Soldiers fall asleep in war zones.
It sounds impossible, given the danger and gunfire and uncertainty at every turn, but photojournalists have captured images of soldiers at the battlefront peacefully napping in the most intense conditions.
It’s understandable that a time will come when, no matter the danger, soldiers can no longer withstand the fatigue and will succumb to their physical need—even as the war rages all around them.
As Christ followers and parents, we live in a spiritual war zone where Satan battles for our children’s hearts and minds. The cultural war raging around us can be overwhelming. Some parents have become weary or too busy to carve out time to shape their children’s understanding of God’s truth—leaving youth pastors to do the fighting for their children’s souls. Sadly, many parents are indifferent to God’s Word and are completely blind to the battle. This complacency has opened the door for the enemy to mold our children’s beliefs through teachers and other outside influences that are executing a different battleplan altogether.
We’ve got to wake up and get back into the fight. Time is of the essence! Satan and his army have a strategic plan, particularly regarding our children’s education. The indoctrination of our children’s minds is happening as early as preschool. And the means employed may seem harmless if we are drifting into slumber and not remaining vigilant.
Even a beloved teddy bear can be weaponized. “Introducing Teddy” is a curriculum storybook for children grades K-2 that’s being used by school districts across the country. Teddy ultimately tells his best friend, Errol, that he feels like a girl rather than a boy and wants to be called Tilly.
Seattle area first-graders recently heard a story chronicling a transgender teenager’s journey from his usage of hormones at age 11 through his gender reassignment surgery at 17. When parents voiced their concerns about the book “I Am Jazz” being read in the classroom to first-graders, the school district stood by the teacher’s decision.
These curricula, supported and enforced by school administrators and school boards, fly in the face of God’s perfect design for men and women and aren’t supported by science.
The combat rages in the classroom as American history is erased and historical facts and events are rewritten. Students are being taught that the Constitution and other pillars of democracy are tenets of a racist system. With school administrations no longer offering transparency about curricula, parents are forced to go to court to find out what is being taught, bringing to light issues like the doctrine of critical race theory, known as CRT.
At first glance, CRT may seem like a way to help educate students about prejudice and bias against people of color, with the intent of raising awareness and allowing for healing in our nation. But CRT includes dangerous biases, asserting that people are oppressors or are oppressed based solely on their skin color rather than on attitudes and behavior. Recently, a teacher in New Jersey resigned after she was required to divide her students according to skin color and to label the white students as oppressors.
It sounds bleak and discouraging, and we may feel helpless to change it, but just as soldiers keep fighting for the cause even when it appears the enemy is gaining ground, there are things we as parents can do to stay in the fight.
First, examine what is happening in our children’s lives. Proverbs 27:23 says, “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds” (NKJV). What happens at our children’s schools and during their extracurricular activities? What are they being taught at church? We cannot assume that our children are receiving a Scripturally accurate message from their leaders. Ask questions and use them as an opportunity to speak God’s truth or to reinforce it. Take action to remove children from unhealthy spiritual environments.
Second, be diligent in our responsibility as parents. We cannot outsource the raising of our children to our schools and churches. God’s Word is clear: We bear primary responsibility for our children’s spiritual training and development. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (NKJV). Conversations about sexuality, prejudice and history should begin at home with us.
Third, make decisions about what is best for our children, even if they involve sacrifices. A dual-income family may decide to become a single-income family so that homeschool is an option. God may lead us to enroll our children in a faith-based private school, which means a significant financial commitment. Maybe it’s to fight our local school board or even run for a position on it. These aren’t easy decisions, but God is with us when we choose what is right over what is convenient. We have to determine which cost is greater—the short-term financial pain or the loss of our children’s souls.
Finally, stay awake in the heat of battle, even when we grow weary. It’s tempting to dismiss areas of concern and let down our guard. But Ephesians 5:14-16 reminds us, “‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’ Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (NIV). Stay in God’s Word and pray daily, asking Him for strength and protection.
The battles we fight today give our children the chance to grow in truth. “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes” (Nehemiah 4:14, NIV).
Be encouraged, moms and dads. God has armed us with what we need for the battle (see Ephesians 6:10-18). With God leading us and the Holy Spirit empowering us, we pray that in this war our children will gain the victory: eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ©2022 Cissie Graham Lynch