My daughter Hannah was at a crossroads. As high school junior taking her first college course, she wanted to succeed. She had only hours before the final draft of her essay was due.
But no matter how many changes and upgrades she had made, it was not looking good for Hannah's grade.
The teacher did not like her argument that the children’s book King and King depicting homosexual marriage and homosexual kissing should be banned from public school classrooms.
I had emailed the teacher asking for some clarification of her expectations. I did not hear back from her that day.
That is when the most important thing happened in this long drama. Sure, it had been good for Hannah to have to learn to argue and defend her faith views in a hostile environment. It had been good that Hannah had learned to approach her college professor humbly asking for more help to complete the project satisfactorily. But now it was time for the big question.
"Hannah," I began my response to the now crying teen, "What is the worst thing that could happen to you with this assignment?"
"Mom, I could fail it and ruin my first semester in college!" was her impassioned response.
"No Hannah. That is not the worst thing. The worst thing is that you could fail to honor the Lord, cave in under the pressure, and change your views!" I responded.
"Yeah, you are right, I guess," she quietly agreed.
Then I helped her to play out the worst case scenario in her mind. Did you know one of the best ways to defeat fear and walk in courage is to imagine your worst fears and see what the Lord can do even with them?
Here is what we determined was worst case:
Hannah fails the class. Gets a bad grade. Has to take the class over. Pays extra money. Works extra hard. And has to explain to people why she failed freshman English.
OK. None of that would be fun. But if people can die for their faith, couldn’t we endure all those pesky hardships? They sound like “light and momentary troubles” by comparison.
Suddenly, I became keenly aware of the benefits of a little persecution!! We were truly learning to stand on what we had always said we believed to be true!
How about you and your kids? How will you handle the pressures in schools, workplaces, and the community? Do you have the courage to suffer....even just a little for the cause of Christ??
Are you sharing this series with your kids? It is a great training ground. Next time, we will conclude with the teacher's final comments on the paper and....the grade!
Image Source: Sigurd Decroos
Gratefully linked to Modest Mondays
You can find the other parts of this series here: