One objective you have as a parent is to keep your children safe. But this objective is not an easy one. Planning ways to keep your children safe implies there are dangers in life. And even with the best planning, hard things still occur. There are enemies on every side, both spiritual and earthly. Living as children of light angers the forces of darkness. You and your children are part of a cosmic battle that has been raging since creation.
A preoccupation with being safe may keep you from trusting God. No, I am not suggesting you should be irresponsible and ignore safety. But what I am saying is that it is God who ultimately keeps you and your children safe. So, being obsessed with safety to the point of doubting God’s goodness can weaken your ability to trust God. Jesus warns that attempting to save your life will mean losing your life. But giving your life for Christ is the one way that leads to being truly safe. As you know, raising children is a wonderful blessing, but the journey is not a safe one. A compulsive desire for safety can lead to complacency in your relationship with Christ. When the storms come and dangers loom, remember that Jesus is Lord of the storm. Following God, no matter where he calls you to go is the only truly safe passage through life.
Throughout history those who have followed Christ have understood this. Being a Christian is not primarily about being safe. Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman to sail around the world. While on that voyage he wrote this prayer. May we have the courage to give this vision to our children.
“Disturb us, O Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves, when our dreams come true because we dream too little; when we have arrived in safety because we have sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us, O Lord, when with the abundance of the things we possess, we have lost our thirst for the water of life; when having fallen in love with time, we have ceased to dream of eternity, and in our efforts to build the new earth, have allowed our vision of the new heaven to grow dim. Stir us, O Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas where storms shall show thy mastery and, when losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. In the name of Him who pushed back the horizons of our hopes and invited the brave to follow, even the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord.”
Sir Francis Drake, 1577