“In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; Incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.
Trust is foundational to human relationships and it is important to teach children about trust and the importance of being trustworthy. It is equally important that children learn that not all people are trustworthy and therefore cannot be trusted. It is also important that you teach children how to go about knowing who to trust and who not to trust. The place to turn for guidance on how to do this is the Bible.
The Bible tells us that we must acknowledge that ALL humans…you, me, your mom, your dad, your children, are sinful. Romans 3:23 tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Because of this, it is very likely that trusts will be broken in relationships, people will disappoint each other. This does not mean that we are to avoid relationships, God wants us to interact with each other. What it does mean is that we should not expect anyone to be perfect and therefore we must not put our entire trust in any human. We must rely on God first and know that He is the one we are to put our ultimate trust in. Remember Psalm 118:8, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. And Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
God wants us to know that we cannot blindly trust everyone with everything and we cannot trust everyone with our children. And, we need to teach our children that they must not trust everyone. Children must be taught about distrust, that “feeling of doubt that you have towards someone or something”. Teach your children to recognize motives that are not pure, Proverbs 13:20 states, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Encourage them to stay away from people who have values that go against the values you have taught them…values that go against the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” You must be discerning about the people you trust and you must teach your children to do the same. Teach your children about discernment and the importance of following their intuition… the framework for protecting them from violence. Teach them this by teaching them the Word of God and by letting them see you doing what you are teaching them.
In his book, Protecting The Gift, Gavin De Becker states that, “To protect your child, you must believe in yourself. Safety starts with knowing that your intuition about people is a brilliant guardian”.
“If you don’t make the mistake of waiting for clear signals to become memories you wish you’d acted on, then you can defeat most predators. When you don’t trust someone who makes an unsolicited approach, when your intuition sends you doubt or suspicion, you’ve got all the information you need. People who never received permission to act on their intuition (and that’s most people) may wait until they can construct a logical reason to act, but I encourage you to give up the old way. When you listen to the natural signals of danger, you are teaching your children to listen as well, and that will save them a lot of conflict and self-doubt.” ~ Protecting The Gift by Gavin De Becker
In addition to teaching your children about discernment and following their intuition…that “still small voice,” there are other actions you should take to keep them safe:
The most important thing that a child could ever learn is the existence, character, and plan of God. So remember, if you teach your child to trust God first and foremost and not put his complete trust in others, then he will be free to trust others and know when not to.