You can’t protect them from everything on your own

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 22, 2010

The lawn of my childhood home never won any awards. It may have had something to do with the random brown patches of charred grass that dotted our landscape. In an attempt to protect us from the ants, my dad burned the ant piles. I thought that was the reason they were called fire ants.

Although I don’t share my dad’s method of extermination, I understand the desire to protect a child’s play space. When my children were younger, I vigilantly sought methods of destroying mounds of ants, carefully aimed cans of Raid at bees and got much exercise from stalking mosquitoes that threatened a sleeping child. My mission to protect was also carried out in the living room, where I did my best to ban the viewing of cartoons and movies I considered detrimental. Protecting them mentally and spiritually was just as important to me as ridding their environment of danger.

Four of my five children have made the transition from high school to beyond and now bear the responsibility and consequences of their choices. No longer do I dictate their viewing habits, nor am I able to swat the things that bite and sting. And I’m not just referring to insects. I never have figured out a way to make little bumper pads for their hearts. (Why does the same child who seeks my opinion when scheduling classes, accepting jobs, and choosing jewelry, not want my thoughts regarding relationships?) So what’s a mother to do?

Pray. A lot. And I do.

I trust God to protect them from accidents, diseases, impurities and imposters. I ask for good friends to be added to their lives and for them to be godly examples to others. I pray they have wisdom from God when making decisions, remain in the center of His will and realize their daily dependence upon Him.

I know that you, too, have specific prayers that you pray for your children. May our children not only benefit from the prayers that have been invested in their lives but develop an ever increasing prayer life of their own.

Ronny may be reached at