Beyond Safety Pt. I

October 20, 2010

I don’t let my  kids play with knives or toddle around open fires.  Weird right?  Hardly the stuff of parenting books, but I’ve been wondering about safety recently.

There was a movie released a couple of years ago where these robots that were designed to protect humans began turning on them, forcing them to stay indoors.  As was explained in perfect computer logic, humanity had become its own most potent threat; they had to be contained, protected.

On the one hand, what dad wants to see their kids hurt?  I can’t imagine I am alone in the visceral drive I feel to keep my family safe.  We want our kids to attend safe schools, play with safe friends, watch safe movies/TV, etc.  So, we don’t play with neighbor kids, don’t open our homes and we don’t mess with the kids bedtime routines.  But what’s this all really doing?

It may not look like it on the surface, but ultimately the drive to shield our families from brokenness leads us away from freedom to fear and hiding–two longstanding symptoms of brokenness.  Learning through pain and the redemption of pain are sacrificed on the altar of safety and we find ourselves in a constant battle to insulate our families from broken reality.  In running from pain and clinging to safety we make a number of important statements about God.  1) Following God is a “safe” undertaking (therefore un-safety is outside his will for us). 2) God is either uncaring or unable to do anything about all the pain and brokenness we see around us (therefore it is safe for us to run from it)

The irony in all of this is that we are surprised to find that our safe lives leave us with only to an emaciated (but manageable) Jesus who helps make our safe world even more safe.

So, how should a family opt out of the endless pursuit of safety that drives so many of us?  How do we live beyond safety?


One Response to “Beyond Safety Pt. I”

  1. karen wulf Says:

    excellent post, joey. thanks for sharing it-you address a huge hindrance most face but few recognize.

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