I just got off the phone with a dear friend of mine, a former teammate, facing challenges common to many of us parents in these troubling times. Like him and many of you I’ve often wondered, “What do I tell my kids?” As they tremble at the thought of attending church next Sunday, or weep bitterly before bed because someone may cause their father harm for his beliefs, we parents search our deepest thoughts for answers to soothe their fearful minds. “WHAT DO WE TELL OUR KIDS?”
As they catch glimpses on CNN of an Eric Garner breathing his last, or overhear adults talking about Christian persecution abroad they look to us for explanations in a world they can’t comprehend. The lump in our throat swells as we scramble to make them secure, all the while dealing with our own apprehension and inadequacies at the moment. So “What do we tell our kids” in moments like these? How do we address such complex topics? How do we make them feel safe again? How do we make it alright?
In short, WE can’t. We can’t make them forget what they’ve seen and heard. We can’t protect them at ALL times. We can’t promise them that physical and emotional harm will never fall upon them or their family because of the shade of their skin or the God they serve. We can’t make sense of a young man callously murdering nine people as they studied the Word of God. How helpless I feel sometimes, but when I can’t, HE CAN.
When things don’t make sense, and answers evade us, we must continually point our children to Christ as the only answer for the depravity of this world. He is the constant, the eternal security they can always depend on. When daddy and mommy are absent or no more, HE will never leave them or forsake them.
In times like these we point our children to the Gospel, as the only hope to change not only the hearts of the wicked people they fear, but also the sinful hearts pumping inside of their own little bodies.
I wish, with all my being, that my children would experience a life devoid of suffering, grief, fear, injustice and disappointment. Unfortunately, this may be as good as it gets this side of heaven. But while I may not be able to give them utopia in this world, I CAN give them the one who has overcome it.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33