I’d like to apply this scripture to parenting, and not its usual marriage reference. I dedicate this post to my Momma and my Daddy.
An Angel and I were having a conversation a few days ago about parenting and how the mother and father MUST be a united front in their efforts. My parents were just that, a united front against three slick and sneaky knuckleheads. There was nothing that we could do to or around one that the other didn’t know about. We would find ourselves often upset with Mom because she “told on us.” Any day that Dad came home from work, and immediately went to the closet, was a day we dreaded. That sound was terrifying, the sliding of the closet door followed by the clank of that belt buckle, and there was NOTHING we could do! There was NOWHERE to run! Such a united front could not be beaten, broken, or conquered. Whether they had differences when it came to certain things, we NEVER knew it.
As I thought about this matter, during my conversation with the Angel, “Spotters & Snipers” came to mind. Think about the spotter/sniper team. The spotter locates and identifies the target for the sniper. Then the sniper addresses it, often with extreme prejudice. Our mother was the spotter and our father was the sniper, and he “sniped” 24/7! For some odd reason, I used to think bedtime was some sort of impenetrable strong hold, like Jericho, but we all know what happened there. Pops would come home from working the late shift and wake us up, just to remind us of how his brown belt worked! Moms was a tattle tell!! Always getting us in trouble, snitchin and stuff!! LOL!!
Anyway, in the Spotter/Sniper approach, nothing is allowed to slide. Nothing that does not belong is allowed onto the property or into the house. If we came home under the influence of a bad example or peer pressure, it was sniped in the bud. There were times that Mom had to be both, and there were times Dad had to be both, but nothing broke the oneness they shared in how we were raised and disciplined.
Some parents, nowadays, operate in such a manner that any ill, any demon, or any other thing that poses a threat to the youngans or the household is “addressed” immediately and accordingly. Yet, there are many parents who allow their children to “have a say” in how they are raised and disciplined. In other words, the children easily talk their parents down from their perch. Then, all sorts of threats and corruptions flood the property. Kids have NO CLUE as to all a parents sees and picks up on the horizon. They have not the knowledge or experience necessary to have a wise say in much anything considered to be “grown folks’ business. No, we should NOT discount their thoughts and feelings but NEVER leave your post!! ALWAYS be on the lookout for creepy crawlies hanging around the back porch or under the hedges. Snakes will ease up in a house without anyone ever knowing when the door is left open and unattended, which has happened at our house in Eight Mile before. Think about it! You NEVER know a snake is in the house until someone is bitten or darn close to being bitten. Had Mom and Dad been up on that perch, ever watchful and vigilant, that snake would have never made it close to the door, let alone through the door.
If you were blessed to have both parents in the home during your raising, then BE GRATEFUL!! It’s a tougher job for single parents, to be both spotter and sniper at the same time. Their view of the periphery is limited, not having the extra pair of eyes needed. I commend all those who have accepted the task of being both, spotter and sniper. It ain’t easy, I know; women raising men and men raising women. It’s tough, but please don’t relinquish your weapons of protection. As a single parent, many threats come with smiles, and the things that truly help are discernment, knowing and trusting your instincts, knowing your heart, and NEVER losing sight of the youngans!
When our vision gets blurred, strained, or blocked, God serves as our spotter, but only when we invite Him into our lives, our hearts, and minds. We also must be willing to accept HIS instruction and Will for us. Guaranteed success is what He provides, but work MUST be done! It’s never easy. I, myself, have failed at “addressing” targets when God said, “Take the shot!” It’s a lot like the children of Israel failing to drive ALL the folks out of the Promised Land, as God instructed. For that failure, they were ALWAYS threatened and at war with somebody, and often enslaved by the surrounding kingdoms!
Contentment was the issue. They were content with the successes they had and felt they were good with that. They settled, without extending their reach as far as commanded. We can easily do this with our kids. We let the targets pass. They move in next door. We are content with it because they stay out of our yards. Now, their trees are always falling into YOUR yard, destroying YOUR fence, damaging YOUR house. They toss their trash into YOUR yard, and blow their leaves and fresh cut grass onto YOUR lawn. Had you “taken the shot” when God tapped you on the shoulder, this threat would have been eliminated and your life would be free of such unnecessary drama, right?
Not only are spotters and snipers tasked with the protection of the household, they are also tasked with BEING who they want and need their kids to be. I thank God for the examples He provided my brothers and I. We learned how to be respectful and respectable. We learned charity and compassion. We learned all aspects of running a home, inside and out. We learned community service, and most importantly, Mom and Dad put us in good position to know God. I don’t believe I’d be where I am today, spiritually, had it not been for my mother and father placing us on good ground where the seeds planted by St. James Major Catholic Church, in Prichard, Alabama, could grow.
The best spotters and snipers are those that include God in the raising and protecting of their offspring, who ultimately belong to God anyway!
How many of you have seen the movie, “Jack Reacher”?? There is a scene where Jack (Tom Cruise) has to rely Robert Duval’s character as a sniper, BUT he can hardly see passed the length of his rifle. He has to rely on sound to shoot in the right area, and he was darn accurate too!! As spotters and snipers, we often grow weary and our sight sometimes fails us. Without God in the mix, we are DONE. WITH God in the mix, given our full trust, He instructs us on when and where to fire. Did that make sense? I hope so. I know I am rambling but, OH WELL!!
Think about God’s hand being in the mix and how the natural seems be stronger than it naturally is. Think about the story of David and Goliath. Do you honestly think that it was by David’s might that the giant fell? Think back to the L.A. Riots, in 1992, when the truck driver, Reginald Denny was mercilessly beaten and hit in the head with a brick. HE LIVED!! Now, you mean to tell me that a little pebble took down a giant, on its own?? In my mind's illustration, I see the thumb of God pressing that pebble into Goliath’s brain, killing him. That SAME power is what kept Mr. Denny alive! It is not by OUR might that we live each day. IT’S NOT!!
As a matter of fact, if you think it was your alarm clock that woke you this morning, take that mug and plug it up in the cemetery and see what happens (stole that from somebody's Daddy). Again, we CANNOT be effective spotters and snipers without the involvement of God’s POWER, GRACE, & MERCY!! It’s JUST NOT POSSIBLE!! Elihu said it BEST in Job 34:14 & 15: “If it were His intention and He withdrew His Spirit and breath, all humanity would perish together and mankind would return to the dust.” This applies to ALL HUMANITY, whether you are a believer, an atheist, agnostic, scientologist, etc, etc!! If and when God says “DONE”, it applies to ALL life. ALL life belongs to HIM!! I……..J………S!!!!!
I THANK GOD ALMIGHTY FOR SPOTTER AND SNIPER HE MADE MY FOLKS TO BE!!! Had he not, my brothers and I would be three lost causes, three extra stats, three extra mouths to feed by the correctional system, underneath three headstones, or three anything other than who we are today!
Lord, give the needed strength and guidance to those of us tasked with raising Your children! Keep sharp, our eyes! Keep true, our aim! We cannot be successful without You, God!! Give us the insight and discernment to be whom and what we need to be for Your youngans! May we be the best example of You, for them, full of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and truth. May we never tire of doing good! May we never grow weary of loving. Provide us with all we need to be the best we can be for You, God. We love You!! We praise You!! We thank You, Lord, for all that You’ve done, all that You do, and all that You will do!! In your Son, Jesus’ name we pray, Lord. AMEN!! AMEN!! AMEN!!!
HAPPY FRIDAY Y’ALL!! I LOVE YOU ALL, EACH AND EVERY ONE!! BE SAFE, AND HAVE AWESOME WEEKENDS WHEREVER YOU ARE!!!