How Should We Prepare Our Children for War?

by Sally Matheny 

How Should We Prepare Our Children for War?
Regardless of where we stand on the issue of the military draft, it is the law that our sons, and possibly soon, even our daughters, register with the Selective Service when they turn eighteen years old.

Very few want, or expect, a military draft to occur. But what if…

What if the time comes when we are informed our children will definitely serve in the military? Some of us would have years to prepare, some would have only days.

My son is a young teen. One day he will have to register with the Selective Service. It’s something I prefer not to think about. And yet, if I knew for a fact he would be called up in a few years, how would I prepare him for war?

I’m not military-trained. I consider myself a good shot if I hit the dirt within two feet of my target. I’m not the best candidate for teaching him anything involving artillery. I’m just a mom. One who says, “Be careful” every time the boy steps a foot outside—even if he’s just retrieving eggs from the chicken coop. I’m the one who constantly reminds him to be sweet, be kind, and be respectful. Oh, and to reflect Jesus. Always strive to reflect Jesus.

All those reminders will eventually melt into time and merge into the fast lane. Suddenly, a day could arrive when we must send our children off to defend what is good and to fight what is evil. With that in mind, how should we prepare our children for war?

Train Physically

I’ve got issues. Don’t we all? But I should not allow my physical limitations to set boundaries for my son. If he goes to fight in a war, I want him to be strong. And fast. Very fast.

How often do we use our limitations as excuses? In the heat of battle, we don't want our kids to give up their mission because they’ve learned to say, “I’m too tired” or “This hurts to much.” How often do we model ways for them to push through discomfort?

Just as important, is educating them in the value of rest. Most don’t have this problem! But there are some who lean toward the other extreme, to the point of sheer exhaustion.  Attempting to give 100% in ten different areas produces less than desirable results.

No matter what our physical capabilities are, we need to set an example to our children of how to take care of our bodies. Not only our bodies, but also we must promote good health for the mind and soul.

Whatever we do, it must promote strength and good health.

Train Academically

Training the mind is as essential as training the body. My son may argue and question why he must learn certain academic subjects. He questions their importance. My answer will always be the same.

“You don’t know what God has in mind for you.”

We may know our strengths and talents. We can pursue a certain career path, but ultimately only God knows what our future holds. Therefore, it is only wise to do our best to learn all we can today.

A child may think he'll never have use of algebraic formulas while sitting in the trenches of battle. However, the lessons he learns about not giving up until a solution is found will benefit him.

Writing an inspiring essay may not prevent danger on the front lines. But knowing how to communicate effectively might.

Studying history provides helpful information on past mistakes and successes. Knowledge begets power. Power begets change.

 Train Spiritually

However, not all those in power bring about noble change. It is fine to be zealous, as long as the purpose is good. (Galations 4:12)

Training the heart is vital to fighting evil. Discernment is crucial. The only way to know what is right, is to understand God’s righteousness. We must diligently teach our children the Truth of God’s Holy Word. 

We cannot simply recite scripture. The way we live our lives must exude the fragrance of Christ in such a way it attracts our children to Him. Words do not ring true if they do not fit our character.

God’s truths are a direct result of His great love. Teach that.

And if our children are heading off to war, wouldn’t they need to know the power of prayer? Mercy, yes. And the power of forgiveness? Absolutely. Because only then could they also know true peace and ultimately joy.

The Truth Is, Our Children Are Going to War

It does not matter whether your children are male or female.

One day, every child will be called into battle. Hopefully, it will not be a physical battle. Those are easier to prevent. Spiritual battles are a different matter.

The fight may not be against the armies of an aggressive tyrant, but against the evil troops of Satan.

Our kids may not be in tanks and trenches, but rather on the front lines of the world, where their faith and convictions are constantly under assault.
Stand firm, and fight.

They will not fight with firearms, but with the Sword of Truth.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking it will be easy. There will be struggles and suffering.

How old is your child now? How much time do you have left before the unexpected happens and he is pulled into battle?

Don’t wait until that moment and trust someone else to train him. Don’t stand helplessly on the sidelines. 

Cry out to God to help you overcome your limitations. Beg Him to strengthen you and your family, in mind, body, and spirit. 

Grab your own Sword and learn how to use it wisely so you can train the next generation. 

You have the power to come alongside your child, encouraging him to be strong and courageous. Together, stand firm, and fight.


  1. One of the reasons we went camping this weekend...to prove to ourselves that we can survive in different types of circumstances, to proof to ourselves that we can come together to solve problems, to prove to ourselves that we can live with things we don't think we can, to prove to ourselves that we can keep hiking when we feel like we can't, to remind ourselves of God's majesty by being in His creation instead of just inside a house or a city or a building we work in. I think I learned the most of the whole family from our camping adventure!!

  2. Sounds like you all had a great time and learned a great deal in the process!


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