I used to be a useless Christian. My bad end-times beliefs not only terrified me, but completely immobilized and retarded my spiritual life. Bible classes at my private school encouraged our imaginations to run wild, and what started out as a pre-teen fascination and curiosity in Biblical prophecy soon turned into an intense phobia. Youth-group films that illustrated our bizarre ideas only inflated our fears. Our teachers never applied systematic theology; in fact, we never even opened a Bible. Just pure scare tactics from the good ol’ Fire and Life Insurance Agency. For me this turned into a life altering fear.
I never dreamed fear could grow roots like it did. By the time I was a teenager I was afraid to listen to the news or read the newspaper for fear that I would see more “signs” of the “end.” I became afraid of technology. I was afraid of barcodes (I was told these were the mark of the beast). I couldn’t watch movies that were “futuristic” or apocalyptic in nature. I became so fearful that I had a hard time enjoying life at all. Sunny days were gloomy to me as everything reminded me of my impending doom. This fear was a weed and the roots had grown so long and deep that they became entangled in every part of my life. When I tried to pull it out, it would break and grow back later.
I was aware of what an eschatological belief could do. A lot of other Christians I knew weren’t as afraid as me—some of them believed in the rapture. They welcomed the bad news and rejoiced in the evil condition of the world because it meant that we would get whipped out of here faster. However, my church taught that Christians were most likely going to go through this terrifying “tribulation” where we would deal with the persecution of “the Antichrist” and most of us would wind up dead or wishing we were.
By the time I got married I was finally starting to vocalize this fear. A year later when we had our first child and brought him home from the hospital I should have felt pure joy. Instead I felt tremendous guilt and sorrow. How could we be so cruel as to have a child who would have to endure this future tribulation? The world was so evil and it would only get worse—if the rapture wasn’t real our poor child would have to deal with the Antichrist. I was a brand new mom and felt as though I had already failed. This might sound silly to some, but it was very real for me.
I was pregnant with our second child when I was given two books that changed my life: Last Days Madness, by Gary DeMar, and Paradise Restored, by the late David Chilton. My fear had grown so bad that just reading the chapter titles gave me waves of adrenaline. However, I made myself read one page at a time, one scripture at a time. I started to realize immediately the power that was over me for so long: lack of biblical education and bad theology. Could it be as simple as that? I read on and slowly one chain broke after another. I can honestly say as a lifelong Christian I had never been free until I understood eschatology (the study of “last things”) in its proper form. After those books I moved on to the Basic Training DVD series that helped me to really understand the standard for biblical interpretation. With so many years of thinking “the end” was in my future I had developed some real triggers, some that I still deal with today but am able to neutralize almost immediately by applying proper hermeneutics.
The other aspect that was imperative to my becoming free was my understanding of Christ’s authority now and the spiritual and practical implications of that. What kind of wimpy Jesus was I serving all this time? I began to study about the dominion covenant and the significance of scriptures like Daniel 2 and what that meant for all Christians and future generations. What should we expect in the future? Why build anything? Why have children? Why get involved in things like politics, education and anything else in the “world”?
Things started to make a lot of sense when I realized that I had been reading John 3:16 as though it said “For God so loved the sinner that He gave his one and only Son.…” No, God so loved the kosmos: all of his creation. His plan of redemption includes the entire created order. Romans 8:19-22 says that all of creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. Until God’s stewards welcome Christ, and apply his laws and principles into every sphere of life, the kosmos will continue to groan as Romans describes.
My very patient husband witnessed this transformation in my life and it inspired him to seek truth in these matters as well. He didn’t have the dramatic spiritual past that I did, but seeing the results of my transformation prompted him to gain a proper understanding too. Wow—as a wife, I can say that made a real man out of him. A victorious eschatology has changed this family forever.
When I understood eschatology the way I believe God meant for us to understand it (much less complicated than man ever made it), and I understood the role and duty of the Christian, By George!, two plus two finally started to equal four, instead of three hundred and forty-seven. Not only that, my discontent with my role as a wife and mother began to change.
As a young wife and mother, modern culture—even church culture—had already brainwashed me to believe that those two roles could never fulfill me. I struggled with feeling depressed at times because my friends were out traveling the world, getting degrees and living lives full of fun and adventure! Surely I too could enjoy those things if it weren’t for.…
In reality, more and more women are experiencing many years of “fun” and “adventure,” full of singleness and independence. The reality is also that more women never settle down at all. They have degrees, they have picture albums of their trips to Europe, they have memories of all the fun they had, and they really love their “independence.” And when they die, they will take all of that with them, leaving behind nothing of benefit to future generations. When the independent feminists—who aborted their children and refused to “settle down” and have a family—die, everything their parents poured into them, and the effort of all the generations before them will die with them. They have brought an end to a part of history. The implications for this are of great consequence.
Suddenly I stopped caring so much for my own selfish ambitions. So what if I don’t travel the whole world or get that record deal I always wanted—I’m doing something much more important. When I make breakfast for my family and do the laundry and read to my little ones—with a dominion perspective—I am investing in the future generations. Simply doing what I know I ought to do by itself isn’t going to change anything down the line of generations when you consider the influence of secular humanism in our culture and in our modern day church. It is vital that we have a victory mentality and teach our kids who really sits on the throne—and then show them how to apply that in a practical way in the world.
Right now, my husband and I are living for our great grandchildren and our great, great grandchildren. We realize that we must live out our marriage and our parenting with the big picture in mind always. We must ask the question—how is what we are doing now going to change the future and affect future generations? I would like to encourage other young mothers to ask the same question. The days you find yourself overwhelmed or unsatisfied because of your role, consider the big picture. Consider the lasting impact of a mother and father who teach their kids how to bring Christ into every sphere of life. Consider the effect of a household that believes Christ is reigning, instead of a household that believes He has ultimately failed in history. And by the way—the great godly men of history didn’t just appear out of thin air. They came about as the result of faithful generations before them: moms and dads who faithfully taught their children the ways of the Lord.
Diapers and dishes never made me happy before in my life, but with a victorious eschatology I’m so honored and privileged to do them! This is an army we’re raising. Do that mountain of laundry with joy in your heart because we have been specially selected to nurture those little warriors and be a helpmeet to the commanding officers in the Lord’s army—and we will win!