Sunday, October 19, 2008

Are There Limits?

I've been going on and on about reaching out a lot lately. I especially have a burden to reach out to my kids' friends and their families. But is there a limit? The kids had a long weekend from school because there is some state wide teachers conference that no teachers I know go to, but we still get two days off.

Some friends of the girls called to see if they could come over for a sleep over. I don't know this family too well, but what I do know is a little iffy. The step-dad has a questionable reputation and their supervision of their kids leaves a lot to be desired. I was unsure what to do. I declined the sleepover and suggested we start with just a few hours of playing. When I saw Mike later and mentioned it to him, he was like no way - not at that house. I guess I kind of felt the same way but wasn't sure how to back out gracefully. Well, it worked out that we had plans that night anyway and couldn't do it.

So what's the right way to respond in those situations. It wasn't even an issue of pleasing or disappointing my girls because they didn't seem to care much either way. But I didn't want to be rude or come across like we are too good for them. I don't want to be overprotective but watching out for and protecting my kids is one of the most important things I need to do. It's more important than offending someone. Duh!

We got some advice from a couple in our church whose parenting we greatly respect. Their son, who is older now, had a lot of kids from rough homes in his class. They handled it by always having the kids over their house. They were able to develop a relationship with the friends and their families while protecting their son from a sinful and dangerous environment. Even though it's a pain, you know where they are and what they are doing. It seems like that is a way to strike a balance between wanting to reach out to them and at the same time protecting my own kids.

It's going to take extra work and personal sacrifice to show the love of Jesus to others. And I guess it will take a lot of prayer and wisdom to do the best thing for my kids.

Proverbs 27:12
The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

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