Determine to Encourage Frontline Heroes
A hero is defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. That is what teachers are to me. You may never realize what they go through if you aren’t one or don’t know one closely. I didn’t realize until I married a teacher, the stress, frustration, and unrealistic expectations that are placed on them every day. My husband, my brother, my sister, my grandfather, and every other teacher that loves the Lord is a front line hero to me.
What is a Front Line Hero?
As a believer when a Christian is serving in an oppressive and difficult mission field, they are considered on the “front lines”. They are serving in the undesirable areas for the sake of the Gospel. They endure discomfort, rejection, fear, and uncertainty to show God’s love to the least of these and the underserved areas.
Like Jes said above when I think of the “front line workers of faith”, I think of missionaries serving in the hardest places. But I think our perspective needs to shift some. In America and Europe, some of these “Christian” places are now becoming some of the hardest places to penetrate with the true Gospel. The Gospel still exists here, but a lot of times gets distorted by politics, mandates, or selfishness.
We need to still pray for those missionaries serving in those hard places. I do not want to negate what they are doing because it is honorable and a blessing to the Lord. But I want to broaden our idea of the “front lines” these days. Let’s exist with intentionality, seeing the spiritual war that is raging around us right where we are. If we become too complacent we will miss the battle that is ongoing in every believer’s life. And let’s start prayerfully encouraging those serving on the “front lines” right in our own neighborhoods.
Since my husband began teaching about 10 years ago, things in the school system have been changing. Increased activity on devices, video games, and television seem to contribute to the decline. As well as the lockdowns associated with COVID-19. Something seemed to happen during that time when students were unable to go to school last year and the year before. This year the students have come back unruly and disrespectful, even at the once “nice” schools.
Jes’s husband teaches at an inner city school so he has always seen difficult things. But this year the level of rebellion and disrespect is at a whole different level. My husband does not teach at an inner city school and has also seen the decline happen in a different way in his school.
Tik Tok telling students to smack teachers and steal things from the school bathrooms, television shows encouraging “fight club” behavior in the school yard (I’m talking ELEMENTARY aged students), and “standing up for what you believe is right” is resulting in students ganging up and beating down helpless victims. This is just some of the behavior our husbands have been seeing at their schools, and I’m sure has been seen nationwide to some degree as well.
This leaves the students that want to learn and who are well behaved unable to learn because teachers struggle to control the classrooms, and their good behavior is overshadowed by the bad. And administrators can’t do much because the behavior is school wide – it’s become a culture.
What You Can Do Now
There are things we all can do NOW to help these teachers in the fight. I know it becomes hard to bear some days, just as it does for missionaries or pastors. And lies can easily creep in and take root making the teachers believe they can no longer do anything to make a difference. But we can help.
1 – PRAY – The single most important thing you can do is pray for your teachers. Maybe you have students in your home, pray for their teachers. Or maybe you know a teacher personally, pray for them. Pray collectively for every teacher that loves the Lord to be strong in their faith and every teacher that doesn’t know the Lord to come to know Him through their jobs.
Pray for the students of faith who are struggling to find who they are, how they fit in, and what they can do to make a difference. Pray for God to use them as a light in the darkness and give them boldness through His Spirit. Pray for revival in the schools. That the Holy Spirit would be moving and working even in the darkest places.
Commit to pray every Monday at 8 AM for teachers and students in the school system. This will be a collective unified prayer time for our schools.
2 – Talk to your students – If you have a student in the public school system, talk to them about what they are seeing and what is going on at school. Use this time to pray for them, encourage them, and give them practical advice. A lot of students probably feel pressured into these behaviors, and maybe talking them through will help them realize they don’t need to take part.
3 – Encourage your teachers – If you have a school aged student or know a teacher personally, have grace for them, offer them encouraging words, and maybe even gift them a small gift card or yummy treats for all they do. Sometimes teachers may come across harsh or cold to parents, but I promise it’s never anything personal. There is always some reason for why it has to be done that way, and most likely it is due to the nature of most of the students in the classroom. Give your teacher the benefit of the doubt that they are doing all they can to provide a well organized, encouraging environment for their classroom.
4 – Encourage your students to encourage their teachers – Honestly the things my husband cherishes the most are the handwritten letters from students. You know how amazing it feels to be recognized for your hard work. Teachers LOVE to hear from the students how they are learning and growing from them. My husband has some chronic health problems so he has to be out a lot or gets sick at school a lot. He always tells me of the students that show concern for him. His face lights up in thinking that someone in his classroom would even care for him.
Don’t forget Christian teachers and students as you pray. The school system needs them now more than ever! But it is getting so hard for some teachers that they are considering leaving teaching all together. Let’s rally around these teachers and students and lift them up in prayer and encourage them with the Word. The world needs these front line heroes.
I am a momma to 2 littles and a wife to a supportive and encouraging husband, and our incredible little family has been through a lot in our short 5 years of marriage. Walking through chronic illness, an international move (and back), job uncertainty, temporary housing situations, unexpected pregnancy, and post-partum depression we have experienced our share of trials and joys. But one thing always remained, our faith and hope that can only be found in Jesus. Without Him, we would not have made it through.”
Will you commit to praying for these frontline heroes in America?
Cathy blogs at This Momma Needs Grace.
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