For Ladies … Spiritual Workout
I am the mother of two high school students, and I count them as two of the greatest blessings in my life. I am finding, however, that raising them to be what God wants and sending them through the public school system is giving me a “spiritual workout.” Our kids love being with friends their own age and being involved in sports and clubs at school. We encourage them in these areas, but being involved in these things brings conflict at times with Christ, His church, and His teachings.
What can we do when these stressful times arise? How must we handle difficult and touchy situations when conflict arises between our Christian values and school activities?
First, firmly decide where you stand. Do you stand with the world or with Christ? Are you totally dedicated to following Christ? Then you do as Ephesians 6:13 says: “…take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.” When conflicts or issues arise, discuss them with your children, alongside the scriptures, and allow them to be a part of the decision to stand for the right thing.
Second, take each situation to God in prayer. Many times, we are made aware days or weeks in advance that a conflict is coming. Do more than just mention the problem to God. Spend much time in prayer asking God for wisdom to handle the situation in the right way. Ask for a way out of the situation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says that God will provide a way of escape from temptation. Pray for the strength and the power to address the situation. As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, an angel strengthened Him. God strengthened Paul to speak before dignitaries. God will give us the strength to do hard things. In Ephesians 3:16 and 20, Paul says God can strengthen us with might through His Spirit and can give us power.
Once you have prayed about your dilemma, approach the appropriate people with a humble attitude and work out the conflict with those involved or in charge. God is aware of our struggles. The Lord, however, wants us to work out, spiritually, and wants us to do so for an important reason. Philippians 2:12 says, “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…” Why? Verse 15 of Chapter 2 gives the reason – that we may be lights in a world that is crooked and perverse.
Experts tell us that it is good for us to exercise and work out, physically. Physical workouts make us tired but, ultimately, cause us to be healthy and strong. The apostle Paul says that “bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things…” 1 Timothy 4:8. Spiritual workouts also make us tired and discouraged at times, but, after handling each trial with prayer and doing things God’s way, we become stronger and more able to handle the next conflict that confronts us.
In 1 Peter 1:1-9, Peter said he knew the Christians to whom he was writing. He knew they rejoiced about their reservation in heaven but realized they are being distressed by trials (verse 6) and their faith was being tested by fire (verse 7). He encouraged them to follow through with their Christian walk because the end-result will be the salvation of their souls (verse 9).
It is tough for Christian teenagers to attend public school and live for Christ. Use this time your children are in public school as a training ground for their future. Work out with them during each difficult situation. Use God’s word as your guide, and be a strong support and encourager to them.
Finally, try not to feel overwhelmed. Remember that “…tribulations produce perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4). –3049 Tyler Highway, Sistersville, WV 26175.
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