Attention Parents: Your Child Has a Core Need
Did you hear the report coming out of the Cleveland Zoo that a parent dangling their two-year old over the cheetah exhibit accidentally dropped the child and then went into the animal’s habitat to rescue him? You can click on the link and watch the FOX News report here. The wild cats harmed neither the adult nor the child, but this event lends itself nicely to a teachable moment. (The zoo thinks so as well. There is talk of a lawsuit against the parents for child endangerment.)
Children are dependents and their greatest need is to know that they are safe in their guardian’s care. Whether you are the parent of one or several, a grandparent with custody of your grandchild, a foster parent, a teacher, a coach, or a mentor, your greatest call is to protect the child(ren) under your watch. It’s really a simple matter.
May I pry a little? If you are married, you need to give all you have and rely fully on Jesus at the same time to keep your marriage and family intact. The enemy would love nothing more than to dismantle your home. Do you see his advantage when successfully dividing a family? The children, now ripped from the security of two parents raising them full-time, have a greater likelihood of believing that those in authority over them will not remain faithful in their care/protection. The trust they once had in their parents’ presence is not as strong as it once was. The enemy loves this state of doubt because he knows it translates well to how one views the trustworthiness of his/her greatest authority- God. Is it any wonder that America’s godlessness has emerged over the past fifty years? The breakdown of the family and the turning away from faith in the Almighty walk hand-in-hand!
If you are a parent, I’m sure you can say as readily as I do, “I haven’t done this parenting thing perfectly. I’ve made many mistakes.” But one thing I aim for- I want Jacob and Jordan to know that Mom and Dad have their backs. May they trust us to be there for them in every situation- good and bad. May they know that our love for them is not based on their doing good and getting everything right. May they understand that we love them because they are our children and their lives have tremendous worth.
Ultimately, I want for the soon-coming day of transition to be a seamless one! Jake and Jordan are teenagers, and they will be launching into their young adult lives. Jon and I will be here for them always, but the level of their dependency upon us will change, and that will be good. My desire is they translate our love, presence and protection that they experienced in their early years to a confident trust in the One who never leaves them nor forsakes them. I will feel successful as a parent if these two precious children enter into adulthood with a daily resolute hope in the Lord!
Parenting in faith,