And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
As parents, we naturally worry about the future
I was once told that when a first child is born, there are actually three people born: the child into the world, the woman into motherhood, and the man into fatherhood. All emerge brand new creatures. So when my wife and I welcomed our baby boy into the world about a year ago, I expected it to hit me harder. Like my whole outlook and perspective on life should have suddenly changed now that I was a father. But that never happened. My becoming a father is like my conversion to the Gospel– a process and a journey marked by lots of small efforts and almost imperceptible progress day after day. I feel much the same today as I did when my kid was born. But one of the changes I have noticed in myself is my growing concern for the quality of the world around me. It’s bad enough to know that the world will just continue to get more wicked, more angry, more immoral, and more violent in my lifetime. But to think that it will be even worse for my sweet little boy definitely makes me worry.
The world will continue to degrade
For example, when I started elementary school, I remember my parents instructing me that my teacher was basically acting in their place while I was at school. That I should listen to what she says, obey, and respect her as I (should) obey and respect my parents. But I won’t be able to give that same counsel to my children as they enter elementary school. Although I will teach them respect and politeness, I will also have to warn them that there will be things taught by their teachers at school that will probably contradict what we teach them at home. And that when those instances come up, they should understand that their teachers can be good people but still be very wrong in what they teach, and to trust what my wife and I teach above anything their teachers say. And that they should not be afraid to politely, nicely defend their testimony of what is right, even if it means that others around them choose to be offended or they get sent to the principal’s office.
But our children will still find peace
But the promise of the Lord is that through our diligence in rearing our children in the Gospel, “great shall be the peace of our children”. They are strong. They will not fear. They will not be worried like we will. They will be at peace with their challenges and meet them head-on. For parents, this is an even more wonderful promise than if the Savior had said “great shall be thy peace.”
I like what another blogger said in one of his posts:
Have kids and raise them with hope and equip them with the armor of truth. They will suffer, just as you have, but they will also live, and love, and win many battles for Christ.
Sometimes I look at my own kids and with dread I think to myself, “you have no idea what this world will do to you.” But then I realize that I should be looking at the world and with joy saying to it, “you have no idea what my children will do for you.”
This post first appeared on Power in the Book