It was a Friday morning. The sun was just breaking the horizon while I sat in dim light working on my website with frustration settling into my shoulders. A distraction was coming. I've come to love the sound of little footsteps before dawn. I heard his musical sea horse before I saw him. What he said made my heart sink and tear well in my eyes.
“Mommy, can I turn on the TV and see if any more cops died?
The news headlines of the world are not for the tender hearts of five-year-old boys. But we cannot shelter them from every new show, or adult conversation. So I have made a promise to myself that in tough situations I would not dumb down truth with him. Just a few days before I had explained the sad truth of people who do bad things and have hate in their hearts and are likely under the influence of Satan's hand.
Then, we pray. We always pray. Right there, out loud to God we pray. Caught between an innocent little boy and a mighty warrior for the Lord, Mom and Dad must be ever-ready to kiss a boo-boo, wipe a tear or enter into prayer and intercession for the needs of others in a hurting world.
Even so, it hurts this mama's heart to know her little boy's world will be much different than then the one I grew up in.
The Columbine tragedy happened when I was 19. The most violence we had when I walked the halls of high school was a crazy drop out boyfriend threatening a smack down on school admin for not allowing him to attend prom. And once the marijuana wore off he probably regretted his behavior.
Today hatred seems to brew faster than a good pot of coffee. This cancer feeds on an individual until it has taken over their entire being; body, soul, and spirit and we only seem to notice after the smoke clear and bodies are left on the ground.
The reality is, we are living in a twisted world. If we really look around, with eyes wide open and ears tuned out from the world's clamor we can see just how jacked up society has become.
From one stage, we honor gender reassignment with a gold statue, yet from another we chant, “Kill the cops!”
Political correctness has taken over everything and self-serving rhetoric has replaced cold hard facts.
A Christian can't refuse to bake a cake, but a Muslim should be allowed to refuse to do his job – checking out groceries. Double standard much?
Guns are the bad guys yet no one blames uterine currette or embryotomy scissors for killing babies. (***The previous link it to a graphic abortion awareness site. View discretion highly recommended. Video are extremely graphic but none the less truthful.***)
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,”
~ 2 Timothy 3: 1-4
The twisted perversions of truth are undeniable. Evil is alive and thriving in the world.
The Rest of the Story
I know that the landscape of society will look vastly different when my son enters adulthood. I hear people say they don't want to bring children into this world because of the horrors they will have to endure. Generations before us have said the same thing.
I wonder what people thought when the Roman Empire crumbled? Did they fear the world was ending, that society would no longer function without the mighty strong hand of Rome? Our pastor posed a similar question not too long ago. It had me thinking – what will we do if this great land of ours collapses? Will the land offering refuge be a nation of refugees? It's obvious, the United States is not immune to the terrors of this world. What will become of us?
These questions I cannot answer, for myself or my son. But what I know, what I can teach him is that, no matter what becomes of society, Christ is still on His throne. No matter how much disaster, disease and death we experience on Earth we are assured of a place in Heaven with Christ so long as have accepted Him as Lord and Savior.No matter if we die or we are here for the rapture, one thing is certain:
“Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garment, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city.”
~ Revelation 22: 14
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
~ John 16:33 ESV
The Ultimate Answer
I won't pretend to have all the answers. I wish I could give you a proven 4-step method for discussing current events with your child. What I can tell you is that a worldview based on biblical truth, an understanding of the supernatural battle happening around us and roots deep in the Gospel are necessary, no mandatory, for navigating the future.
We cannot look outward for our assurance. Our assurance and peace, our strength and salvation can come only from the Lord.
Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.
~ John 14: 6 (AMP)
As sad a state as society is in, we can look for signs of God amongst the evil. There is light among the darkness. Stories from across the globe, and close to home, of how God is moving and working among his people is an encouraging thing. When we hear how God is providing or working it can give us a spark to press through.
As I write this I recall a story shared from a brother in Christ who, along with his tablemates, prayed for their waitress which led another waiter to ask for prayer. That man accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. The next day, before church at a men's prayer gathering, my brother led another waitress to the Lord.
Who shall ever separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? Just as it is written and forever remains written, “For Your sake we are put to death all day long; We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us].For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8: 35-39 AMP
God is working, we cannot lose heart at the headlines. Our children look to us to gauge how they should react to to life. The best thing we can do for our children is to point them back to Christ in all situations, staying focused on His goodness, His will, His sovereign power. It can't be a Sunday morning “thing”. It must be a lifestyle we live every day.
Tomorrow we'll be discussing a key element in a lifestyle of faith – prayable moments.
How does your family handle new headlines with the children?