I don’t know who to credit the below story. I have heard it since I was a young girl. This story has always stuck with me. I will put the story after my post. I have heard various parents tell me the amount of time they will pray for their child to be kept safe while allowing them in unsafe conditions.
“I let them play in the road because they are kids and they have to learn at some point that they need to watch out for cars. I just pray God will protect them.”
I heard a mother say these words. These exact words.
“She has a 104 fever but I have prayed that God will heal her and I have faith that He will.”
Words I have also heard.
“I know he drinks and drives, I just pray that God will get him home safely.”
“I know I should make his curfew earlier but all his friends are out until 2am so I will just pray harder. I know God will hold him close.”
“ She is 3, that’s old enough to learn not to touch the hot stove. She will learn.”
“ Should he still be peeing in his pants at 11? I will just pray harder about it and that God will help him stop.”
All phrases I have heard throughout the years of parenting.
Believe it or not this is NOT a blog post about God. It is not about faith, hope or belief. It is not about God’s capabilities in creating miracles or keeping anyone safe. OK well God is a part of this but that is not the sole purpose.
THIS IS ABOUT PARENTING.
The words spoken by my mother will forever haunt me. -what was she supposed to do, she asked?
For those parents above who I quoted:
If you let your child play in a busy street, the probability that something tragic will happen is very high.
If your child has a 104 fever, having seizures, and vomiting, the probability that something tragic will happen is high.
If you let your little girl go to an old man’s house every afternoon unattended for years (my case) until she attempts suicide, the probability something tragic is happening is high.
If your 10 year old is urinating in his pants frequently throughout the day, the probability something is going on is high.
I could go on with examples I have heard over the years from parents. My point is clear though. It is our job to teach our children. We have to teach them that the stove is hot. They don’t need to burn themselves at 3 to know that. We need to tell them NOT to play in the road on a curve and protect them from the cars who are flying around the corner. We need to be parents. We get to make rules. We get to make curfews that we feel comfortable with. What their friends are doing makes no difference when the statistics prove that our 16 year olds don’t need to be downtown near the bars at 2am, especially alone!
Guess what, we get to say no! Nope, you can’t do that, it isn’t safe. We get to give them boundaries and teach them to have their own boundaries.
“She can’t remember to take her meds so I guess she will have to learn there are consequences.”
No! Teach her! Give her a calendar with check boxes. Get her a pill box with days on it. Don’t let her fail. Don’t let her fall. She has the rest of her life to make her own mistakes. If my daughter is 30 and she asks me what to do about her child who is biting her, I will NOT say, “Just pray about it.” I will teach her what I know about child development since it is what my degree is in. If she wants to pray about which consequence, which positive reinforcement she will choose, great. Just do SOMETHING.
There are times when our children must learn on their own. I know this. We send them to school at a young age and they learn social situations at a very young age WITH a teacher present. We can guide them. We can be present for them. We can listen to them. We can give them intuition. We can give them the gift of a foundation of safety. We can take them to a doctor or seek guidance from a professional if there are medical or emotional issues. We can and we should.
I pray for guidance every day. I pray my child is protected every day. I pray my daughter is healthy every day. I also do my part to make that happen to the best of my ability. Sending her out in the street at 2 years old and just praying she won’t be hit by a car is the same reckless parenting that got me molested. What was my mother supposed to do? PARENT! PAY ATTENTION! TEACH ME. PROTECT ME. MAKE ME A PRIORITY. THEN PRAY FOR ME…
Do parents really think they can just sit back and pray God will fix EVERYTHING. I am not saying He can’t. I am saying as a parent we each have a responsibility to take care of our children to the best of our ability. I am perfectly aware that evil is around every corner these days. We can only try our best. Sending me to a pedophiles house and praying nothing will happen I consider an absolute abomination.
Want to know my feelings of what an abomination is? Pedophiles. And parents who do nothing in the face of pedophiles are right under that. Parents who support the pedophile and not the child..abomination.
You get on social media and you see hate hate hate. Judgment in the name of God. Excuses in the name of God. Hypocrites in the face of God. I can tell you that Jesus came here to teach us to love. Jesus didn’t just SAY love. Jesus TAUGHT LOVE. Jesus taught acceptance of EVERYONE. He didn’t just sit back and pray that God made someone walk. He told that man GET UP! That man got up and walked.
We have a responsibility as parents. A huge responsibility. Praying only, without coupling that with teaching and guidance can be quite costly! It is not worth the risk I can promise you.
My husband believes. My husband has faith. My husband also knew that when I was having a grandmal seizure that he had to take me to the ER because God wants us to take care of each other. Don’t you know He places people in our lives so he can work through them? Don’t you know He wants us as parents to allow his guidance to teach our children? If He wanted our children to know everything and just need prayer then He would not have given my breasts milk to nourish my baby. It was my job to feed her. I could not pray her food. Crazy sounding right? Just as crazy as letting your kid play in the street and just pray a little harder that God won’t let them get hit. God gave us a brain and he expects us to use it.
I will continue to pray for my daughter. I will also continue to research why she is ill, take her to specialists, etc. I will continue to pray that my muscle disease miraculously heals. I will also take part in every case study I can get in because if they find the mutation that is causing this disease then there could be a cure.
What if God wants me in the right study so that I can help millions!
Be an active parent.
Your child is worth it.
Below is the story that has resonated with me throughout raising my daughter.
“A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.
Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”
The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”
So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”
To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”
To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”
To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”