“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” Ephesians 6:13-17
My husband has often said, “God never uses anyone except they first learn to stand alone.” Now, he wasn’t saying anyone should stand apart from God, but stand alone in the world with God. We wanted our children to be used of God, and this would not happen unless we directed them to stand alone with God. But, how could we direct our children to do this unless we as parents could stand alone with God?
Everyone stands for something. The question is, for whom or what are you standing? There is a difference between standing for truth and standing for error. No human being is truth. God’s Word is the Truth on which we need to stand. We need to stand up for truth even if it means standing alone. Many times our family or a member of our family has had to stand alone. Was it easy? No! I can remember thinking, “Why us, why are we alone, why can’t anyone else take a stand?” I remember praying for my children and begging God to protect them and keep them from getting bitter, because standing alone means that sometimes you are different. I prayed for them to understand that we cannot compromise the truth of God’s Word. I remember sitting down with them and explaining that we have to follow God and His Word. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says, it only matters what is right according to the Bible. We stressed that the Bible is our guide book, and that It is the only Truth we need to follow.
Now that the years have gone by, and the many times we have had to stand alone on the Truth are past, I am so glad for each time that we took a stand, even if it was lonely. As we look back, God was there guiding us every step of the way. We were never really alone, He was there with us. I can now see how good it was for my children, and that by watching their parents they learned to stand. When the situation looked and seemed impossible to us, it gave them strength and taught them some very valuable lessons. I can see how it has helped every one of my children to stand alone when necessary, now that they are grown. Perhaps they may not have been able to do this if they had not seen their dad and mom take a stand when they were growing up. They learned to stand alone, because as a family we at times had to stand apart even from those who on the surface seemed to be good Christians. Our loyalty lies in Jesus Christ, not in any man. We had to take a stand on the King James Bible, soul winning, separation, sin, our dating standards, child rearing, schooling and the list can go on. It wasn’t only a stand against the world, but sometimes it was in opposition to other Christians. We had to stand for what is right, no matter who thought we were wrong. God’s Word is always right.
I can now look back and say, “I Praise God for letting us take a stand for Him.” I know that it has strengthened our sons who are on the mission field. When they feel all alone, they know they aren’t, God is with them. My daughters that are pastor’s wives and serving in the church have to stand alone in many areas because they know what is right. As a child they saw and experienced that it is always best to stand for what is right, even if it means standing alone. It never hurt them one time, but instead it helped them.
We have been able to look back at others who did not stand for Truth and see how it has spiritually weakened or destroyed them and their families. All you need is the Word of God and a firm stand on It’s Truths. God’s Word is our only protection. There are many areas where we have had to teach our children to stand alone. At the time, it seemed to others that the areas weren’t that big of a deal. Others felt it wouldn’t hurt to work on Sunday once in awhile. They even made the comment that God would understand. We never let our children work on Sunday or Wednesdays. If we had special meetings during the week, they would have to take off work. People told us, “They will never be able to get a job, and if they did, they wouldn’t keep it.” My children never had a hard time getting a job or getting off for the things of God. When they worked, they worked hard and their employers had no problem giving them time off for church. They could see by their life that church wasn’t just an excuse to get off, but actually helped to make them better employees. There were times when our children had to take a stand and not go places with other Christians in the church, and sometimes it was the pastor’s children they couldn’t hang around. This was not because our children were better than them, but it was because the things they would be doing would not please God.
Was it always easy taking a stand? No, but it was always the right thing to do. We had to take a stand because we knew it was right and God always blessed. As we took a stand, the way became easier, and as time went on, God blessed us for taking a stand for Truth. It isn’t always easy to stand alone, but God uses those who stand alone with Him. The closer we get to Him and the more we follow His Word, the more strength He gives us to stand alone with Him. The blessings far outweigh the discomforts of standing alone. “…having done all, to stand. Stand…”
Mrs. Bette Owens
Westside Baptist Church