Open doors… even ones opened just a little are before each of us! Sometimes we have to wrestle them open all the way to do the thing Jesus is calling us to~and it takes unbelievably hard, grueling work!
Have you read about Gladys Aylward? Oh my goodness, it’s phenomenal how she pushed open a door slammed shut in her face by men, so that she could do the thing she was passionate for and called to do. We are studying Early American History this year, but we had a couple of books from last year’s study of the world that we hadn’t read yet, and I just couldn’t leave this one behind! I grew up (thinking) I knew her story through a movie based on her life, but it really is nothing like her real story!! Her depth of courage and character, all that she endured and prayed and accomplished is in the book! If you need a true heroine for you or your daughters, read “Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime.” Even my ten-year old son was on the edge of his seat begging for another chapter + my older ones gasped at the courage displayed in a few of the accounts given. Best kind of #thriller 😍 .
Phil and I often pray that in these increasingly dark days, our children will be equipped to love boldly and stand firmly for Christ. We know that this will only happen by the grace of God on each of their lives, but feel strongly that we are called and equipped to raise them up purposefully in a way that will strengthen them for their callings!
Teach them to enjoy hard work. Physical work in daily chores, plus walks or hikes, pushing them to do more than they thought they could (age appropriate) builds character!!
Know the Word of God: Reading + Memorizing Scripture builds their faith and gives them truth to reference when a difficult situation arises in their life.
Read Living Books: This gives amazing courage and sense of adventure with God by reading these stories of Christians who have gone before us ~ these are a few of the most important things we are discovering!
When faced with possible death at the hands of communist rulers Gladys prayed, “If I must die, let me not be afraid of death, but let there be a meaning, Oh God, in my dying.” And isn’t that what we all want?! To live and die with purpose and meaning!! My children gasped aloud when we came to the part where Gladys witnessed the questioning of two hundred Chinese students as to whether they would pledge allegiance to a communist party or to Christ. When the each chose Jesus, the general ordered that they all be harassed and pressured by fellow students for a month, and then asked them again. This happened several times, and finally, they were faced with certain death if they didn’t deny Jesus. The first young woman questioned, replied, “Sir, three months ago I thought Jesus Christ was real, and I thought the Bible was true. Now after three months of your hatred, I KNOW Jesus Christ is real, and I KNOW the Bible is true.”
Now that’s the courage I want in my own heart, and of course that of my children!
“I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.”
If you have favorite books and historical characters (and other tips) for building courage in your children, I’d love to hear about them!