I sat in church weeping, as God continues to take me through a process of preparation. Earlier in the service a missionary gave a sermon where he told the story of a 12 year old boy who went to an underground Bible college in China for seven months and then promptly set out as a pastor.
Local believers say 500 churches were planted in China through his work, all by the time he had turned 18. WOW!
I was not weeping because I was thinking: 'How can I do this?', instead I was challenged: 'How prepared are my children to go out and share the gospel? Could they stand for their faith against an ungodly society without my protection? Would my children proclaim and live truth, even if they are no longer under my care?'
2 Kings chapter 5 tells us the story of a young slave girl from Israel who spoke up and shared her faith with her boss; resulting in the miraculous healing of Naaman, commander of the Aramean army.
This girl did not have the shelter of her family because she had been captured during a raid and forced to serve Naaman's wife. Nonetheless, the girl boldly proclaimed who her God was when she told her mistress Naaman would be healed of incurable leprosy—if he went to visit God's prophet, Elisha.
There is no exact age given for this servant, just the mention of her being a 'young girl'. This suggests she was probably not more than ten and it's probable she was even younger when first taken away from her homeland. The horrifying experience this girl faced when she was torn apart from her family and dragged to a foreign land was likely similar to the ISIS assaults of today.
This boy and this girl
The stories of this boy in China and the servant girl from Israel present a challenge for me: how am I raising my children to know and live for the Lord? I'm also considering the reality—my children may one day be taken from me, as they may be from any Bible-believing believer. If not my children it could well be my house, possessions and health.
Think I'm joking or paranoid? Western society is quickly removing the rights and freedoms of Christians and governments are threatening hostile action towards members of the public who will not adhere to their laws.
For example, laws supporting those outside of the traditional male and female marriage relationships have prompted legal action against Christians standing up for the biblical institution of marriage.
The education system continues to move towards a curriculum contrary to the Bible and the government effectively wants to control what children are taught and how they should live. Stories from different parts of the world are exposing some of the government intervention being enacted against Christian homeschooling families in particular (although to be honest—because we don't know the whole story—some of those families may need this no matter what their faith).
The provincial (state) government overseeing the school system where I live has gone as far as threaten dissolution to any school board that does not comply to allowing cross-gendered students to choose which bathroom they use. This effectively means religious schools (particularly publicly-funded Catholic, Christian and Islamic schools) that refuse to teach gender neutrality and self-identified gender—based on religious principles—could be removed.
As a result of the increasing targeted attacks on Christians I am now preparing for a future in which my children may well be removed from my wife and my care, because I will not stand down from my faith and the biblical standards God has implemented.
It may cost my house, job, possessions and relationships, but a true Christian faith cannot compromise to the law of God.
This challenge and preparation is a personal journey God is taking me through as I am considering becoming a pastor (and therefore likely a bigger target), but really it's applicable to any Christian who is willing to take up their cross and follow the Lord each day, living for Him without compromise.
Some may not lose children, but we all have things to lose and our faith needs to be prepared for this to happen. If it happens to be my children I pray I can teach them now the ways of the Lord, so they will not depart from their faith no matter what they face.
I pray they will be like the 12 year boy in China or the servant girl from Israel.
Tim Wilsonis an Australian currently living in Canada with his wife (also a comment writer) and their three children. He is passionate about the Church living according to the Word of God and authors a blog to inspire and challenge men and women of faith. www.abrokenmanblog.com
Tim Wilson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-wilson.html