During a recent conversation with an acquaintance of mine, I found myself striving at all costs to evangelize via information. This person recently shared that they were interested in exploring multiple denominations of Christianity, curious to seek out the Truth after only ever knowing one particular theology. After a few discussions, I learned that this individual was holding a certain belief about God that I personally thought fell short. In turn, getting excited about the potential of their conversion and feeling a responsibility to instruct, I combated my friend’s theological idea with numerous scriptural references. This approach, unfortunately, did not produce the results I had hoped for. Instead, I fell right into a trap known as the “righting reflex”—a trap that I, as a counselor, have been trained to avoid.
Parents (and all people) today are rightly concerned about the safety and well-being of our children, especially when it comes to sexual abuse. While we can and should put institutional safeguards in place to reduce the risks of abuse, we parents can also teach our children to speak up when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable. For that to happen, we need to invest our time.