Today the Lynnfield Fire Department came by Messiah Lutheran Day School to do some important work with the kids and teachers: a fire drill. A fire drill is nothing more than advanced preparation to be ready and know how to act when bad things happen. I was struck by the timing in the aftermath of the OK tornado this week. This is really important work, isn’t it?
Teaching our kids to be ready for bad stuff and giving them skills to use to keep healthy and safe is vital. It goes way beyond fires though. We know that this world is broken and that there are many ways that we can experience hurt and pain. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually we should be ready for the bad stuff and have a plan for how we might be ready to act when something goes wrong around us. Healthy people prepare in advance for the bad stuff and try to respond in healthy ways.
Does your family have a safe place to meet in case of fire? What about a first aid kit ready for action in a sensible place at home and the car? What other physical challenges should we be ready for?
How about emotional and spiritual challenges too? Are our kids prepared for the first time someone says something mean to them, or makes fun of them? Do they have a plan to react in healthy ways? How have you trained your child to react to failure? Are they prepared with tools to use to face failed tests, assignments, or losses on the athletic field? Are your young adults prepared for breakups from deep relationships with a boyfriend or girlfriend? What other emotional challenges might we prepare our kids to face?
What about spiritual challenges? Have we taught our kids how to face strong temptations? Are your kids ready to stand up for Jesus no matter what they might face as a result? Have we planted the Word deeply in their hearts so that when spiritually difficult times arise they’re ready to handle them with God-given faith?
Fire drills help us to be ready should a fire happen. Fire is pretty rare though, isn’t it? Things like fights with friends, tiring weeks, and spiritual challenges are much more common. Consider adding a short planning segment to your family devotion time each week to help prepare your kids for some potential bad stuff that they might face. A little disaster preparedness training could go a long way to help our kids handle potential bad situations that WILL happen in life. A little preparation could be useful for mom and dad too!
Please add some ideas in the comments below. What other bad stuff should we be prepared for? What kinds of drills could we add to our family devotional time?