Safety and your children

Posted on · Posted in Parenting, Teenagers, Worry

“Be safe!”

This is frequently the last thing you say to your children when they leave the house. Often the plan for their safety doesn’t go much beyond theses words. Yes, you have taught them to be good drivers, you have told them which situations they should avoid, and you may have even encouraged them to pray for God’s protection. But in your heart, if you think too long about it, there is a nagging fear for your children’s safety, a fear that goes beyond just physical safety. You hope they will be make safe choices in selecting friends and in the activities they do. 

However, you know the true dangers your children face. They are the same ones that you face. And you remember that your parents said the same thing to you, “be safe.” Internally, you hope your words will be more effective than your parents’ words were to you. 

What can you do to help your children be really safe, safe from themselves. safe from the snares of life? The Holy Spirit calls to you from Psalm 31 to petition God, to cry out to him for protection. Hear these words of petition:

“O Lord, I have come to you for protection;
don’t let me be disgraced.
Save me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me;
rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a fortress where I will be safe.
You are my rock and my fortress.
For the honor of your name, lead me out of this danger.
Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me,
for I find protection in you alone.
I entrust my spirit into your hand.
Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God.”

“Save me, listen to me, rescue me, be my rock, my fortress, for the honor of your name, lead me out of danger.” These are powerful words of petition. I can hear the question, how do these personal petitions protect my children? The answer is that learning to trust God is the path of safety. This is something that Deuteronomy teaches that is to be passed on from parents’ hearts to the hearts of their children. This is what it means to impress the wonders of God upon the hearts of your children. 

Safety has to do with honoring God. If he is honored then he can be trusted for safety no  matter what circumstances may occur. If you learn this and practice the power of petition you will be able to model it for your children. Seeing it lived out in you will lead them to petition God for their safety.  From your heart to their heart – this is true safety!

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.