By Faith Chang
10.06.2022 | Min Read

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One of the most important classes I took in seminary was Julie Lowe’s “Counseling Children and Adolescents.” During the semester, I gleaned much from her years of experience working with children, but the unit on child safety and abuse stood out the most. Her biblical, practical teaching influenced decisions I’ve since made as a parent. In it, she modeled important conversations I’ve had with my children and informed my church’s policy regarding child safety.

Now, Julie Lowe offers that same help to all parents and caregivers in Safeguards: Shielding our Homes and Equipping our Kids. This important resource helps adults teach safety skills to children that will help protect children from mistreatment, unsafe situations, violence, bullying, cyber-crimes, predatory behavior, sexting, abuse, and other kinds of danger that they might encounter.

Here are some key quotes from the book:

We Need to Equip our Kids

“If we only shelter our children and do not equip them to act in wisdom, we inadvertently raise naive, simple children who do not know how to make sense of evil and wisely navigate it.”

“We teach our children to navigate this world by giving them the ability to discern good from evil and right from wrong.”

“Our world calls intolerant what is good and holy, and calls good what God calls wicked (Is 5:20).”

“Keeping our children safe means we teach them God's ways–how he created us to live.”

What are Safeguards?

“What do I mean when I use the term Safeguards? It means working to establish a home and a worldview that protects your children. Parents are the first line of defense.”

“When we–quite literally–leave our young people to their own devices, they will look for guidance from their peers and disciple one another.”

“We are to preserve and illuminate what is good, both before our children and our communities. We must enhance the broken world around us.”

“Our lives as redeemed children of God should have an obvious heartening affect to those with whom we work and live…This is the posture we want to pass on to our kids."

Worry and Denial are Not Safety Skills

On Worrying:

“Worrying is not a tactic that will keep our kids safe."

“Worry prevents us from living fully in the present. It makes our children hesitant to take risks, experience the resiliency of failure and success, and hinders them from experiencing new things.”

“Parents who worry try to control their world, frequently shrinking it to whatever size feels manageable.”

On Denial:

“Denial rationalizes, minimizes, and explains away genuine concerns or red flags.”

“Denial suppresses concern; it ignores an instinct or sensitivity to signals that something is amiss. Because we want to be free from worry and fear, we close our minds (and our eyes) to the possibility of danger.”

“We must be willing to believe that at some point our children might be approached, groomed, or targeted for ill intent.”

Raising Equipped Kids, Not Fearful Kids

“As parents, we can tend to approach the real dangers our world offers with either excessive fear and worry or with denial that danger exists. But as Christians, we always have another way available to us...Our confidence is not in what we can do, but in our God who arms us for every good work.”

“The more children are trained and given the tools to know how to respond to uncertain or dangerous situations, the more confident, competent and at peace they will be...We are called to raise equipped kids, not fearful kids.”

“As our children develop, we must learn to pay attention to where they may have weaknesses or be prone to struggle. It is vital that we recognize ways these struggles may make them vulnerable, either to temptation or to being exploited.”

Our Hope

“It’s natural to worry about what is most precious to you–and our children are most precious–but consider again Jesus’ counsel that you and your children are more valuable than the birds that God is caring for and that he will care for you and those you love.”

“When you are tempted to despair because of your child’s struggle and choices, turn to God’s Word and let him interpret your future for you.”

“Parenting our children will consist of a multitude of joys and also heartbreak. Christian homes are not immune from the trials of this world. Hard things happen to believers and unbelievers alike. However, God’s promise to us is that he will be our refuge when the world crashes around our family.”