Most moms and dads are ready to fight the battle for their children’s safety and future as soon as they are born. Parents will buckle them into car seats that fit like plastic straitjackets, construct beds and play zones with prison bars, hook their arms to an expandable leash to walk through the mall, and install video surveillance systems so their children can be monitored from every room. Parents are programmed to protect and provide. We feel responsible to make sure we have the kind of boundaries that will keep children safe.
Over time parents become convinced their primary job is protection, so we make rules, set limits, and put up fences because that is what we are supposed to do. We are parents. We will insulate, isolate, and segregate our kids from everything we think might be a threat. It is easy for us to become more concerned about their safety than we do their faith. It is possible to sacrifice the very things they need to learn and the things they should experience by our zeal to protect them.
But living this way and parenting this way demands the question: What happens one day when they are on their own? when they leave for college? when they enter the working world? when they get married? when they are challenged to sacrifice for the sake of others?
They were meant to be a part of an adventurous story. This is a mission that requires them to engage with culture in order to rescue a generation of hurting and disconnected people. If you are a leader or parent remember this:
The family and church were not primarily designed to protect children, but to set them free to demonstrate God’s love to a broken world.