Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Protecting our Children

Last week, Stephanie and I were walking into Target on a particularly windy day. In the walkway just in front of the entry doors, there were two Canada geese with three or four young goslings starting a long journey to cross the parking lot. This would normally be a cute little scene, but it turned a bit sad when the wind picked up and the little goslings started being blown away. They were not strong enough to stand on their own against the strong winds. One was even rolling a few feet, completely out of control. The mother goose responded by placing her body between her babies and the wind, blocking the strong gusts from blowing them any further. She sat herself down flat against the pavement and protected her young...We needed to get some shopping done, (and the mama goose would have bit me if I tried to help) so we went in the store. And when we came out a bit later, the family was gone--apparently safe and sound.

This was a great illustration of two things to me.

First, it was an illustration of part of the parenting role--shielding our children from what they are unable to withstand on their own. Parents have differing philosophies about how much their children can handle and how much "protecting" they really need. But we all know that there are certain hurts and temptations that our children need shielded from--particularly when they are very young...So let's be careful to guard our children's innocence and help them develop their strength and ability to withstand life's hurts and temptations.

Second, it was an illustration of what Jesus did on our behalf on the cross. The mother goose was taking the full force of the damaging wind so that she could protect her babies, who otherwise would be blown away and probably destroyed by it. In a similar--but far more glorious--way, Jesus has shielded us from the wrath of God by letting Himself suffer it. He stood in our place, and because of His suffering, we can be forgiven of our sins, protected from the wrath we deserve, and stand up against temptation.

Those baby geese might not appreciate what their mother did for them. Your children might not appreciate what you do for them. But most sad of all, many times we don't appreciate what Christ did for us....Let's be sure to thank God daily for Christ's suffering in our place. And in our parenting, let's keep following the example of sacrificial and protecting love that He set for us.

"We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but He who was born of God ((this is referring to Jesus)) protects him, and the evil one does not touch him." -1 John 5:18

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