Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lean First on the Word of God


We've lived in the inner city since Stew and I were married.  It is all we know together..... all our children know.  

There are many things we learn from our neighbors and from all that we are engaged with in St. John.  But one thing that has been very powerfully challenging to our parenting is the idea of "safety".   It has been the question asked of us since I was pregnant with WesleyGrant and we were in Memphis, TN downtown inner city.  The questions were understandable, but it lead me to ask the more important question, "What does God say?"  "Does God call me responsible for keeping my children safe?"  Because if He does, i don't think i can, ultimately.  

I have searched and am still searching the scriptures for this....so far, I have found that the responsibility and power for safety with me and my children falls on God, not me.  God never tells me as a parent to protect or keep safe my children.  Do I have an instinct desire to protect my children at any cost? YES!  and will I?  YES!  But I bear no anxiety of safety for my children in St. John or any neighborhood for that matter.  I can trust God with my children in every place He sends us.

The thing I want to point out is not that you shouldn't seek your children's protection...or that you should live in the inner city...more importantly I want to state that we as parents must be careful where we get our guidance for parenting our children. 

We can't produce parenting habits out of "religious huntches".... thinking something is "following God" just b/c every christian we know is doing it or it seems "right", or from others who have "religious huntches".     

I found that when people (wonderful people) talked to us about the safety of our children and said that "God calls us to protect our children", i followed that for a while and it led me to make lots of "religious huntches" about raising my children in or out of an inner city....but then I asked..."what does God's word really say?"  and found quite the opposite.  I found peace and freedom and powerful guidance that I can be sure of.

  Be careful not to function as a parent from "religious advice or huntches" when it comes to raising your children.  People...literature...it always has good intentions...but can often be sourced from ones own opinion, personality or life experience.   God teaches us through all of those things, but always refer to the Word accurately with any advice given or thought that comes to you...you never know....it just might politely disagree with what God actually says.   More later...

11 comments:

Dave and Gloria said...

Kimberly, you've put sympathetic and Christ-honoring words to a sensitive subject I deal with often. I'm encouraged and my faith is emboldened. Thank you!

laurap said...

Bravo! How much I miss being your neighbor. I miss it more than words could say.

Anna Melvin said...

Preach it, sister!!! This post makes me happy.

Julie P. said...

thank you for this.

Courtney said...

question...so how do you respond respectfully to those who question your parenting?

dreamingBIGdreams said...

thanks so much for these thoughts!

The 5 Powell's said...

to quote Anna "this post made me happy" too...now...to live it out despite myself is a different thing altogether (He's working on it in me)

Hope Lenaburg said...

Wow! Thank you so much for posting this. I love reading your blog, so honest. I am learning so much about parenting from you, thanks again!

Travis said...

Powerful for refocusing. Thank you for cutting out cultural wisdom of the world and focusing on our true Authority.

Daniel Spenrath said...

We live just a mile from you in another bad neighborhood with our four little children. There is still not way I would let me children attend the local public school, but so many of our misconceptions and child training ideas have changed in the last 3 years.

T & T Livesay said...

This has me thinking ... we moved to what is considered an "unsafe" place. We prayed protection on our children and we did the things we could do to keep them safe. Ultimately that was not enough and one child was hurt. While it has been confusing to sort through the grief and pain and anger - I still don't think there was anything that could have been done differently ... and I have to believe that what the devil intended for evil will somehow, someway, be used for good.