This morning I read this article on child abuse prevention. It's an excellent read, with thoughtful ideas for parents seeking to wisely guide their children through the explosive minefield of exploitation. Sexual predators have always been among us, and that will continue as long as we live in this fallen world of broken people.
So while I support the wise implementation of precautions as prescribed by Parenting Safe Children, I want to encourage you to remain mindful of the fact that it is impossible to find the kind of safety that we desperately yearn for in this world. No matter how wisely we parent our children, we do not have the ability to keep them safe. Contrary to what you may think, embracing this truth with a vice-grip is exactly what will free you, not frighten you. Because when you accept the full reality that the safety of you and your loved ones is beyond your human grasp, it will free you from becoming overly obsessed with securing it. Putting confidence in your arm of flesh will only fill you with increasing compulsion to strengthen it, and that compulsion will only fill you with increasing anxiety as you are reminded at every corner that, no matter how muscular and fit, your arm is no match for the wickedness of this world.
This is not a call to be unwise, this is a call to trust the Sovereign One who has promised to be our refuge in the midst of a sinful world that is filled with danger. Promote your precautions and write your rules, but don't put your confidence in them. Draw your bow and wield your sword, but don't put your trust in them. Put your trust in God, and with childlike faith rest peacefully through the night of this world.
"Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes. I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever." Psalm 44
"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8