Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. Psalm 16:1
“Be safe!” It’s what most adults shout over the children in their lives when they’re running out the door or jumping out of the car on their way to new adventures. It comes as no surprise that those adults would want their children to be safe. Since we were created by God, we have similar (albeit imperfect due to our sinful nature) characteristics of Him within us. Just like God wants to protect us, we too want to protect. We want to shelter and provide care. We want the people we love to be safe, free from harm, and we want to protect them from anything that may cause pain.
While those protection instincts and are well meaning intentions, we also have a big sin issue. We all desire to be in control. We want to be sure that our child will be safe and never experience harm. I don’t know about you but I know a lot of helicopter adults. These adults are those that can’t seem to trust anyone or anything for their children. It may be seen when they refuse to trust a non-related adult to chaperone or oversee their child or often we see adults being obsessed with whether or not their child’s food is 100% organically sourced. There are numerous scenarios but what I see are adults who have a skewed view of safety and control.
The biggest threat to our children is not what they face when they walk out of the “safety” of our homes, but it’s the sin that has been in the hearts from the moment we welcomed them into our family. Author and Pastor, Warren Wiersbe says, “The safest place in all the world is in the will of God, and the safest protection in all the world is the name of God.” True safety is found in Jesus Christ alone. Safety, protection, refuge, security: whatever you call it, it’s only found in Jesus. The one source that can save us from ultimate danger and destruction and provide ultimate safety is Jesus Christ.
Safety isn’t found solely in protective and caring adults or really great organic meals. It’s found in the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. As adults who love children, who mentor kids so they have the brightest futures, our primary job is to make disciples. We are to teach children the Gospel. It is the only thing that will save them from harm. There’s no harm greater than being separated from God forever.
Father God, help me to keep my focus and attention on what matters most: you. May I not be distracted by the desire to control or protect, but may I point every child I come in contact with to the saving grace that is found only in you. Amen.
Danelle Schlichenmayer lives in Bismarck, ND with her husband, Luke, and daughter, Eden. She is the Director of Elementary Ministry at her church and has a passion for disciplining children and equipping families with the Gospel.