I have to offer my thanks and gratitude to moms – all the moms – who tirelessly serve and hope and care for the younger generations.
Serving at a booth for Engage Magazine, AFA’s young adult ministry, at a women’s conference this past week, I was touched by how many women came up to our table and expressed their heart to minister to their young adult or teen children and grandchildren.
“This would be great for my son,” one woman said. “He’s 32, and he’s decided now that everything I ever taught him is wrong. Maybe this ministry [Engage] can help him.”
“I’m going to leave this on my daughter’s desk where she might see it,” another lady told us with a sly twinkle in her eye. “She’s in her first year of college and has her head turned by the liberal ideas she’s taught.”
As one after another filed by and told us of their heartbreak and fears for their children, I felt a little guilty simply for being part of what was sounding like a lost generation. And I felt sad for those women because (as one of the Millennial generation between the ages of 18-35 years old) I know that not all of us are rebels against conservative Christianity and our parents’ values. I felt grieved that these moms were forced to see that happen with their own children because I know it is not the way things have to be.
But most of all, I felt grateful. I felt grateful because, in every one of those women, I met a person who cares deeply about my peers and me. I saw moms who pray and hope and care for children who have gone astray. I saw women who passionately strive to know and understand and reach young people who simply walk away. I saw women who may not know just how, but who want to help and will not stop trying, again and again, one way after another.
Above all, I saw hope – women who hold on to their hopes for the younger generation against all odds. And I realized that because they keep hope alive, there is always hope for their kids.
As we handed out bookmarks and pens and magazines and referred people to the Engage website and social media countless times, I hoped too that our small efforts would somehow aid those women in reaching their kids, in helping them to understand the world and the culture and the Christian faith and the reasons their parents believe and act as they do.
I hope that more and more, mothers and fathers will be able to help their kids successfully navigate to and through adulthood while staying steady and grounded in Christian faith.
I hope that each one of those children will seize hold of a real, living faith and relationship with Jesus that is not just a meaningless appendage left over from their parents’ religion.
I hope that more and more families will know the joy of a family connection that extends beyond a family tree or shared homes and backgrounds, but that embodies the freedom and unity that come of being members together in the kingdom family of God.
I know that more than any efforts AFA, or Engage Magazine, or any other ministry might make, the greatest impact is made by those who pay the real price of tirelessly striving for their children’s good. And, so, what I want to say is “Thank you.” Thank you, moms (and dads) and grandmothers (and grandfathers). …
Thank you for your deep hearts of compassion for your children.
Thank you for not giving up hope in us, even when we’ve given up hope ourselves.
Thank you for all the sacrifices, for not regretting the cost, for the tears and sleepless nights.
Thank you for not losing faith in us although we prove faithless.
Thank you for the strong and beautiful structure of goodness and truth that you’ve built for us to inherit.
Thank you for going the extra mile to preserve that foundation so that we can build on it ourselves one day.