“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (NIV) Psalm 121:1-2
When I got my driver’s license at 16, my dad would send me off to school with a goodbye that always included “drive carefully.” Even as an adult, he’ll still text me to drive carefully. I grew up learning about the importance of safety from a young age. Along with physical protections, we can remind our children that God is their ultimate, eternal protector.
Psalm 121 reminds us that “the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (v. 8). Sometimes, it can be hard for us—even as adults—to remember that God’s protection is always with us. We can’t see God in the same way we can see physical items, like seatbelts and umbrellas. How, then, can we remind our children that God will always be there for them?
Share stories of when God offered you protection: Our children learn from examples, so share stories with them about moments you were afraid, and how you looked to God for help. The psalmist uses mountain imagery in Psalm 121 to convey the idea of God helping us. You can share your stories of being at a low point and asking God for help. This also lets your children know that you are creating a safe environment for them to share their worries and vulnerabilities.
Help your kids “put on” God’s protection daily: We proactively use protective items throughout our day: seatbelts, umbrellas, and more. These items help ease our anxieties and calm our minds. We can help our children gain that same sense of security from God’s protection. As you get ready for your day, make it a point to bring up the different parts of God’s protective love for us and pair it with a physical item. For example, when your child puts on their shoes, you could say: “Just as your shoes protect your feet from getting hurt, so God protects you in all you do.” You could also use the Armor of God verses for this exercise (Ephesians 6:10-17).
Pray the Psalms together: Ephesians 6 reminds us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18). The Psalms are written as songs, intended to be used in worship. Perhaps you can utilize this prayer technique when your child is struggling or anxious—you can pray Psalm 121 together to both ask God for protection and remind them of God’s love.
Talk about hard topics: Sometimes, even when we ask for God’s protection and strength, things don’t go our way. Our world is full of sadness and heartache—talk to your child about those topics. Remind them that God is always with them. We can still praise God through hard times, and remember that he will always take care of us.
Psalm 121 reminds us that God is powerful—“the Maker of heaven and earth” (v. 2)—but he also cares deeply for us as individuals. One of my favorite verses from Psalm 121 is this: “he will watch over your life” (v. 7). My dad will always tell me to drive carefully because he loves me, and God, our almighty father, will always be with us. What a beautiful example of God’s unfailing love.