Foreword by Paul David Tripp
Because children are vulnerable, they need to be protected. After more than two decades as a family counselor, Julie Lowe has seen how important it is to help parents and caregivers think wisely and biblically about the dangers children face. Instead of living in fear or denial, parents and caregivers can equip children to assess people and situations and model for them how to live by faith in a world where evil exists.
Lowe helps parents and caregivers teach the safety skills that will help protect their children from mistreatment, unsafe situations, violence, bullying, cyber-crimes, predatory behavior, sexting, abuse, and other kinds of danger that they might encounter. The safety skills that are needed at every stage—preschool, elementary-age, teens, and college-bound—are discussed and applied in an age-appropriate way.
Safeguards provides tools, skills, and resources to help when faced with uncomfortable, challenging, or dangerous situations. Instead of growing more anxious, parents and caregivers can grow in a biblical understanding of the type of dangers and issues children and young people might face, learn how to instill confidence and conviction in responding to new or fearful situations, and distinguish safe vs. unsafe people and situations.
Julie Lowe, MA, is a faculty member at CCEF and a licensed professional counselor with over twenty years of counseling experience. Julie is also a registered play therapist and has developed a play therapy office at CCEF to better serve families, teens, and children. Julie is the author of Child Proof, Building Bridges, and Safeguards, as well as the minibooks Helping Your Anxious Child and Teens and Suicide. Julie and her husband, Greg, have five children and serve as foster and adoptive parents.
“I know of no other book that does what this one does. Here is practical help for every parent who is preparing their children to live with discernment in our sadly broken world. But what I love the most about this book is that its practical focus isn’t separated from the beauty and comfort of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Paul David Tripp, Author; speaker; teacher
“Safeguards could not possibly be more practical. Every page is loaded with applied wisdom for keeping children safe. I constantly found myself saying ‘Our family needs to do this!’ Grounded in a call to trust the Lord rather than fear mongering, Safeguards equips both children and parents to discern evil and danger and to prepare wise, protective responses.”
Alasdair Groves, Executive Director, CCEF
“You don’t need to read the news headlines to know that our world isn’t always a safe place. Our kids may be threatened by their own bad choices or the behavior of others. Regardless of where the threats come from, your family can be better prepared with Julie Lowe’s practical advice.”
Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family
“In Julie Lowe’s latest book, readers will once again benefit from her sound biblical theology, counselor’s heart, and years of experience walking alongside parents and children in a broken and unsafe world. This book is not intended to produce fear and anxiety for parents (we have enough of that already), but to provide wise, winsome, and practical guidance to help your child navigate a broken world with the hope of Jesus Christ.”
Jonathan D. Holmes, Executive Director, Fieldstone Counseling
“Reading this book is like gaining a wise mentor to walk alongside you in your parenting journey. Julie Lowe expertly tackles key challenges parents face and provides scripts, scenarios, principles, and guidelines that are steeped with biblical wisdom. If you are looking to equip your children for the potential dangers and difficulties they may face in life, consider this your handbook.”
Eliza Huie, Licensed and biblical counselor, Director of Counseling, McLean Bible Church, Vienna, VA; coauthor of The Whole Life
“The most common response from parents who read Safeguards will be, ‘Finally! A parenting book that doesn't just discuss discipline strategies.’ Julie provides biblical principles and sample conversations for everything from technology, dating, mental health, abuse prevention, and sleepovers. Get it, read it, and you'll reference it time and again over the years as these topics emerge in your home.”
Brad Hambrick, Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church, Durham, NC; author of Making Sense of Forgiveness
“Julie does an excellent job of shining a light on the safety issues facing our kids today. Her vision for child safety begins with a Christian worldview, is full of biblical wisdom, and encourages parents to trust God with their kids. This is a great resource for parents seeking to equip their kids to follow Christ in a fallen world.”
Jeff Dalrymple, Executive Director, Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention (ECAP)
“Julie Lowe’s Safeguards is a must-read for parents. Full of practical wisdom and grounded in biblical principles, this book trains parents to identify potential dangers and proactively equip their kids. We expect to return to these principles again and again in our own home. Highly recommend!”
Deepak and Sara Reju, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC; author of On Guard (Deepak) and Jesus Saves (Sara)
“This is true: When a parenting question comes up that my husband and I are wrestling with, he says, ‘Can you ask Julie?’ As a colleague of Julie's, I do go and ask her! With this book, now all parents have access to Julie—access to her wisdom, her decades of experience, and her deep heart for the well-being of children. Parents, this book will equip you to be both proactive and helpfully responsive to so many of the challenges that arise in parenting. I need this book, and I trust you will find you need it too as you dig in!”
Lauren Whitman, Faculty and counselor, CCEF; developmental editor, Journal of Biblical Counseling
“This is such an important and timely book. Though geared toward parents, this book is important for counselors, pastors, teachers, and youth leaders to read as well. Julie is unafraid to approach topics that many are hesitant to address, such as sexual abuse, pornography, sexting, and mental health, and she does so with a strong Scriptural base. She doesn't merely encourage parental involvement but gives practical steps for involvement without being simplistic or formulaic.”
David and Krista Dunham, Biblical Counselors at Cornerstone Community Soul Care, Metro Detroit; authors of Table for Two: Biblical Counsel for Eating Disorders
“Children and teens face many situations where they need discernment to make wise choices and stay safe. Julie Lowe's vast experience shines in Safeguards: Shielding Our Homes and Equipping Our Kids. She provides biblical principles and practical guidelines that help you impart invaluable wisdom to your children. Every parent navigating the challenges of our modern world needs this book!”
Darby Strickland, Faculty and counselor, CCEF; author of Is it Abuse?
“As parents, it’s easy for us to become so familiar with our surroundings that we wind up accepting things simply because they’re there. It’s for that reason that we need to step back, take a deep breath, look long and hard at what’s really happening, and then respond in ways that bring honor and glory to God. In this book, Julie Lowe serves as a kind of Joshua and Caleb as she looks realistically at the challenges facing parents in today’s world, while offering biblically faithful responses designed to advance God’s Kingdom in the lives of our families, children, and teens.”
Walt Mueller, President, The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding
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Lowe encourages parents to “establish a home and a worldview that protects your children.” Her overarching principles are 1. We live in a broken, fallen world, 2. We teach children to navigate the world by helping them learn to discern good from evil and right from wrong. 3. Yet, we trust that our safety ultimately rests in the hands of our God. She opens with recognising dangers in our modern world that is technology rich, peer influenced, and self-oriented. Yet, as in every age, our hearts are sinful and our motivations are never pure, and we are called to be salt and light. Neither worry nor denial are safety skills, and we don’t want to raise fearful kids, but equipped kids. A parent’s role is to know their children, where they are vulnerable, and to equip them discerningly for the realities of life and things they may experience. The middle section covers numerous areas in which to equip children with safety skills, including abuse, evaluating behaviour, role play, bullying, if kids get lost, and sleepovers. Each has wise advice and suggestions, acknowledging that each family will make their own decisions. The final section considers safety with teenagers and young adults. Chapters cover: peer pressure, sex & dating, pornography, alcohol and drugs, mental health, and safety skills for growing independence. Some parents may feel overwhelmed. But much of it is proactive, wise, common sense applied to the challenges of parenting. It may operate as an alert to remind you of things you have put off addressing with your kids, or may raise issue you have not yet thought about. A helpful resource for parents.
Having worked for decades with people who have been taken advantage of or abused during childhood, I have often looked for a resource that would be a useful tool in helping protect young people from such harm. Safeguards: Shielding our Homes & Equipping our Kids is such a resource. Part one addresses the need for wisdom, part two explores equipping children with safety skills, and part three addresses equipping teenagers and young adults with safety skills. The book is realistic about the possible harmful situations young people could face and gives practical suggestions to adults about how to equip them to be able to know what to do in those situations. The types of situations covered are thorough and realistic for today’s world. I highly recommend the book. * I received a digital copy for review and this is my honest opinion