Are You Prepared?
Steve and I were married very young and knew absolutely nothing about how to be good parents. We can testify to having good parents, but we both came from broken homes and once we had children of our own, the desire to be good parents was replaced with the desire to be godly parents. We gave our hearts and lives to Jesus at eighteen and in return HE gave us grace and wisdom to raise both Alyse and Bryce.
Contrary to what might be popular today, we raised our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This meant that we faithfully attended church and surrounded them with a community of like-minded people and friends. We taught them the truths of God’s Word every day through conversation and life-example. They were infused with character: love, integrity, compassion, honesty, hard work, obedience, generosity, etc. Seven years were dedicated to home schooling them. We were faithful to discipline them. The world today recognizes discipline as punishment, but punishment says, “You made me angry. Therefore, I am going to hurt you. Discipline says, I love you. Therefore, I will discipline you until you can learn to become SELF-DISCIPLINED!”
We were successful at parenting because the grace and counsel of God is very real and tangible. Whenever we came to a crossroads of decision, we sought His guidance. Whenever we did not have the answer, we sought His Word. He has faithfully directed our path and guided us to favorable outcomes. I love to tell everyone that JESUS CHRIST IS OUR SUCCESS! He gets all the glory.
Anyway, we raised two very special children who never caused us any problems until...
When our son, Bryce, turned sixteen. Through the fellowship of a few ungodly, influential peers, he found himself on a slippery road to rebellion. He rebelled against us in ways we never imagined. It was the most difficult trial Steve or I have ever encountered. Our hearts were broken, but because Christ was/is our SOURCE, we were prepared for battle. We loved Bryce, continued to discipline him, and contended for his soul every day through prayer and declaration. Not only were WE prepared for this dark trial, but so was Bryce. The seeds of righteousness and truth had been laid in his life since he was born. They framed his very being.
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it - Proverbs 22:6
One night, Holy Spirit woke me up to inform me that at that very moment Satan was desiring to kill Bryce and destroy him forever. Immediately, God also gave me this promise: Satan will NEVER be able to destroy your son because the foundation you have laid in Bryce’s life is so deep.
Walking this morning, Holy Spirit reminded me of the Parable of the Ten Virgins in the Bible. (Matthew 25:1-13) This parable teaches us about ten people who profess to be in relationship with Christ, but only five of them continually remain connected to Him as their SOURCE. The other five allow their oil to get low and burn out. When the bridegroom appears, they are caught in a panic trying to rush around and borrow oil for their lamps, but it is too late.
I want to lovingly warn you today, do not get caught unaware. Take the proactive approach to life. Do not allow life to simply happen to you and constantly be on the rebound from the severe blows. No, be watchful, prepared, and on guard against the storm that could be coming. Do not wait until a trial arises with your children to try to begin laying a firm foundation in their lives. By that time, it will be too late! Be ready and connected to the only true Source of life, Jesus, when your day of death arrives. Be filled-up and waiting for Jesus to return.
If you wait for these days to appear before making the proper preparations then I assure you, it will be too late and you will not receive the victorious outcome you are expecting. Because we live life prepared, the trial with our son lasted only a short three years. Today, he lives his life in honor to us as his parents and also to his heavenly Father as well. Bryce is blessed and highly favored and God is forever faithful.