I just read a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. that has me all stirred up inside:
"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?'
Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?'
Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?'
But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?'
And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right."
As a woman who is both a wife and a mother, I deal with these questions all the time - especially where my children are concerned. I struggle with over-protecting the five blessings God has given me. I've learned that protection and over-protection are separated by a very grey line.
Many conscientious parents cross that line into over-protection without even knowing it. I know I found (and still find at times) myself on the other side of that line. What happens when we over-protect is we raise kids who ask that first question more than they ask the last question.
We live in a world that is harshly opposed to many values that Christians hold dear. The sanctity of life at every stage and God's design for marriage are two examples. The truth is that standing up for our beliefs is seldom safe, politic (shrewdly practical) , or popular. But in order to stand firm we will need courage and conviction.
The truth is, courage and conviction are only strengthened when practiced. Courage is developed on the battlefields of life. Conviction is developed in the face of temptation. In order to raise brave kids, they have to face these challenges. We have to allow them to face these challenges.
Knowing when a child is ready is the hard part of this equation. I would never put a child in harm's way in order to test his bravery. But my children will never be courageous unless they face fear and walk forward through it.
God has planted a conscience in our hearts and that is His Holy Spirit. I believe we must teach our children at an early age to pray about their decisions and trust that God will prompt them to do what's right. Then, sometimes, we must stand back and allow our kids to do something that's not completely safe, not wisely practical and not popular - in order to do what's right.
Very importantly, we should especially allow them to follow their conscience now, while they are still under our protection, so we can have their back when things get tough.
I'm for raising a generation of Davids, who will face the giants when all others quake in fear!
In His Love,