It’s scary being a parent.
I’m probably not alone in that I fret about how my kids will turn out. I think it is often doubly scary to be a parent in an unequally yoked home.
There is more compromise in a divided home when parents have differing worldviews. My husband and I have disagreed compromised over many things. Major things like education. I wanted private Christian school, he – public. My daughter attends public school. We have not always agreed on video games, game ratings, or age appropriateness on said games. Don’t even get me started about television programming. Thankfully my daughter’s preferences on TV are amazingly similar to mine.
On the flip side, my husband respected surrendered to my desires such as prayer before dinner, my daughter’s youth group attendance, church. My husband is a moral man and we have more in common than not, with regard to parenting but on certain key issues, we remain worlds apart.
I know many of you reading this right now can relate.
It is scary. I think my ultimate fear is summed up with this question; Will my child’s eternity be at risk because her father doesn’t believe?
So today I have a story. It is a story, 14 years in the making and a triumph for every unequally yoked parent.
Saturday night my teen daughter attended a youth church get-together. This might not sound like a big deal but up until this fall, my daughter refused to join ANY kind of youth church event. The best I could hope for is her attendance on Sunday morning. When you are unequally yoked it becomes extremely difficult to force your teen kid into these kinds of things without Dad’s full support of the suggestion. Frustrating but true. However, this fall I offered my daughter an incentive to start attending on Wednesday nights. (I love incentives and rewards. They work.) This is week four. She has attended every weeknight AND every Sunday morning youth service. A miracle in itself.
Further, my daughter’s best friend decided to tag along. She, too, has attended every weeknight.
Okay, with that history in mind, the Youth group held a Glam-N-Jam on Saturday night. My daughter not only attended but also was a model for the Christian clothing retailer, C28.
The owner and founder of the chain of stores, Aurelio Barreto, spoke. His riveting and powerful testimony of a millionaire who was on the verge of suicide and then finds Jesus had me transfixed for an hour. A fantastic story for another day. (see video below)
But this story is about my daughter and her friend.
They both sat and listened as Aurelio spoke. He shared the gospel message and he shared Jesus. He prayed and asked the kids in the room to raise their hands if they accepted Christ.
God has honored my prayers over this child from her infancy. I have asked the Lord to hold her heart and protect her daily for years. His faithfulness became evident on Saturday night.
On the drive home, the carload of kids in the back seat were all talking excitedly about the evening. They talked about how they knew the Holy Spirit was in the meeting and that Jesus was the only way to real and lasting happiness and joy. I knew their faith was alive.
I saw my daughter with new eyes. She really believes in the Lord Jesus Christ. Her faith is becoming her own and is no longer just her mother’s faith.
More remarkable, as we drove away after dropping the last kid home, my daughter’s best friend, my daughter said, “Mom, tonight Dani raised her hand during the prayer. I have been hoping for that for a long time. She has been searching and that is why she comes with me to youth group.”
“Oh honey, do you know what a big deal this is? You may have been the one person who helped to set the stage to her eternity.”
Then my daughter said something I will never forget. “Mom, do you think it would be okay if I invite Cheyenne to come to youth group next week?”
She gets it. She has the heart of Christ, a heart of compassion for her friends who are hurting. She gets it that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life - for her and her friends.
What more could a mother want?
God doesn't require us to be super parents but only to live out our faith authentically before our children's ever watching eyes.
My daughter knows I am not perfect. She knows this oh so well. But, she cannot deny my belief in the living God of my life. My faithfulness to spend time early in the morning with Him, reading His word and praying has been one of the most influential things I have ever done. A wordless witness.
I am compelled by love to tell her how Jesus is active in the details of my life. My love for Jesus is evident in my actions and speech. It is undeniable every – single - day. A wordless witness.
You, too, have a wordless witness no matter what your spouse believes. No matter how hostile he might be to God today. You have a wordless witness regardless what the world preaches. You have a wordless witness with more power than any evil of this world.
You serve the Lord God Almighty. Live your life that way. It is irresistible to your children, your spouse, and a world of cynics. Have a blessed and triumphant week. Be blessed, Lynn