Prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.
During the next year, Barbara and I notched the bowstring with another arrow, Benjamin, and prepared for our second release. We spent a lot of time talking to him about the temptations he would encounter at the university. Over breakfast Bible studies we discussed drinking, peer pressure, dating, girls and sex.
Some of these talks began when Benjamin was in fifth and sixth grade. Any good archer will tell you that you don’t prepare for hunting season by practicing for a couple of weeks right before it begins.
In August, just days before Benjamin was to leave for college, I set up a surprise breakfast for him. We were joined by three godly men whom Benjamin respected. It was powerful! They encouraged Benjamin to grow in his love for Jesus Christ, to guard his heart and to be faithful to God.
Finally the day came. Arriving on campus, we spent most of the afternoon cleaning our son’s room so he could move in.
It was nearly dusk when the first poignant moment came. Benjamin and I went outside the student housing for some fresh air and sat on the tailgate of a truck parked near the door. There we watched a steady stream of young men pass by, most of them drinking.
At this point I was becoming fearful for my son. I wanted to protect my arrow and put it back in the quiver, not release it into this “crooked and perverse generation.” I turned to Benjamin and looked him in the eye. “Son, I’ve got to tell you that watching all these young men get wasted on booze really causes me to question the wisdom of sending you into the midst of all this.”
There was only a brief silence and then he returned my gaze. “Dad, this is my mission field,” he replied. “It’s going to be tough, but if it were easy these guys wouldn’t need Jesus Christ. This is what you and Mom have trained me for. God has led me here and He will protect me.”
There I sat, rebuked by my 18-year-old son. He was a young man of faith.
That your children will desire to have an impact on their peers for Jesus Christ.
How many years do you have before you release your “arrows”? How are you preparing them for spiritual battle?
Dear God, please show me the way in guiding my own children to be faithful and respectful servants of your will. May your word be instilled in them, and I reflect your commands in my parenting. We are preparing the children with greater exposure to the Bible, as well as peer situations within our church community. Show us what you would have us do for the ones we cannot be as hands-on with, that we may do our best to prepare them as well.