Skip to main content

fear not little children

I was driving home from an osteopath appointment yesterday and turned on the radio just for fun. There was a talk show going on and they were discussing how to make your kids more safety aware, especially regarding strangers. The guest was a police officer who had some interesting things to say. She dispelled a few myths and made some very good points.

1. "Never talk to strangers" is a bad motto to follow. It is normal and expected that children (and adults) will talk to strangers everyday. Instead, she suggested the guideline, "Never go anywhere with anyone unless you talk to us (the parents) first." She said kids should not be made to fear all strangers. Sometimes kids have become lost and the rule, "Never talk to strangers" kept them from asking for help.

2. Some parents say they would rather instill fear in their kids than have them get hurt. The police officer said that making your kids fearful is really a harmful thing, since someone who is fearful is more vulnerable to deception. Most children have an inherent instinct to be able to tell a safe person from a bad person and when they are made fearful, this instinct is tampered with and they are just fearful of everyone. In the long run, this makes them more susceptible to those who are predators as these offenders often are good at manipulation and offering a fake sense of safety, and since the child is looking for safety but is not sure what that looks like because his judgement is clouded by fear, he is an easy mark.

Wow! This was a big reminder for me not to let fear rule my decisions nor be a motivating factor in my life as it is a deceiver and opens the door to more deception. Yuck! Let fear go...let love and discernment in.

This picture was taken in Old Montreal on my birthday.


Shelley said…
This is very good Matte. I sent it with a link to all my friends with kids.
A kid (about 4 years old) in my sunday school class once burst into tears when another parent came to the door...she thought it was a stranger come to take her. wow.

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.


When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …