Mothers, and fathers too, can elevate safety—not dreaming—above everything else: whatever you do, just be safe. I remember riding my bike to school with the girls. As I put my foot in the pedal to return home, one of my mom friends said, “Ride carefully.”
I chewed on those words all the way home. They bugged me. I knew what she meant and agreed with her sentiment. Look both ways before crossing a street. Watch out for cars. Be mindful of your downhill speed. But those words seemed to sum up the loudest advice today’s parent gives to a child: Ride carefully. Be safe.
“We know about many heroes from the Bible, not because they played it safe, but because they displayed courage in the face of fear.”
Be safe isn’t a very motivating mission statement to build a life around (although it would work well for a skydiving company). No one pays money to see a movie where the main character remains safe from trouble and conflict. We know about many heroes from the Bible, not because they played it safe, but because they displayed courage in the face of fear. Maybe instead of sending our kids off to school with “Be safe,” we should say, “Be courageous.”
This isn’t about fostering recklessness or foolishness. It’s about teaching our kids to stretch beyond what’s comfortable, and to be brave in order to do what’s right. Daniel 11:32 says, “The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (NKJV). Our children can walk through life with confidence because God is with them. What if young Johnny heard each day “Be strong in God” instead of “Be careful”? What kind of difference would it make in his attitude and experience?
by Arlene Pellicane
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