We should not underestimate what God will do with wise children equipped with a biblical worldview in a covenant context. And we should not fear bringing them into the world, for God’s aim and desire is to use them to get glory for Himself in Babylon.
I don’t want to bring kids into this evil culture” is something I have heard more than once. Well-meaning Christians have long questioned the wisdom of bringing children into a fallen world. And while this hesitation might seem prudent, God doesn’t hesitate to command husband and wife, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen. 1:28; 9:1). The earth is no longer a utopian Eden but a post-Eden wilderness, what the New Testament calls Babylon (1 Peter 5:13–14; Rev. 17:5). This Babylonian context isn’t foreign to children raised in covenant homes. The historical nation of Babylon was where the Jewish exiles were sent. Of those exiles, most notable were four Jewish “youths…Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah,” otherwise known by their Babylonian names: Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego (Dan. 1:1–7).
From these four youths, we find an unexpected parenting lesson: a lesson made more significant since these “youths” arrived in Babylon not as boys, six, eight, maybe ten years old but (according to the majority opinion among scholars) in their late teens or early twenties. In any, the text explicitly says they were “youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, and endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace” (Dan. 1:4).
The point is this, when these four Jewish youth entered Babylon, they entered equipped with a rigorous Hebrew education and biblical worldview that enabled them to take their stand against the secular ideologies of Babylonian paganism (Dan. 1:8–21; 3:8–30; 6). Babylon, then as now, is not neutral; it seeks to indoctrinate. These young exiles were ordered to “defile” themselves but “resolved” to abstain (Dan.1:8–21). When threatened with a fiery furnace for not bowing to idols, they refused to turn from Yahweh (Dan. 3:8–30). When commanded not to pray or else die in the lions’ jaws, they opened the curtains and kept praying (Dan. 6). Our children may never face these state-enforced punishments, but we would be naive not to expect modern versions to appear. Many concerned parents want to know what’s needed to prepare our children, and while it is tempting to want a few easy parenting tips that require little effort, moral resolve to stand in Babylon is not created that way. Scripture is clear (for Israel’s young exiles and ours) that preparing for Babylon requires a certain teaching in a certain context.