This week our church and this world lost someone great but heaven has gotten so much sweeter. Brother Gayle Burroughs has met Jesus face to face. It is oh so wonderful to know where he is but it is still so very painful for him not to be here with us. I am sure his wife, Ms. Aneada, would appreciate your prayers.
Dealing with the death of a man that meant so much to every person that knew him, including my own children, has brought up a question we have dealt with before.
Do you let your children go to a funeral?
Kenyon is now 12 years old so it is not quite as "controversial" for him but some people still question if we should let a 7 and 8 year old go to a funeral. We were questioned more when Grammy died and the kids were about 2, 3, and 7 or even when we lost Uncle Boy(who was actually a step great grandpa, Leroy, but the kids always called him Uncle Boy. Cute story but not the point here.) and the kids were 5, 6, and 10.
The answer is yes we do take the kids to the funeral. I have never understood when people do not take their children to a funeral because they want to protect them. I just have to ask "protect them from what?" In today's world it seems to me there is a lot of protecting the kids from the things of God and exposing them to all the things of the world without a second thought. The penalty of sin is death. Because we are all sinners, there will be a time that we all must die. Death is part of it. How do we expect our children to understand their need for a savior if we "protect" them from the consequence of sin. It amazes me that so many parents want their children to stay pure until marriage but expose them to all the s*x on tv, movies and in today's music with little or no parental control. Parents expect their children not to use bad language but expose them to that same language in the music playing on the car stereo or maybe even use that language themselves. Kids are expected to control their growing and raging hormones but are allowed and even encouraged to have girlfriend/boyfriend relationships even in elementary school. They are allowed to put themselves in intimate situations while the adults in their lives wave good-by with no more than a time limit on when to be finished doing whatever they want in the form of a curfew. So many parents will agree that there are so many dangers in the public school system; whether it is bully's, crime, violence, immoral teachers that may prey on them, or any number of other dangers, but still put their children on that bus everyday. Parents that check on their children playing in the back yard every few minutes to be sure they are ok but send them to strangers at school or day care for 6-10 hours a day with no real way of ever knowing what may be happening to them. Now I don't claim to know all the answers, or even a large part of the answers, when it comes to raising kids but it seems pretty obvious to me that a lot of people are really doing things backwards. When I don't want my children to do something-those are the things I need to shield and protect them from. Because I do want my children to love the Lord, it is apparent that the only way for that to happen is to expose my children to things of the Lord. That means ALL things of the Lord. Even the unpleasant or painful details.
So yes, we will ALL be attending a funeral in the next few days. My children will cry with me and other members of our church family. They will remember all of the great things about Brother Burroughs. They will talk about all the fun things we did at the annual cook out at his house. They will hug Mrs. Burroughs and feel her pain. They will pray for her for months just as they have prayed for her husband for the last year. They will understand why we must all go through the pain we feel now and then they will rejoice for Brother Burroughs as he walks the streets of Gold and talks with Matthew, Peter, Luke and Jesus Himself. By allowing my children to attend the funeral of people they knew and loved, I am protecting them. I am protecting their hearts and their souls by not hiding the Lord from them.
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