The world is a frightening place. Your kids know that much. It’s why they sometimes don’t want to go to sleep. It’s why they wake up scared in the middle of the night. It’s why they need you to cover them.
Cover your kids with laughter. There are a lot of reasons to cry. Kids learn that at an early age. As much as we may try to shelter them from all that is wrong in the world, eventually word gets out. They overhear the news reports about another war. They see the house where dozens of police cars are parked outside and know that those officers aren’t just paying a friendly visit.
They see pain.
That’s why they need to see you laugh.
Even when you’ve had a long day and don’t feel very much like laughing. And they need you to make them laugh. Even when you would much rather they remain quiet. You can’t shelter your kids from the pain in this world. You can cover with them laughter.
Cover your kids with music. Kids today live under a lot of stress. Some have sports schedules that rival that of pro athletes. Music, if handled properly, can be a great source of fun and relaxation. Introduce them to the good stuff. Let them hear a rapper who is talented enough to say what seems like 400 words in one minute without every three or four of those words being profane. Open their ears to historic guitar and drum solos. Don’t bother pressuring them by saying, “That could be you someday.” Just let them enjoy what they hear.
At night, when they are in their rooms fighting off fears of bad dreams and monsters under the bed, make hymns each night’s soundtrack. Allow music to be their theology teacher. Make music their friendly reminder that they are being held by a God who is infinitely bigger than any boogeyman or creepy sound.
Cover you kids with music. If you play your cards right, it just might muffle those creepy sounds kids usually hear at night.
Most of all, cover your kids with prayer. There are places in this world where naked babies sit all alone on the side of streets. When those of us from the western world cross paths with these children, we cringe at the dangers these kids face because of their exposure. If your kids are not covered in prayer, their exposure is just as dangerous.
Pray for God to protect them from their enemy. Most of the world laughs at the idea that we have a spiritual enemy who is bent on our destruction. And he laughs back. He wants your kids. But he doesn’t have to have them. Pray for them to your Father under the authority of your Savior and in the power of the Holy Spirit. The enemy of you and your family will get the message.
Pray for them to have the wisdom to know how to live in the world without being shaped by the world. Pray for them to be different. Not weird clothes and funny hair cut different. Fruit of the Spirit different. In a world where normal means perverse, angry, entitled and hateful, pray that your kids are anything but normal.
Pray for God to protect your kids from themselves. Satan and the world won’t be leaving them alone anytime soon. But if they did, our kids would still find enough trouble from within their own hearts. Pray that they would know what it means to fight against their evil desires. And pray that they would know what it means to win those fights.
The world is a frightening place.
The potential for disaster is all around.
Cover your kids.