Looks like I have failed at equipping my children with a very crucial skill, a survival technique really in this heinous, ungodly world that we live in.
I sent my 12 yr. old son down to the nearby store where he has gone countless times before to pick up a bag of milk or a loaf of bread when we've run out.
We live in a quiet small town right on a highway. Since we have moved out here, we have gotten kinda comfy, a little relaxed with the freedom we give our kids.
Apparently a little too comfy. My son shared with me casually about the little conversation he had with a couple of MEN in a CAR on his walk back from the store.
I find myself involuntarily twitching as I type this.
He mentioned how the men were friendly and asked him how he was, why he wasn't in school, and what he was up to. All the while my son is walking within arms reach of the vehicle, which by the way is pulled over along the side of the road.
WHAT??!! As my son is sharing this all with me, my head is shaking violently back and forth, my voice reaches an unearthly pitch and I manage to squeak out "What were you thinking?!"
He looks at me as if I have two heads and responds with "nothing." "I was just being friendly."
I wonder how this could possibly happen, what is wrong with this child, and then it dawns on me, I'm whats wrong. I did this.
I taught this child to see the best in people, to be friendly in every situation, to always try and reach out to others. He is an extremely friendly, and social kid. He can talk to anyone. He'll shoot the breeze with some old folks, strike up a conversation with a young couple and easily engage a bunch of youngsters. I love that about him. I don't want that to change.
But, here I find myself feeling completely helpless, unable to protect my child from the unknown.
I don't want to assume these men were up to no good, for all I know they could have been completely harmless. I think it's inappropriate to talk to a young boy all on his own, especially the amount they conversed with him. I am thankful for the sovereignty of God and the safety of my child. I can't help but wonder if divine intervention played a part and these men happen to "see" a couple of bystanders within close range fowling any plans.
I try to explain to my son how dangerous this is. I tell him bad things could happen to him, that he could be taken and be killed. His mind can't comprehend this. He can't possibly imagine that these "nice men" could ever do him any harm.
Yes, I have sheltered my children. I don't regret that. They have been exposed to the big things in this world that matter. Famine, war, poverty. There hearts have broken over the devastation that they have seen, read and heard about. We pray and talk about these crucial things that go on in the world around us.
But, this...the evilness and human depravity that exists in the world. How do you share that? How do you even begin to explain the potential and horror of human nature? Describe it enough so that their innocence is stolen, and they no longer trust everyone? How do you do that as a mother? I don't want to do that. I would never even consider it for my younger ones, because they are under my protection the majority of the time. Just basic instructions would work for them. My older two boys on the otherhand, I have realized need something more. They are in situations where I can't always be. They have freedoms and privileges that come with risk.
So I am asking you... "What do you or would you tell your older children?" "What did your parents share with you at that age?" "How much is too much?" or are we left with no other option in this very scary society than to just expose the whole ugly truth?
Please leave a comment with your needed wisdom, or send me an email.
1Peter 5:7 "Throw all your worry on him, because he cares for you."