With the chaos of the world that seems to be going on and the constant reminder on every news channel, my heart can’t help but think of my kids and the world they are growing up in. I am sure my parents and their parents thought about the same thing at times. It is hard to ignore. All six of The Barron Bunch know this life is temporary here on Earth, but we still have to figure out how to live and live well NOW.
There is this dividing line I keep moving around in my thoughts. How much do I prepare my kids for the craziness and how much do I just rely on trusting and walking in faith. Clearly as a Christ follower, we aren’t supposed to live in fear, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t supposed to be prepared.
The minute the doctor let me hold my girls when they were born, I felt this instant desire to protect them and shelter them. That is a parent’s instinct. When I sent them to school the first time, I heard my heart beat fast all day long until they returned. I have experienced those same feelings over and over again in new situations that come up. The first sport that was played, the first set of stitches or the first boy Morgan dated, gripped my heart just like the very first time I held them. I call it the Momma Bear Syndrome. We are wired to care for our young and show our claws when the world comes racing at them.
While preparing for the unknown future, I go back to the source of comfort, wisdom and guidance. I simply pick up my Bible and dig for words that show me where to settle that dividing line. Proverbs 22:6 is a verse parents are familiar with. “Train up a child in the way he shall go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” I have seen this to be true in my life and the life of my kids. My parents had me in church at a young age. I watched them serve, teach and support the ministries of our church. Ridley and I have done the same before we met each other and we continue to do so. Just as I am sure my parents wondered about some of my choices, Ridley and I have wondered the same with our own kids at times.
That day in a small plane when I faced the reality of death, my thoughts went immediately to my church upbringing. Everything my parents had exposed me to growing up came back to mind as I wrestled with my own adult life. Now, as a parent, I often find myself asking about my own kids. “Lord, is it in there? Are the things I have taught them sticking?” There are moments when I watch our kids and see that in some of their most difficult seasons, it is in there. As one visits her dad with a nervous stomach, she knows she is safe in the palm of God’s hand when we can’t go with her. As we pass the cemetery, my son and daughter know that their mom is dancing in Heaven on streets of gold. As my daughter faces insecurities from her past, she can know that God’s mercies are new each morning and He loves her. As a child is made fun of at school for being bold in standing up for what is right, she can stand firm knowing she is fearfully and wonderfully made.
Ridley and I both know that life has knocked us down to some really low points where we couldn’t fully protect our kids. There was no prep work that could have been done to make them ready for what they were going to walk through. So we will continue to have our family meetings where we go over our “what to do if….” discussions. We will review fire escape routes, stranger danger tactics, emergency safe places, disaster meeting places and ways to communicate when technology fails. However, most importantly we will continue to open God’s Word and show them where the greatest source of truth and strength can come from. We will give them the security of knowing that we don’t have all the answers and we can’t go with them everywhere, but there is a God who can and does.
As we welcome another Mother’s Day, the absolute best thing you could do for your kids would be to wake up tomorrow morning, take your kids to church, and help them to know our Jesus who promises to never leave them or forsake them. (Hebrews 13:5)