I don’t like to brag, but I throw a pretty awesome pity party. When things aren’t going my way, I can feel sorry for myself with the best of them. Frankly, I am an awesome martyr except for the minor detail of never actually having been martyred. Maybe you can identify?
Life can be really tough sometimes. Christian life brings its own set of challenges. We are called to behave better when bad things happen to us and at the same time are sometimes mocked and scorned for our beliefs. Often it seems like we are the only person on earth still trying to please God and we aren’t so sure how great we are doing.
Maybe I am just in a blue mood lately, but it seems Christians around the world are being persecuted more than they have in years. Our lives may not be in danger for practicing Christianity in the U.S., but we are routinely mocked as stupid, uneducated or hateful. The pressure is sometimes overwhelming to veto God and say His commands are no longer valid in today’s world. Our children will to have to be strong to withstand the peer pressure or persecution they may suffer for obeying God.
Even if our children grow up in a world where God is valued and worshipped, life itself can bring pain. God does not cause pain, but the fallen world means we are surrounded by illness, heartbreak and evil deeds. Even our DNA is no longer perfect, resulting in disabilities and inherited illnesses. Our children will need to be strong to have their faith remain unshaken by the stresses of living in a fallen world.
Even if you could be the perfect parent, bad things are going to happen in your child’s life. Not because God is punishing your child, but because we live in a fallen world. As much as we would love to spare our children any pain, we can’t. Your kids will have disappointments, heartbreaks, illnesses, injuries and other painful experiences during their lives. How they handle the pain though, can mean the difference between living a godly, productive life and being stuck in the pain forever.
Having had a tough year personally, I was excited to get a chance to read Nick Vujicic’s latest book, Unstoppable. (Click to read the first chapter for free.) If you are unfamiliar with Nick Vujicic, he is an Australian Christian speaker who was born without any arms and legs. Evidently, his first book told his story in depth. In this book, he chooses to address issues people in pain may face, giving them hope and practical godly advice.
Have you been to five different toy stores in search of that present your child “must have” this year? Were you trampled in the mad rush for the latest gadget? Are you wondering what happened to the days when children were thrilled to receive a homemade rag doll and an orange for Christmas?
I have a controversial theory about Christmas consumer madness. Yes, commercials and marketing appeal to our children, but I think it may just be something more. Is it possible our children are asking for “things” to substitute for what they really want from us? Maybe they don’t know how to ask or maybe they just know the answer will be no. They have learned adults are often willing to give them plenty of stuff to compensate for not giving them what they really want. Our future business leaders have learned to work the system in their favor. And who can blame them?
I have a secret about my Bible reading which I rarely share with anyone. Mainly, because it generally causes eye rolling and groaning. Since I can’t see or hear you, I am going to take the risk – I secretly enjoy reading the “begats” in the Bible. Partially, it is because I love the little nuggets God hid within some of those passages. Mainly though, I love reading the connections between the generations over thousands of years. It is comforting to think of God touching the lives of generation after generation of His people.
A legacy of faith is one of the most important gifts we can give our families. Even if you are the first generation of believers in your family, you are starting a legacy for any future generations after you. There is a creative way you can add to that legacy for your children, grandchildren and beyond.