PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN

In January of 1975, we lived in McComb, Mississippi. We were eating breakfast when my husband, Joe, asked me to get the transistor radio from Jodi’s bedroom, who was five at the time. He felt we would lose electric from the weather even though the weatherman said earlier to just expect some rain that day.

When I reached the bedroom, I made the call to go to the nursery and pick up our two month daughter, Tamara, that was sound asleep. Later I realized it was the voice of God leading me to do so. As I held her close, I walked into Jodi’s room and was suddenly thrust to my knees. It sounded like a tree was falling on the house as I clutched Tamara and asked God for protection.  It got spooky silent… I looked up and realized I was in a little tent made from the wall that fell over. The room was completely covered in trees and debris except where we huddled down. The roof was completely gone and was found five miles from our home where it landed on a church. We were the first house hit and then it stormed through town killing ten people and destroying many homes and businesses. As torrents of rain came down on us in the shambles of what used to be our home, I covered the baby to keep the rain off of her. My first thoughts were about Joe and Jodi. Where was the rest of my family??

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There is something put deep in the heart of a parent to protect family. This feeling is true and has saved many lives over the centuries. I found Joe and Jodi several feet away. He had his arms wrapped around her as they huddled in the hall where a partial wall was still standing. He felt the call to follow me to the back of the house. The kitchen where we were seconds earlier was hit the hardest and totally flattened. When we looked in the nursery, the crib was still there but full of debris. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was in control that day and we still thank Him often for His protection and guidance. Yes, our God loves us and will protect us. He, in turn, expects us to protect our children in every possible way.

Do you remember your first thoughts as you held your newborn in your arms that wonderful day in the hospital? So many things can run through our minds at that moment…

Where is her hair? She looks like a boy!

He is much bigger than I expected.

Her cry is so cute.

He looks just like his daddy – nose and all.

She is so beautiful!!

Yes, all toes and fingers accounted for!

Then we begin the journey of parenting and the first days and weeks are full of questions like… 

Why isn’t he sleeping?

Is she hungry or sleepy?

Can someone take over long enough for me to get some rest?

Why is she crying?

When God created your child in the womb, He immediately had plans outlined for their entire life – and eternity!! He trusted His creation in your care knowing that your love for them would help you to do the right thing. The big question is, “What in the world am I do to with this small miracle placed in my care?”

It is really not a complicated answer and basically is wrapped up in four categories.

We are to protect God’s creation spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.

The good news is that when God gave us this huge responsibility He had all intentions of assisting us through the entire journey. We just need to rely on Him for wisdom.

God’s plans are that each child born into this world will one day live with Him in Heaven. He then trusts us that we will do what is necessary to see that they reach the goal of eternity with Him.

We are charged to protect our babies throughout their lifetime. We protect them from rain and storms. We put an umbrella over them while running to the car in downpours. We wouldn’t expect them be to subject to the elements. We love our kids and realize we are responsible for their safety and well-being.

When the kids become toddlers, they don’t really want to be protected from rain. It sounds like fun to be all wet, but being the responsible parents we are, we don’t let them make that call. We know the rain could ruin their Sunday clothes or cold rain could make them sick, so we see that they are protected. It’s what parents do.

Going much deeper than rain, we must understand our responsibility to protect our children spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. In our daily prayers to the Creator, we must ask Him to give us wisdom to know what to do each and every day to protect our kids. This is expected of us from God.

We are going to dig deep in these four areas in the upcoming blogs, so watch for them soon!

To Do: Add this prayer to your daily prayers: “God, give me wisdom and knowledge to always protect my children spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.” Pray that you become sensitive to the voice of God to where you heed the call to do what is necessary at the time to protect your kids. Remember, God answers requests, not to just what He sees is needed. If that was the case, no harm would ever come to a living soul.

Family Time: We have discovered a fun game for all ages. Try playing the word association game. Take turns asking everyone in the room or car, “What comes immediately to your mind when I say ________.”  (Example: cheese) It is fun and interesting to see where kids minds go with this and they love to play it with adults.

Time to Smile: A teen and his friends recently earned driving privileges. They were hanging out near one of the parents and he heard his son bragging that HIS parent’s car could really move. The father overheard and chimes in, “How fast does it go?” Without missing a beat, the teen replied, “55.”

Recommended Reading: Boundaries with Kids by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (A must read for ALL parents. Comes audible or written.)

Previous Recap: Setting a Firm Foundation