If you were watching the Nature Channel and a show came on titled “Sheep Among Wolves”, it would probably carry a disclaimer for younger audiences. Sheep hanging out with wolves seem likely to have a quick and tragic end. Sheep are famously ill equipped to defend themselves against predators of any type. They tend to get a little jumpy in the Petting Zoos’ around 5 year olds. Sending sheep into the midst of wolves is just plain crazy. What’s more crazy, is that according to the Gospel of Mathew (10: 16); Jesus is the one doing the sending.
It does not seem loving or wise to lead lambs into harms way. Wolves are ravenous and sheep are slow, defenseless and taste a lot like chicken. My dad instincts in this area are fairly simple and straightforward: arm the sheep, kill the wolves and call it a day. The directions we are given in the Gospel would be impossible to receive or believe if they were not coming from a really good shepherd. He is the Great Shepherd. He knows how to protect sheep and how to handle wolves.
As we go out among wolves, we are encouraged to be “shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” On the surface these qualities sound pretty different. We are not told to embrace one or the other. We are instructed to be both shrewd and innocent. Read the Gospel accounts of Jesus. He was not naïve or unaware regarding men’s hearts and motives. He was cunning. He was bold. He was humble. He was innocent.
He was in the world but not of the world. Are we preparing our daughters to do the same?
To be shrewd means to be aware. It means to see all that is going on, to be wise in anticipating and navigating danger. Are we helping our daughters develop this type of discernment? Are we having honest, age appropriate discussions with our daughters about relationships, sexuality and lifestyle choices and pressures they will face?
An innocent person does not become contaminated by the world. They are strong without being hard. They are not so much protected from the world, as they are equipped for the world. Our daughters do not need to be Worldly to survive and thrive in the world. Purity is not perfection. It is a heart issue, not a performance issue. Lets encourage our daughters to know who they are and whose they are.
Lets help our daughters hear and recognize the voice of their true shepherd. He is worthy of their trust and ours. Keep following. Keep leading.
Grace & Peace,
Dr. Don Worcester