I often think about Hannah in the OT who left her son in the care of the temple high priest at around three to five years of age. God had answered her prayer and blessed her with a son after many years of barrenness, and now she was keeping her promise and giving back to Him.
The temple priests in that day were known for their immorality and wickedness. How would you prepare your precious children to live like lambs among wolves if you knew ahead of time what was coming? Evidently Hannah did her homework, because in spite of the wickedness around him, her little son Samuel grew up to be a very godly man whom God used as His voice to the Israelites for many years.
In Japan today many children are separated from their parents because of a natural disaster. In Liberia, birthplace of two of our adopted daughters, lots of children lost their parents to war’s cruelties. In the USA, families like ours (home-educating, conservative, Christians) are targets for activists who believe that parents shouldn’t have the final word about the upbringing and education of their children.
How do we prepare our children for the possibility of separation from us? Would they stand true if surrounded by evil? Even very young children understand Truth in their spirit well before their minds do. It’s a spiritual battle, and prayer is a key weapon.
We memorize key passages of Scripture that can stay with our children wherever they go. If the creation account in Genesis is ingrained in them while they’re small, they are more likely to recognize the lies of evolution. Very young children have a great capacity to memorize if something is repeated often (how else would they learn to speak?). We always take a few minutes after breakfast, before bedtime, and other routine moments to recite Scripture with and to our children.
Separation from our children is one of the worst nightmares a parent can imagine. Let’s pray that day never comes for any of us. But if it should, let’s be “caught” prepared. We’ll never regret it.