This is a guest post from current LHCS parent Jennifer Willcock.
As my husband’s been speaking on Daniel the last couple of weekends, I’ve been reminded how relevant Daniel still is in 2018. Mark’s tagline the first week was: “When we stand firm, we will stand out; and God will help us stand up!”
Automatically my thoughts went to our sons who are just entering their teen years and becoming men. As parents, we raise our children in the hopes that they will become Daniels in an increasingly Babylonian world.
There’s so little tolerance for truth or Christians today that I feel like our children begin with three strikes against them. As a parent, it concerns me, but I remind myself it’s not any different than Daniel’s experience. He was a Jew, and a slave, held captive by the Babylonian Empire. An alien in an alien world. Those are some pretty big strikes against him!
But Daniel was doing many things right. He obviously had some charisma that went along with a winsome attitude, as my husband mentioned in his sermon. Because of his favourable attitude and respect for those in authority, Daniel found favour with those in charge of him.
But what really made Daniel a stand out? He never let his eyes stray from his God. I’m sure there was a lot to look at in Babylon. Idols, women, riches and so much more. It was a heathen heaven so to speak. Daniel, however, kept focused on who he believed in and chose to follow the only one true God when it would have been so much easier to choose a different path.
As parents, we pray that as our children grow up, they will do the same. That they will keep their focus on the one true God. Because there will be lots to look at; idols, the opposite sex, riches and so much more. But if they keep their eyes on God and truly live out what they believe and know is truth, the rest falls into place.
Does it mean it’s all rainbows and unicorns? That would be a resounding no. Being a Daniel in a Babylonian world means you’re going to have some major trouble. You can count on it (lion’s den anyone?). And when that trouble comes barreling down, God is going to help them stand up against it. You can count on that too.
What does being a Daniel look like? Love when it’s easier to hate. Generosity when it’s easier to keep it all for self. Not having the last word. Admitting being wrong. Being bold. Standing up for what is true. Self-control. Being a Daniel can only be done with the help of God. The good news is he’s given us a helper, the Holy Spirit and He’s there for the asking.
He’s ready to help everyone. Including me. It’s far too easy as an adult to hide away and think it’s a lesson only for my kids. I need to raise myself up as a Daniel too.
If I want my children to be Daniels, as parents we need to lead the way. Disciple them in Daniel 101.
We need to keep our focus on God and not look to the right and get caught up in circumstances or to the left and get sucked into the lies of Babylon. More stuff will not make it better. Only Jesus will.
“When we stand firm, we will stand out; and God will help us stand up!”
(First published on Jennifer’s blog, January 15th, 2018 at www.jenniferwillcock.com)