I recently read this on a ball field fence:
"They stand at the plate, their hearts beating fast, the bases are loaded, the die has been cast. Mom and Dad cannot help them, they stand all alone. A hit at this moment would send their team home. The ball meets the plate, they swing and they miss. There’s a groan from the crowd with some boos and some hisses. A thoughtless voice cries out, 'Strike out the bum.' Tears fill their eyes; the game is no longer fun. So open up your heart and give them a break, for its moments like this a person you can make. Keep this in mind when you hear someone forget, after all they are just kids and not grown up yet."
These words are certainly fitting for the ball field; however, they are also fitting for the world our kids are trying to navigate. They are just children — growing and learning and yearning for direction, significance, and purpose. We are taking their childhood tendencies way too seriously and setting them up to fail. They are exposed to too much information and have been given too much power over their own fate. They are forced to process heavy information with the limited life experience they have. Which of us wants to be living today with the consequences for the decisions we made at 13?
There is a whole arena of child-development experts that seem to be silent as we continue to expose our children too early to the more serious tenets of the human existence. The entire sexual conversation is being introduced way too soon. We have robbed our children of learning about the lighter side of life before they make mistakes that are costly. “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your Word,” Psalm 119:9 (NLT).
God’s Word and His Ways are clear that parents are to teach their children of Him, which then creates a first line of defense. “Protect me! Rescue my life from them! Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge. May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you,” Psalm 25:20-21 (NLT). Let us get on our knees and ask God to show us how to minimize the effects of a “world gone mad” on the normal and healthy development of our children. Jesus said in Luke 13:34 (NLT):
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.”
I love this word picture of a hen gathering her chicks up under her to protect and guard them. By God’s grace may He show us His Way that we may do the same with our children. And to take that word picture one step further — God as the larger protector drawing parents under His wings who then draw their children under their wings. God and His Ways are the ultimate protection. We will never be sorry for raising children in a godly home and teaching them godly principles.