We live in a time of war
What is happening in Ukraine is tragic. The thought of where this Russian land attack can lead is troubling at best. I have never lived through a war on my soil, so I cannot imagine how the Ukrainians feel. I can't imagine my home being attacked or bombed. I do pray for them regularly.
But that is not the only war going on in our world. There is another war going on where there are no military soldiers in this battle. There are no landing craft, tanks, bombers, or artillery emplacements. Yet attacks occur every minute of every day. The battle I refer to is not taking place in one country but globally. The battle we're in is a battle of ideas. Ideas are thoughts and suggestions about what we ought to do. Our kids are the primary target of this battle. The battleground is in our schools, in our own houses digitally.
The battle is real when a state (Florida) has to make a law against adults teaching k-3 students about sexual orientation, gender identity, or corrupting marriage as God intended it. Children are the target because our ideas largely determine our understanding of life's meaning and guide us in the way we live. While children face many idea battles, I've shared thought on some below.
Five Declarations of Freedom
I am loved. Deep, unconditional love exists, and I can have it. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to the smell of smoke and flickering light of fire from a bombing raid. You immediately cry out for help, and someone answers you. They burst through your door and usher you to safety, but you later find out your hero lost his life while saving others. The Bible says, Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13), For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
I have an incredible calling. My life has meaning. I bear God's image. Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." God created us to be like Him and find meaning mentally, morally, and socially as we interact with one another. God created you to be a caretaker of His creation.
I am meant for community. I can overcome conflict and live at peace with those around me. Psalm 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
There is hope for the world. I am not doomed. What is right and just and true will win. Most people understand hope as wishful thinking, as in "I hope something will happen." This is not what the Bible means by hope. The biblical definition of hope is "confident expectation." Hope is a firm assurance regarding unclear and unknown things (Romans 8:24-25; Hebrews 11:1, 7). Without hope, life loses its meaning (Lamentations 3:18; Job 7:6) and in death there is no hope (Isaiah 38:18; Job 17:15). The righteous, who have this trustful hope in God, have a general confidence in God's protection and help (Jeremiah 29:11) and are free from fear and anxiety (Psalm 46:2-3).
When my dad was alive, and we would talk on the phone, he would ask me, "How goes the battle?" So, parents, I ask you, how goes the battle for the minds and hearts of your kids?