You might hear about a drive-by shooting, or a sexual predator, or a crashed car full of teens not far from where you live. It’s hard not to worry about the safety of your family. It seems like no one is safe anywhere. There is no socio-economic group free from the random acts of violence in today’s world. And there have always been dangerous times--from war, famine, plagues, or grizzly bears. Each generation experiences present danger.
So how do we create a sense of security for our children? Consider King David, who was constantly in danger. It seemed that once he rid himself of one enemy, he was pursued by a different one. Yet he consistently praised God for deliverance and security. How did he do it?
David found strength in the Lord his God. No matter who or what pursued him, David looked to God as his source of strength and courage. I Samuel 30:6 speaks about a rough time in David’s life: “David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the LORD his God.” Those who had once been David’s friends were so angry with him that they were threatening to kill him! David’s life was in danger, but he chose to find strength in God when he felt alone and defenseless. When we feel as though there is no one on our side, we can always run to God. He is mighty to save!.
It is so important to teach our children to run to God first. There are times when all of us feel alone in our struggles. However, when we remember God is on our side, we know that we are never alone. We can always ask for help, and He will rescue! We can model taking our every concern to God and placing our trust in him.
David also found encouragement in his friend Jonathan. We likewise can encourage our families to find godly friends who make us stronger and wiser. Conversely, when we notice that a friendship constantly draws us away from God and zaps all of our energy, it is time to reevaluate the purpose of the relationship. It is good to help those weaker than ourselves, but we cannot give to others what we don't have ourselves--we need friendships from which we can draw courage. I Samuel 23:16 reads, “Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God.” A good way to find this kind of friend is to be one--encourage your friends and pray for a Jonathan friendship for yourself, your spouse. and for your children.
Remind your family that it is God Who is their safety. In Psalm 62 alone, David speaks of God being his “strong tower”, his “fortress,” and his “safety”. Keep these kind of words before your eyes and those of your family so that prayer is a first response to a difficult situation. Post scriptures around your house to surround your family with the word of God.
Living in a peaceful, safe and secure home has much more to do with the state of your heart than it does with the neighborhood in which you live or the circumstances that your family faces. When we look to God as our safety we can be secure in Him at all times. “My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest” (Isaiah 32:18).
Rev. Deb Koster
Rev. Dr. Rob Toornstra