Generation Cedar

By Leah Smith

“I used to be a useless Christian. My bad end-times beliefs not only terrified me, but completely immobilized and retarded my spiritual life….

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!”

Printed from American Vision

For some great videos and articles about the end times view represented in this article, go to Eschatology @ AMERICAN VISION

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23 Responses

  1. One of my FIL’s many negative responses to the news that I’m expecting my 6th baby was, “Aren’t you sick of changing diapers? Don’t you want to be able to go anywhere or do anything without being tied down to a baby?” I enjoyed confidently informing him that it is my earnest prayer that I transition straight from changing my children’s diapers to my grandchildren’s. It dropped his jaw, he was so horrified. Unfortunately, should the Lord bless me with another, we’ll have repeat the scene all over again. He genuinely believes it is lip service and we’ll reach a breaking point.

    Thank you so much for this post! I feel like it could have been written to/about me. A mother’s bad view of eschatology can cause so much damage to her family. For me, it caused severe depression and overcoming it required going back to the Bible with the mind of a child and starting from scratch. It’s like therapy. I praise God that I wasn’t left in that destructive way of thinking and that He is gently leading me through that “therapy.” ( And that He has given me the example of strong godly women such as yourself to be an example. 🙂

  2. Great article! Such an encouragement in a world that is filled with messages that happiness equals self-fulfillment. Thank you for reminding me that the smallest tasks are all part of the big picture. Praise God!

  3. Amen! That’s a wonderful perspective. 🙂

    Have you ever seen Luther’s quote about washing diapers? That’s one of my favorites. The great reformer insisting it was a *privelage* to wash his children’s diapers and care for his family. 🙂

  4. Hi Kelly I am wondering what you mean when you say “victorious eschatology”. Does that mean you don’t believe in the rapture, and the tribulation etc. That you don’t believe things will get worse? Just asking for sake of learning.

    Also I’d love to know what you mean by being dominion oriented or whatever it was you said. I think that understanding this stuff might help me understand a little better where it is you are coming from, as I believe our theological viewpoints certainly do dictate how we will live.

  5. Mrs. W.,

    I’m so glad you recognize that our end times view effects how we live–not everyone makes that connection.

    Just to be clear, this article was written by Leah Smith, with whom I happen to agree concerning eschatology.

    Complicated subject, in my opinion, but in a nutshell, I have a post-millennial view, and for the sake of articulation and time, you can read/watch more about that view at this link:
    http://www.americanvision.org/search-results/?keywords=eschatology&show_results=N%253B

    To be “dominion-oriented” is simply to acknowledge man’s first command and act on it–”Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over…”

    That command goes hand-in-hand with the post-mil view and affects how Christians view their daily lives and purpose.

  6. Thanks Kelly. I have been noticing a lot lately that people tend to create a worldview around their theology. That’s probably the way it is supposed to be, and I guess it is why some of us have so many differences. Our view of God is so important because it shapes how we are going to view things.

  7. This is a great reminder. *glances at dirty kitchen* Over and over in the Bible, God reveals to us what blessings will come on future generations to those who live all out for Christ the King. Obedience or disobedience doesn’t just effect us, we live not unto ourselves. Our actions today can either bless or curse our line for generations to come. That is why it is imperative to chose life (CHRIST) that we might live (and our generations to come).
    Thank you for always admonishing your readers (me particularly) to strive for a more Godly view and life.

  8. I’m in a “unique” situation. I am a newly full-time stay-at-home-wife/homemaker ( about 3-4 months) who takes care of our home, my husband, and my widowed mother. I’m an “older” married woman by chronological age, but “younger” in regards to learning what it really means to be a godly submissive wife who values children as a blessing from the Lord.

    What this article discusses is all well and good if you have children, but if you end-up never having them (not because you’re using some form of bc or having abortions), you will still end-up leaving NOTHING behind to contribute to the future generation. Does this still make you “useless” to God? I have to think about this because this possibility might happen to me.

    After reading this post, I can’t help but think what a real waste I really am to society! I am unable to pro-create, and I’ve never enjoyed the adventures of “careerism.” So, I guess I’m pretty much “toast” in the “eyes of God?”

  9. Lady Sofia – You certainly are not “toast”! I recently went through a parents Bible study, and the first point the book (directed to parents) made was that there are biological children, and “spritual” children. Ideally, your biological children will also be spiritual children, but that is not always the case, when children turn away from what is taught.

    But no matter whether you have biological children or not, you can take under wing spiritual “children” of any age – baby Christians who are just learning about Jesus, and help mold them spiritually. These spiritual children can be in the form of friends, coworkers, acquaintances, neighbors…..any person! So good news – you can still do God’s work, with or without biological children.

    The book bible study I’m referring to is “Leaving a Godly Legacy” by Charles Stanley. It explains the concept much better than I did.

  10. Lady Sophia,

    Surely you don’t feel that way! That, I can ensure you, is NOT the way God views you. (The Lord is seeking a heart that is turned toward Him.)

    Nicole had some great points, and I will mention a few things I’ve seen single women do as they are an instrumental part of building the Kingdom.

    Certainly caring for your mother is so, so big. (What is pure religion, my dear?) And remember that hospitality is a major work of evangelism–that is, having people in your home, discipling them simply through living Christ.

    Taking on younger mothers who need extra support and practical care with their children is an incredible ministry that has gotten “skipped” due to the mentality that you aren’t supposed to have more than two.

    Also, imagine what a generational impact you can have simply by counseling younger women, helping them to understand their roles?

    The list could go on…but I certainly hope you don’t see motherhood as the ONLY way to please God!

  11. Mrs. LS, first, let me congratulate you on “coming home.” Second let me commend me for your service to you husband and mother. I want to reiterate that you are serving the future – if you serve God, you serve the future. It is my understanding that Mrs. Smith is telling a story of being transformed from hopeless mother to hopeful mother – and not compare herself to those who “refuse to settle down” and how much fun they have. That dosen’t seem to apply to you. Even *if* at one point you were one of those “who refuse[d] to settle down” you have expressed that this is not where you are now. This is still not a judgment on you. This is an attempt to help others who might be similarly brainwashed as the author once was, so they needn’t feel trapped by their duties that seem little by those of another worldview.

    Certainly our use in the kingdom is not tied exclusively to motherhood. It seems to me that there are a number of women of high esteem mentioned in the Bible who never had children mentioned – I’m thinking Dorcas, or Mary and her sister Martha, or even Queen Esther, just off the top of my head, yet they were clearly dear to the Lord.

    After John Milton was a well-established writer and public figure he lost his vision. He literally couldn’t write. It was agony to him, and he submitted to several terrible methods and procedures to get his sight back. All failed. His heart was deeply troubled, being a productive man with no way to produce. After much prayer and study he came to realize that “They also serve who only stand and wait,” if that was what God demanded of the person at that time. It was after that that he was inspired with the work most people remember him for: “Paradise Lost” all of which he dictated to his daughter. So who knows what lies in store for you?

    Incedentally, I know women who have adopted infants in their 40s, even had healthy babies in their 40s – so if that’s where your heart is, then, who knows? Not saying you need to, just trying to say don’t give up hope, if you have hope there.

  12. Kelly,
    For the sake of time (re: reading the link you provided) are you meaning by post-millenial that you believe that we as Christians are working together to make the world just right for Jesus to return? That there is no tribulation? Or did you mean post-tribulation? I’m really confused and not equipped in eschatology whatsoever! That’s hubby’s department! Might you have a link that would be a quick read that would explain it? Thanks! : )

  13. I’m curious about your eschatology too. Mine is: God knows, I don’t, I trust him to bring about the End on his terms, and my job is to live for him every day, whether in comfort or in tribulation. 🙂

  14. Carmen & Margaret,

    Here is a brief explanation of the post-mil view–by the way, Margaret, I also embrace the idea you expressed…eschatology is, I think, one of those areas where none of us can be positive…I may be wrong, but I don’t hold one’s view of eschatology the same as one’s view of clearer teachings of Scripture. I think we have to do our best to understand it, simply because it does affect the way we live. But I don’t think it should divide 😉

    Summary:

    POSTMILLENNIALISM

    A. DISTINCTIVE FEATURES…
    1. The kingdom of God: a spiritual entity experienced on earth
    through the Christianizing affect of the Gospel
    2. The church: the fulfillment of Israel (similar to historical
    premillennialism)
    3. The millennium: an era (not a literal 1000 years) during which
    Christ will reign over the earth, not from an literal and
    earthly throne, but through the gradual increase of the Gospel
    and its power to change lives; after this gradual
    Christianization of the world, Christ will return and
    immediately usher the church into their eternal state after
    judging the wicked
    4. Post-millennium: Christ returns, the righteous and the wicked
    raised, followed by the final judgment and the eternal state
    5. Major proponents: Rousas J. Rushdoony, Greg L. Bahnsen,
    Kenneth L. Gentry Jr., David Chilton, and Gary North
    — A visual synopsis of this view can be seen on the web here

    B. OBSERVATIONS…
    1. This view was very popular prior to the world wars of the
    twentieth century
    2. It was taught among churches of Christ by: Alexander Campbell,
    Tolbert Fanning, J. W. McGarvey, Robert Milligan, and E. G.
    Sewell
    3. It does not necessarily hold to a literal 1000 year reign of
    Christ (similar to amillennialism)
    4. It teaches just one resurrection, the righteous and wicked at
    the same time
    — Its interpretation of OT prophecy and the book of Revelation is
    not strictly literal

  15. The easiest to read, and one of the most helpful sources (IMO) is The Greatness of the Great Commission by K. Gentry. You can download if for FREE at garynorth.com I think (but am not positive) that chapter 11 deals with a review of the three or four main end-times views, and makes them very simple to understand. David Chilton’s writing is also very accessable to the layman – not difficult to read at all. His masterpieces Days of Vengance and Paradise Restored are also available for free at garynorth.com

  16. Thank you for this article and all of the links. This has always been a confusing topic to me as well so I will enjoy checking into these.

    I like what Margaret said:
    “my job is to live for him every day, whether in comfort or in tribulation. :)”

  17. Interesting. I am not post-millenial, and firmly believe that things are going to get progressively harder and harder for christians as we get nearer to the Lord’s return. This is why I cannot accept the idea of taking dominion by breeding, or going into government etc etc. I feel we are here to spread the gospel (and yes, I agree that includes discipling our own children, which is v v important) and that worldy systems are corrupt and cannot be salvaged. Not saying I think contraception is necessarily right – but I think being open to as many children as the Lord sends is something I would do so as to surrender that part of my life to the Lord, not in order to produce children who will go out and produce godly children, who themselves will go out and produce godly children and on and on. I would do it simply because it was right. Not saying, Kelly, that you aren’t doing that in obedience to the Lord, you clearly are 🙂 – just I personally see that aspect of some people’s theology – including the use of words like vision and victory, as something that I can’t really subscribe to, if you see what I mean? But we shouldn’t let these things divide us 🙂

  18. I suppose what I’m saying is – I don’t believe there will be “a gradual Christianization” of the world. Twould be lovely, but I don’t believe it will happen. So, I sort of feel, personally, that our efforts should be focused on spreading the gospel (again, this does include our immediate children and family), and if it so happens that God places us in a position to influence government, or he gives us many children, then great. But I wouldn’t specifically seek after those things, because I believe the Lord’s way of working under the new covenant is through the spreading of the gospel in order to change lives, not through trying to infiltrate the world’s systems.

    Interesting stuff! It’s an area of theology that can be very confusing though, and one can end up going round and round in circles! 🙂

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