I wrote this blog several years ago and it is as timely now as it was then…
I remember standing at the ocean’s edge as my kids frolicked in the waves. To a casual passerby I was simply a woman enjoying a day at the beach, but in reality I was a momma bear protecting her cubs! I constantly scanned the water for evidence of sharks. In that very spot, a Hammerhead had been trapped with a Tarpon between a sand bar and the beach during low tide. The resulting eating frenzy could have been a Discovery Channel special!
Humans become shark bait along our beaches every year. My first glimpse of the Florida coastline from an airplane made my stomach churn with fear. Looking out the window revealed hundreds of sharks swimming not far from the beach. I decided then and there that my children would never put a single toe in the ocean, let alone their whole body! My how things changed!
What was the difference between the mom in the plane and the mom on the beach?
- Knowledge: I’ve researched the enemy. I know when sharks are most likely to attack and I keep the kids out of the water at dusk and dawn. I know what behavior is most risky and what behavior will likely keep them at bay and I educate my children. I also know that, as much as we know about sharks, they’re still unpredictable…so I stand watch.
- Experience: Keeping my kids from the ocean in order to protect them from the sharks created a no-win scenario. The best way to help them grow to maturity and enjoy the wonders of God’s creation is to teach them how to identify the enemy, protect themselves from the enemy and equip them to deal with attacks from the enemy.
- Trusting God: There’s no fear like the fear that grips a mother’s heart at the thought of her children being harmed. As I stand at the water’s edge, keeping vigilant watch for the sharks, I commit my children into the Hands of the One who loves them more than I do. He’ll be there for my kids, even when they’re hurt. He’ll be there for me, even when they’re hurt.
What are the sharks in your children’s world? Don’t let the PC culture we live in make you hesitant to identify the threats. Every year we lose a vast majority of our college kids to the lies of the enemy of their souls. We haven’t done our job and they have become easy bait.
Teach your kids to identify the enemy and protect themselves from the enemy attacks. Wrap them in prayer, keep vigilant watch, and give them room to explore and grow.