It feels like we’re living in crazy town. Earlier this year, a bright college student went on a deadly shooting spree in a local movie theater just a few miles from our home.
In what made national news, a young local girl’s body was discovered, confirming the worst of her disappearance. We then learned that the 17-year old “boy next door” had savagely brutalized his victim. On the same evening, parents in our neighborhood were alerted that two other separate and independent child abductions were foiled, thank God, that day alone.
Late that night I found my wife with her head in her hands, weeping quietly as she sat outside our children’s rooms in the dark. “I’m scared,” she whispered.
Behind the locked doors and engaged alarm system of our second amendment-secured home, I didn’t understand her fear, at first. Then it hit me. She was afraid for our boys, for all children, not so much in here as out there. I share her fear.
As a child I always loved the spook and spectacular of Halloween. The ghouls and goblins and zombies were fun and funny because they were fake. What really scared me? Jaws. Like millions of others, I was genuinely afraid of the reality that an unseen predator posed.
Today the threat of a gnashing beast isn’t limited to deep and murky waters at sunset. Monsters don't just creep the neighborhood on All Hallows' Eve. They are real and they are everywhere. Is the world becoming a more sinister place? Are our children at greater risk by the horrors of man’s dark sin nature? I hate to say it because it shatters my sense of security, but I think the answer is yes.
So, in an uncontrollable world, what can we do to help protect our kids and instill a healthy sense of caution in them?
• We must keep vigilant watch on our surroundings and be an active part of our kid’s day-to-day worlds.
• We need to have regular conversations with kids about the predatory dangers that hunt children around the corner, down the street, and especially online.
• We must face the reality of desensitization towards violence, gore, crime, sexuality and lowest common denominator human behavior (see most of the “reality” shows on prime time television) that is occurring daily with our children. The rising threshold of tolerance for the macabre is an epidemic and exponentially increases the challenges for parents safeguarding kids. We must guide youth in establishing values that transcend the culture. We need to help them discern the difference between fantasy and reality.
• We should be in vigilant prayer that Almighty God protects our families and that He shields us from evil.
“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
We pray for the Ridgeway family and all parents who have suffered the inexplicable loss of a child.
On behalf of mothers and fathers everywhere, I send my deep thanks and prayers to Ms. Sigg, the aforementioned murderer’s mother, who played a critical role in her son’s confession and arrest. I cannot fathom the pain and confusion she must feel. It is clear though, while the precious girl who lost her life cannot be restored here on earth, that this brave woman possibly saved other lives at the hands of her son. With parenting comes incredible responsibility, in good times and bad.