Strong Vs. Safe Christian Kids


I’ve been reading the book Grace Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel. So far it’s been a decent read, but I was really struck with the section that describes how many Christian families want to raise “safe” Christian kids. This is done by essentially raising them in a bubble — Christian schools, Christian friends, protection from the evils of the world, and so on.
Kimmel tells the story of a Christian college that sent some students on a missions trip. One student was injured on the trip; her mother sued the school. And won. While I don’t know the specifics of this event, it really struck me as being an interesting and disturbing shift in Christian thought. And it also left me aching at the shallowness of some peoples’ faith (including my own). And it challenged me to consider risking everything in order to share God’s love with others, to live a life that rests and relies completely on Him, and to treasure following God above my own safety.
Kimmel’s own daughter was planning on going on a missions trip in Haiti with a group from her Christian college. At the time, Haiti was placed on the U.S. State Department’s travelers alert. A parent called the college and said they should cancel the trip because it was unsafe. The school responded that many places where missions were most needed were on the travelers alert list. The parent asked if the university was prepared to guarantee the safety of their daughter. And threatened a lawsuit if anything did happen to her daughter. The school was backed into a financial and legal corner and ended up canceling the trip. (Why the mom didn’t just pull her own kid from the trip I don’t know…)
How did Kimmel’s daughter respond? She went to Haiti on her own, brought the supplies the school had gathered with her, and returned the following summer to continue work.
I hope that I can raise my children to be strong and reliant on Christ. Though I would be so grieved if anything happened to my children on the mission field, my joy would be overwhelming to know that their hope rested in God.