Welcome to a new series on FFS! Broken Hearts, Fueled Passions has grown beyond anything I could have done. Over the next few months you will get to hear from some normal people who are being used by God. All God wants from us is to be broken enough so that He can glorify Himself through us. And it is through the breaking of our hearts that our passions for ministry are fueled. I hope you’ll plan on joining us each week!
Today’s post is written by my sweet friend Rachel. Through talking with her, and much prayer, this series was born. I love her so much, and I hope you will love her words.
And so much more rewarding and redemptive than I ever imagined.
When my oldest was born, a friend with a baby the same age made a comment that you never realize how much selfishness your heart harbors until you have a little one. That was so true for me, and so freeing to see the Lord grace me every day with fewer and fewer thoughts of how tired I felt and more and more thoughts of how blessed I am.
Now with my sweet third baby, a two-year-old with endless energy, and a four-year-old-going-on-sixteen, I find myself praying through a totally different aspect of parenting.
Alongside manners, personal hygiene, A-B-C’s, and Bible stories, how do I prepare my babies to be ready for the possibility of persecution for their faith?
If I believe scripture is true, and Jesus taught us that we would face persecution in his name, then this is something I need to be teaching my children right?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
And look at that! The reason Jesus is teaching about the suffering he will face is to give his disciples peace. I want that for my children with all my heart….
I love to dream of the men and women my children will become. I have since before they were born. Will they want to work with their hands like their Daddy? Teach like their Mama? Or chart their own course as artists, or in ministry, or military service?
What if the Lord’s plan for me or my children is to suffer for His glory?
What a thought right?
I just finished reading, In God’s Underground by Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of Voice of the Martyrs. So many things from the words of this man tortured and imprisoned 14 years for preaching Christ in communist Romania gave me a new vision of the world outside of my comfortable church and home.
And when he was released, he turned back toward the prison and shouted:
“God, help me not to rejoice more because I’m free than because You were with me in prison!”
And so I ask myself; Am I that thankful for Christ’s presence with me to the extent that every other blessing fades in importance? Am I teaching my children to seek Christ’s presence above all the “toys” in our lives?
Stories of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ have inspired and challenged me as a mommy, to say the least.
But has Christ used that inspiration to change my parenting at all?
I would humbly offer three practical things to consider prioritizing even in the littlest of lives.
First, Scripture Memory: No one can take the Word of God from you when you have faithfully hidden it in your heart. And no one can take that power it gives away from your children.
Secondly, pray with your children for other nations and our brothers and sisters in Christ who face persecution even today. I love receiving daily emails from Operation World with the statistics of that country’s population and culture with suggestions for prayer.
And thirdly, teach yourself and your children about the men and women throughout church history who have stories saturated in God’s redemption despite opposition. My kids love these movies they received for Christmas called the Torchlighters, and I have found myself wanting to read and research the full story of these amazing people.
May we be faithful to follow in the footsteps of Christ and teach our children to do the same. May God bless you, my friends.
~~ Rachel Hyder is a mom of three and part-time professor of mathematics. Raised outside of Atlanta, Georgia, she graduated from Furman University with a passion for high-school-age students and taught three years in Greenville County. Rachel then met and married a wonderful “country boy” from South Carolina peach country and loves the church and community she is blessed to call home.