Sheep, Wolves, Serpents, and Doves
16 "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16. ESV.)
It is my opinion persecution, bullying, and oppression on any level is ugly. But, sadly, it is a reality of this world. The wolf hunts its prey just as a tyrant tries to control and manipulate the meek and humble. The goal... domination.
When I think of the phrase, "be wise as serpents and innocent as doves," I think of the love God gave us that we are to exhibit to others and yet without being foolish to those who practice evil like deceitfulness, oppression, adultery, stealing, rage, violence, etc. And without engaging in sin like, "sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies" (Galatians 5:19-21), etc.
Entrusted with Little Lambs of God
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward. (Psalm 127:3. ESV.)
I am not, by any means, saying individuals without children are not "rewarded" by the Lord. I believe they are in other precious ways. What I am saying (just to be clear) is kiddos are a gift and need to be taken care of properly (Proverbs 22:6). I feel that includes educating them about wickedness and bullies.
Just recently, a woman in a nearby city was attacked by some teenagers. One of them had a knife and when the teen went to cut the strap of the woman's purse to take it, the woman was accidentally cut instead.
When I volunteered as a court appointed child advocate for six years I read case after case of innocent, loving children who were terribly harmed in unspeakable ways by people they thought they could trust... adults who were supposed to protect them.
Another incident about which I heard recently involved a seven year old child who was walking home from school when an adult grabbed him/her. The kiddo quickly executed a self defense move and left the adult incapacitated until the authorities showed up.
Shepherding the Flock
Spiritually, physically, emotionally, morally, and behaviorally God appoints parents to be the shepherds of their flock… even (of course) to the sheep that are sick or disabled and the ones that wander off, get lost, are defiant, disobedient, etc.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25. ESV.)