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A New Commander-in-Chief

Our children, even when grown, are still our children. The love in our hearts for them does not change even though our role in their lives changes drastically. We go from “commander-in-chief” to an “advisory role.” Presently our two oldest are looking at having a distinctly new “commander-in-chief.” They are looking at signing on the dotted line in the military.

Several hours of helping them fill out forms to pass national security clearance requirements and it all seemed very real.

What is my reaction as a mother?

I’ve been given the distinct impression by some that I’m supposed to be terrified. I’m supposed to be pleading with them to not go. I’m supposed to be telling them that somehow, by serving their country they will ruin their lives, that somehow God isn’t big enough to protect them spiritually in the military.

I was raised in what I’d call a protected environment for the most part. You know, “Don’t drink, smoke or dance and don’t go out with guys that do.” And then I took my children to a remote jungle village where the light of Gospel had not yet penetrated….

They witnessed drunken parties that went on for days as children wandered in hunger hoping that soon dad and mom would sober up and feed them. The children were often at our door begging for crackers or something to eat.

They saw wives hiding their husbands’ shotguns so they wouldn’t get killed in a drunken rage.

They complained during drunken parties that they had to wear shoes because the village through which we walked was wet with drunken vomit.

They lived in a village where culture dictated that reaching puberty meant a celebration where the young woman got all fancied up—and then drank herself into a drunken stupor before the whole village, usually passing out before the homemade booze ran out.

They lived in a village where polygamy was acceptable, where the second wife was called “the wife’s rival,” where they even had a special verb that meant it was “stingy” for women to say “no” to sexual advances, and where men returned from town and bragged to others of their sexual encounters with prostitutes while their wives listened on with no recourse.

They saw these same people face death by snakebite, by disease, by suicide.

They also saw these same spiritually darkened people as friends in need of a Savior. They were privileged to see the transforming power of God’s saving grace in the lives of people once bound in darkness and sin.

We could have not gone. We could have not exposed our children to this immoral culture. But how would the tribal people have heard of God’s great love if no one went? How would the tribal people have heard of God’s saving grace if we all stayed where it was safe and comfortable? (Check out Romans 10:14!)

We taught our children, we protected them as much as we could, and we entrusted their spiritual welfare into the hands of our Heavenly Father.

They are adults now making adult decisions in a complicated world in crisis. We recognize they are always at risk to be wrongly influenced by the world. We recognize the fact it is up to them to make right choices. Though we have taught them, we realize we won’t always be able to protect them, and we continue to entrust their spiritual welfare into the hands of their Heavenly Father…wherever He leads them.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 14, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    >Great post, Rosie. It will be difficult, but oh so needed! They can serve their country and God. We have several family members in the military and my husband is a 3rd generation Marine. If the military, or any environment, can cause them to loose their faith, well, it wasn’t ‘their’ faith after all was it?

  2. March 17, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    >Thank, Jungle Mom. They haven’t yet signed. It’s been one long wait after another. Whether in the end they sign or not will be their decision. Still, these are the thoughts it brings to mind. I continue to pray, not that they’ll stay close to me here in NY (which I’d love to pray with all the “power of prayer” I could muster!), but that they’ll stay close to God and go where HE leads them.

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