The school year is well under way, and like most parents, my wife and I are looking forward to holiday reunions with those of our children who are now away at college, taking those first exciting, bittersweet steps away from the familiar delights and protections of home and into the destiny God has prepared for them.
It’s a hard transition for parents as well as young people. We discover anew how many things we can’t protect our children from. We watch, sometimes with bated breath, to see whether all those seeds of character and belief we’ve planted and watered and nurtured in their lives across two decades will really bear fruit.
Two of my daughters are in college now. One elected to attend a private Christian school out of state, and that brings some comfort, knowing at least that she’ll be surrounded by other Christians in an environment especially conducive to her continuing growth as a believer.
My other daughter, though, elected to attend a state university – one, as it turns out, that ADF has had several legal interactions with over the years. I know what kind of environment she’s immersed in, now, day by day … a milieu that is barely tolerant of, and often openly hostile to, any expression of Christian faith.
Last year, her mother and I prayed as she came face-to-face for the first time with the kind of persecutions so many of her fellow student believers have encountered on campuses coast to coast. She quietly took a stand for an issue she believed in – marriage as the union of one man and one woman – and quickly drew not just name-calling or acidic asides from passing peers, but physical attack, as some threw wooden stakes at her fellow Christians.
I wondered what impact that incident, and some other eye-opening experiences along the way, would have on her educational plans. Now I know. As I write this, she is preparing to travel to another part of the country for some intensive training in how to effectively share her faith on her public university campus.
It’s a beautiful thing to see God’s faithfulness in the lives of my own children. To see each of them "work out" their own salvation (Philippians 2:12) and find their Redeemer true. I hope every Christian parent gets that privilege.
And, as one who spends a great deal of time speaking on and defending the rights of the children of others, let me assure you: these ideas are not just theory for Mr. and Mrs. Alan Sears.
John 15:5 Apart from Christ, we can do nothing.