Snakes and Parenting

It’s the 8th week of the Mommy Moments Blog Series. The comments and site visits are rockin’. Thank you very much for signing up for the RSS feeds and please continue to spread the word about Books, Writing & Life.

This week we have our second male blogger, Pastor Lawrence Williams.
Below is his hilarious post. (We shall change the series title to Daddy Moments for this week.) 

Being born and raised in New York City never prepared me for that summer morning in North Carolina where I had my first indoctrination into southern living. 

I exited my kitchen as normal and hit the garage door opener only to notice something quickly move inside the garage before I could figure out what it was.

At first I was unsure of what had just happened, but I was certain that I saw something.  I yelled and made loud noises, assuming that if it were a cat or squirrel, it might get scared and exit on its own.  Then I started throwing old tools in the corner, hoping that might encourage whatever it was to flee. Finally, after all options had been exhausted, I was forced to investigate just what uninvited guest had run into my garage.

As I slowly made my way to the front of the garage, my worst fear had been realized.  A 6  foot, 1.5 inch diameter snake slithered up into the corner!  I immediately jumped back making enough noise to wake my wife and my then one-year-old daughter.  After my wife demanded to know what in the world would cause me to make so much noise, I notified her of the reptile on the premises.  Deep down I had hoped she would take care of it since she was raised in the country.

But she offered no such solution. 

My next thought was maybe I could just lock the kitchen door, leave the garage door open, and allow the snake to slither its way back out. When I thought of my young daughter crawling around the house, I realized that I could not take that chance.  So it was up to me, the defender of my castle, to attack this enemy head on.

First, I searched for the right tool. I had nothing more dangerous than a plastic rack and snow shovel. Then I headed next door in pursuit of a suitable weapon for battle. I secretly hoped my neighbor would volunteer to remove the pest, but the only assistance I would receive from him was the temporary loan of a garden hoe. Sigh.

Ready for battle!

With my weapon in hand and fear in my heart, I approached my enemy slowly, hoping he had since vacated the premises. I would not be that fortunate.  As I took multiple swings and finally hit once, the venomous beast hissed a mean reply. I immediately ran back to the kitchen hoping that my demonstration of strength was enough.  When I peeked back, he was still there. I realized there was only one way to remove this obstacle.

I had to kill it.

I had never killed anything in my life prior to this point, so I had to psyche up the mental strength to address the task. 

I started to think of every Conan the Barbarian movie I had ever seen, and violently attacked the foe.  As I continued to swing and hit, he hissed in violent response. I hit again and again, missing twice as much as I hit. He shook and moved back and forth. I thought for sure he would attack me, but I did not give him the chance. 

I yelled, swung, stabbed, bobbed and weaved, until finally, the snake stopped moving. (There was about 2 inches of concrete broken out of the garage floor.) 

I had finally won the battle and defeated the enemy that would define my manhood and supremacy of my castle!

I won! The snake is defeated!

When I reflect back on this event, I think of the challenges we as parents face raising children in such a challenging world today.  As a father of two girls ages six and fourteen, and a pastor, I am all too aware of numerous uninvited guests that attempt to attack our households. If these guests are left unchecked, they could kill our youth. Drugs, pornography and violence are only a few of the enemies, and the list goes on and on. 

I’m reminded of what the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8-9

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. . .”

One thing we must learn to do as parents is to learn how to protect our children until they can mature enough to fend for themselves.  We must become and remain aware. We must be A.W.A.R.E. of the challenges that face our children. 

 AWARE is an acronym that stands for:

Ahead – We have the life experience our children need, even though they don’t always appreciate it. Consequently, we should always think ahead.  We know what dangers lurk for our youth because in one form or another we have either experienced the dangers or seen their impact on others.  As much as our children may protest that “things are different now,” we know all too well that the game hasn’t changed–only the players. What problems could your daughter run into hanging with the friend wearing too tight Apple Bottom Jeans with the word “JUICY” written across her breasts? What issues do you expect your son to encounter hanging with the friend with a juvie record?  What precautions do you need to take to avert danger?

Willing – No matter what the problem is, we must be willing to confront the threats that face our children.  I know how hard it is to repeat the same things, over and over and over, only to secretly ask yourself the question: What’s the use? Will they ever get it?  We cannot stop issuing our warnings. Remember when you were that age? It took a few times for you to get it as well.

Attentive – We must remain attentive to our children, especially as they transition through their developmental stages. The friendliness your little girl has as a child may turn into promiscuity if unchecked as a teen. The ultra competitive nature of your little boy could be twisted into violence as he grows older. Always stay vigilant and alert to your child, their development and their surroundings.

Request – We must request help from On High.  As a pastor, I don’t understand how those without Christ are able to cope with some of the challenges we face as parents today. I honestly believe that you need supernatural assistance to succeed in some of the issues you will face. Only God can give the knowledge, wisdom and power that we need to be successful. But all of that comes at the expense of prayer. 

Eliminate – Don’t stop until the issues are eliminated.  Even though you took your child’s cell phone for sexting, the core issue has not been addressed, only the tool.  Understand each issue you face and determine whether the problem is internal or external. Keep the lines of communication open after each issue is addressed and stay engaged until you see a true change. 

Staying A.W.A.R.E. may not solve all of our problems as parents, but it could help address many of the common challenges we experience.  So the next time you see a predator attacking your children, get out your hoe and get to work.

If you don’t address it, who will?

Lawrence Williams is the Pastor of Lake Norman Christian Outreach in Mooresville, NC. Connect with him via Twitter or Facebook.

If you haven’t downloaded a copy of the ebook, Mommy Moments, please do so at this link.

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One Response to Snakes and Parenting

  1. Daphine says:

    Oh nooo! I haven’t heard anyone else say they had a problem. Hmm.

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