Guardian & Protector
When my oldest daughter was about three our block had a block party. Both ends of our street were closed off, and many of the neighborhood kids came out to play. My daughter was very excited. This was her chance to ride everywhere! We got out her “Big Wheel” and she rode it all around the street. I was close by, watching her and chatting with the neighbors.
Suddenly an older boy from the block (maybe 7 or 8 years old) decided he wanted her big wheel. He pushed my daughter off her big wheel, grabbed it from her, and began riding it. My daughter skinned her knee and started to cry.
I was only a few yards away and saw the whole thing. God appointed me guardian and protector of my child, and my child was being threatened! An anger rose up inside me that I didn’t know existed. I was a Mama Bear and this was my sweet, little cub. She was only three years old. How dare he?
I ran over, picked up my crying child, and comforted her. Then I angrily marched over to the boy, gave him a little lecture, and took back the big wheel.
Unfortunately this incident was not the only bullying my kids have experienced over the years. As a mother, as a protector, I’ve tried my best to keep my kids from other dangers as well: drugs, cars driving too fast, poisonous berries, too much TV or video absorption, bad doctrine, impulsive, hare-brained decisions, etc. Fortunately, for the most part our family has swerved through these dangers and escaped relatively unscathed. But there is one relentless fiend that wants to destroy our family. It keeps entering our house. In fact, we let it right in! He disguises himself so beautifully, we welcome him as a hero. What is it? The monster of busyness.
Unfortunately, we seem to let him in more often during the summer. Each summer I think to myself, “Yeah!” It’s summertime! Summertime = Lots of free time! But each summer our free time is swallowed up in a myriad of activity! Baseball, soccer, swim team, Karate, camp, Vacation Bible School, science class, visits with family, trips to the shore, jobs and volunteer work, church events, etc. The list goes on!
And the problem is, they are all so much fun! I see my kids growing as a result of these activities. What do we cut out? How do we draw the line?
As a mother, as a protector of my children, sometimes I need to say “No” to these wonderful activities because even though they are benefiting my children individually, they are not benefiting our family as a whole. In particular I need to guard and protect:
My Devotional Time: Maintaining my time with God and the time my kids and I have together in the Word is essential. If I want to draw near to my Lord and Savior, if I want to grow in my faith and see my children grow in theirs, I must actively guard and protect this time, for it can easily be snatched away. Here the monster of busyness manifests itself in the form of sleepiness, distractions, interruptions, or too much planned for the day.
My Marriage: My marriage is so important to God! If I make spending time with my husband a priority, our friendship and dependency on each other will build. Intimacy will grow. Our marriage will blossom, and our God will be honored. Ultimately our children will be blessed as well. Here the monster of busyness manifests itself in the form of “children’s needs”, my hobbies, TV, video games, exhaustion, indifference, even women’s fellowship groups.
Our Family Meal Time: This area of our family life has been the most difficult to guard and protect, especially as our kids have gotten older. Meal time together is so significant! It’s when we all sit together and really talk, laugh, share problems, and enjoy the little community God has given us in our home. Here the monster of busyness manifests itself in a myriad of activity: sports, VBS, phone calls, drama, TV shows, even youth group and church events.
As my kids continue to grow and are involved in more and more church events, jobs, friendships, sports, and other activities, I know this will continue to be a struggle in our home. A little activity enriches our family. Too much busyness can destroy families. May God give my husband and I the strength to say “No” sometimes. If I seek to guard and protect these vital areas of our family life, we will have a stronger faith, a better marriage, and closer family relationships, and these things are worth far more to me than the best activities in the world.
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Copyright July 4, 2013 by Gwen Fredette