The Circle of Safety


Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3

I have heard and read this scripture many times over the weekend. Our pastor preached from this scripture on Sunday morning and then I read it again last night during my study time.

Any time I go out to run errands, I constantly tell my girls to stay close to me. Being a mom of four I can’t hold all of their hands, so I have taught them to either hold each others hands and my pockets or to walk right beside me. At least once a week, I explain to them that their safety depends on them listening to me. If they are not aware of what’s going on around them and are not listening and obeying my voice something terrible could happen to them.

I like how Tedd Tripp explains, “Children’s obedience is not secured so that you can be obeyed for your sake. You must be obeyed for their sakes!”

As long as our children are honoring and obeying our words, they can receive security, safety, and blessings from above. Obedience is willing submission of one person to the authority of another. It means more than a child doing what he is told. It means doing what he is told without challenge, without excuse, and without delay.

One morning the girls and I were making our weekly trip to the grocery store. As everyone was getting out of the car. I saw another car driving up quickly to park into the spot beside us. I quickly told my daughter, getting out of the van, to stop. If she would have questioned me or went ahead anyways, she would have been hit!  When a child steps away from your guidance, rules, or instructions they are putting themselves into harms way. They are walking outside the circle of safety.


Blindfold your child. Tell them to listen carefully to your words. Now give them a couple of spins around. Next walk them through the house by giving them clear instructions, take one step forward, two steps to the left, etc., but be very specific so they do not fall or hit anything. Now with the blindfold still on, tell them they are free to walk any where they want to, but no one can help them. They will most likely run into some walls or furniture.

The same things happen when a child decides to go on their own and not obey their parents. They can stumble and fall but if they choose to obey their parents their walk will be smoother and may enjoy long life on the earth.

We can talk, lecture, and scold until we are blue in the face, but when we lead by example, something powerful happens. Our children actually have a model to follow after when they see Mom submitting to Dad and their parents submitting to the state and the church, it then goes beyond the words and a connection is made.


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