Hello Renewal Church!
As I mentioned in my first blog, my desire as your Family Pastor is to partner with you in being a God-honoring mom, dad, guardian.
Guardian…what an appropriate name for a parent or parent-figure. It means that our role as a parent is to protect, defend, keep on the look-out, etc. We all know that crazy, claw-your-eyes-out instinct that comes over us when we see our child being threatened or harmed in any way. My wife jokes about the time when she and her family almost climbed a softball fence to defend their little sister, playing catcher, as she was mauled at home-plate by the advancing runner. It almost got ugly. It’s in our nature to protect our own.
The other day my little girls and I were watching Andy Griffith on TV Land. What a great show! But while I was out of the room getting a snack, I heard some horrible things from a commercial…on TV LAND! I flew into the room and changed the channel. Every parent has been in this situation. We are reminded that we must be vigilant in guarding our children, offering protection in different ways in different stages of their life. No, we cannot protect our children from all evil and the harsh realities of life, but that does not mean that we sit idly by unengaged.
And yesterday, I encountered two types of parents and two types of daughters that made me think about protection all over again.
Yesterday, I read an article by International Justice Mission about Liana, a young girl who was sex-trafficked by her own mother…her own guardian. I cannot imagine a mother ever doing this, can you? Yet it happens, all over the world, all the time. Parents, because of the sin and depravity in their own heart, sink to such hardness, such depths of evil, that they will subject their child to the most vile horrors of this world.
No, none of us have sunk to this depth and never will, but can we soberly ask ourselves today, “How am I protecting my child?” “What am I allowing in my child’s life?” “How is my own sin affecting my child?” God’s Word instructs parents to teach our children his Word and to tell them the glorious deeds of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 6:7, Psalm 78:4, Ephesians 6:4). Our homes should be places where truth flourishes and evil is shunned. What is your home like? How can we at Renewal support you in leading your family?
Let me end by telling you about the other parents, the other daughter. Tony and Christine Prescott, two of my dearest friends, and members of Renewal Church, put their daughter on a plane yesterday headed for the Middle East. Hailey, their bright-eyed, brave, and bold daughter, is going to a place that doesn’t really want her there to tell them a message they don’t want to hear. But Jesus is worth it.
So how are these parents doing when it comes to “protecting” their daughter? I’ll tell you what they are doing: they are sending her off on a plane and in to the world-reaching, sovereign, and loving arms of a Heavenly Father that holds Hailey close. Hailey’s body might be in danger, but her soul and her eternity are not.
This is Godly protection, this is Godly parenting, and this is hard — trusting our children ultimately in the sovereign care of our Lord…who sent His own son to a foreign land to bring good news.
So while I pray asking God to give me wisdom and strength in protecting my four children, I know ultimately that I must entrust them to God. He is capable. He is their ultimate guardian.