.
You may ask, “How can I teach them to stand up for their beliefs?” As the above Chuck Swindoll quote suggests, one way is by building relationships outside the family of God. Our children attended Christian school until we moved them to public high school specifically to give them opportunities to practice sharing their beliefs. It was not easy for them or us, as they had challenging encounters defending their faith, but they would say it was a good move. It offered them a platform to grow in their relationship with the Lord and stand, sometimes alone. Precious mom, model courage for your children and offer them opportunities to speak and live
Out the truth to a desperate world. You will all gain confidence as a family and grow in God as you stand firm in the faith.
Melissa and the Help Club for Moms Team