Worldproofing Our Kids (commentary)

A mother camel and her baby camel are talking one day when the baby camel asks, “Mom, why do I have these huge three-toed feet?” The mother camel answers, “So when we trek through the desert your toes will help you stay on top of the soft sand.” A few minutes later the baby camel asks, “Mom, why do I have these great big long eyelashes?” The mother camel says, “To keep the sand out of your eyes on trips through the desert.” After a little while he says, “Mom? Why do I have these big old humps on my back?” “To help us store water for our long treks across the desert, so we can go without drinking for long periods.” The baby camel answers, “That’s great, Mom. So we have huge feet to stop us from sinking in the sand, and long eyelashes to keep the sand out of our eyes, and these big humps to store water, but Mom?” “What?” “What are we doing in the San Diego zoo?”

We parents have a similar challenge in today’s culture. Our kids come equipped for an eternal, supernatural, transcendent kind of life–but they live in a world that doesn’t recognize it. We have the important task of worldproofing our kids–preparing them to be in the world but not of it, helping them avoid being squeezed into the world’s mold.

One way is to raise some basic questions that Lael Arrington suggests in her book Worldproofing Your Kids. One question is, Who makes the rules? We need to help our kids understand that there are only two answers to that question. Either God makes the rules, or man makes the rules. We can point out the orderliness of traffic patterns because someone else has decided that red means stop and green means go. We can talk about what it would be like if everybody made up their own traffic rules. We can watch videos together like Alice in Wonderland and Lord of the Flies that show what happens when anybody and everybody can make the rules.

Another important question is, Where Did We Come From? This isn’t about sex and the stork, but about creation and evolution. Either God made us because He loves us, or we are nothing more than an accident in an uncaring universe. My pastor has a routine with his kids. He asks, “How EVER did I get so blessed to be your daddy and get you for a son? His kids answer, “Because God gave me to you!” Jeff’s kids know God made them, and that they are God’s gift to their father.

A third question to talk about with our kids is, Why am I here? We have the awesome privilege of casting a vision for them for their part in the larger story of life, one that involves a planning and purpose for their lives, a calling from God to play their specially designed and gifted part. We can tell our kids that there isn’t anybody quite like them in the whole world, and God has a part for them that will bring joy and fulfillment because they’re doing what they were created for.

Our privilege as parents is to teach our kids that they were created for God and for heaven, not for this world. Just like camels were created for the desert and not the zoo.

© 2001 Probe Ministries.