Our country reels with news stories and wicked injustices and I’m over here just trying to wipe sticky stuff off the table. People discuss elections and policies while I ponder whether to sign my daughter up for ballet. While the world is covered in a new wave of evil, I’m trying to wipe crumbs off my feet.
I feel small. I feel like I can’t make a valuable contribution from way over here in the laundry pile. I feel bullied by the future and what it holds. But then I look at my children, and I see it—the future is not a bully. It’s looking up at me. Our children are the future in flesh and blood. We put our arms around hope every day.
Sometimes it’s easy for parents to forget the deeper meaning because we’re busy with our hands to the plow. Parenting is an “in the field” sort of job. It’s a time for application more than contemplation. Even my prayer life is often an internal conversation, surrounded by little voices asking for more juice, or telling me to watch another somersault.
As my fingers touch dishes, messy faces, and dirty diapers, I have to remember. As my arms embrace my smallest neighbors and tuck them in each night, I can’t forget this—children are the tangible side of the future.
While heavy burdens are draped over the world, I feel the contrast of what’s going on in my own life. I’m fed and clothed. I can freely worship. I feel like I’m on neutral ground while so many others, by comparison, are walking in hostile territory.
What difference can I really make?
We have to open our eyes even wider. Not just to the visible world, but to the invisible. We cannot minimize the battleground in our homes. This will leave us unguarded, at best. At worst, complacent.
Every believer does battle with a real enemy. But every believing parent is raising up little soldiers to go into battle as well. We are told to put on the whole armor of God. “That you may be able to stand. . .that you may withstand . . . stand, therefore.” There is a real enemy whose aim is to knock us down. He wants to devour us by convincing us it’s better to stay down than to get up again.
After all, what are you standing for anyway? Standing just to change another diaper? Wipe another messy face? Read another board book? What a small drop you are in a very big bucket.
We stand to turn baby boys into future men. We stand to turn baby girls into future women. We stand for future soldiers, future members of the kingdom of God.
Society does not know the value of a child. Why should we pour our very lives into these little ones? Jesus said what we do for the least of these, we do for Him. Satan hates Christ, so Satan hates whatever work you do for Christ. You may feel like the work is little. Like it’s all very basic. Motherhood starts out intensely practical. It starts with bodies side by side, a baby on your chest, a squishy hand to hold. And it goes on and on this way—in this intensely practical way—for several years. But sometimes our most spiritual work is the practical kind! Don’t let a legalist tell you otherwise.
The enemy knows what’s behind all our investments. He knows within every practical need met is a heavily spiritual implication. He hates for us to keep these children alive and nourish them for the cause of Christ. He goes after them, even in the womb.
How do we fight the enemy?
Joy is one of those things that easily latches on to motherhood, yet easily gets robbed from it, too. Love is another one of those things. The enemy can’t find these in his arsenal, so he tries to steal them from us. Love and joy are weapons for the saints. They flow from the character of God. So the enemy cringes every time we lovingly require obedience from our children. He shudders at our laughter and our fellowship—he wants a house divided. He moans at every seed of scripture we plant into a child’s mind. He detests every mealtime prayer concluded in Jesus’ name. He trembles at Who we worship and Who we teach our children to worship.
So when you make another lunch on yet another day that looks a whole lot like yesterday, it may seem as though you are living in a bubble. When you take your kids to church it might feel like a low-impact task. But you tilt the world toward Christ when you turn a child toward Him. You are not detached. You are bringing up the future. You may think your actions don’t weigh very much. But offer them to God and they can move a mountain.
Do not undersell your work in God’s economy. The ground is never neutral in our homes. The future sits around our table, smiles at us every morning, and counts on our help every day.
So have mercy on us, Lord. Multiply our investments and redeem our failures. Use the increase to save the thousands. Build your kingdom. And the world will change.
In Luke 18:16 Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13
“His seed shall be mighty upon the earth: the generation of the upright will be blessed.” Psalm 112:2