A Faith-Based Argument for Car Seat and Seatbelt Use Following Best Practice

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Note: this is a repost of my previous blog post which was posted on my profile blog on this site, which no longer exists, so it will still be available for linking on other sites.

As a CPST, I frequently hear (or hear stories of) comments like "Well, we have faith that God will keep us safe" or "Really, God is in control of it all anyway" with the implication "so why bother worrying about all this car seat stuff?" As a woman of faith, I'd like to give my answer to that question, as I have reasoned and studied it out.

First let's start with the facts. Car crashes are a leading cause of death and also a leading cause of injury in North America and most of the rest of the world. In the United States, car crashes kill and permanently disable more children each year than choking, or drowning, or even cancer, or all the myriad of other things we as parents worry about. A child is far more likely to be involved in a car crash than to be abducted by a stranger. Yet year after year, US citizens continue to do a pretty poor job of protecting our kids from car crashes when we look at the statistics- and parents tend to worry about those other things a lot more.

We are taught that our bodies are temples, sacred things, created in the image of God. We are told to take care of these bodies, not to defile them, not to debase them, not to intentionally harm them. We're taught to revere life and to protect it. Shouldn't that apply to riding in the car, one of the most dangerous things we or our children do? We are entrusted the care of these souls, ours and those we are given to teach and guide and protect in our children, and this is a precious gift from God. Should we abuse that gift and dishonor it by willfully putting the bodies containing these souls in harm's way?

Parents have many opportunities to seek out information on how best to protect their children in the car (as well as themselves.) Christ said that it is better to tie a millstone around one's neck and be cast into the sea than to harm a child. I believe that when we are provided with opportunities to learn to better protect and care for our children, and choose not to listen to this information, or worse yet, to willfully ignore what we know to be best in favor of our own convenience, we are choosing to put our children in harm's way. I further believe that we will one day be held accountable for that, and especially if we had the opportunity to protect a child from harm and did not. (Of course God is merciful and just. Those who really did not know better, will be treated with compassion. But those who knew and chose to ignore it? I tremble to think.)

We are taught that our intellect is a gift from God. We are taught that we live in this temporal world at this specific time for a reason, and that the scientific advancements we have been blessed to live with are a result of the development of those talents that led to their discovery, manufacture, implementation. If we take advantage of this blessing of the science of the automobile, then, should we also not take advantage of the blessings of advances meant to keep us all safe?

I am reminded of the joke/parable of the man in the flood. He stood on his roof and some Boy Scouts came by in a rowboat. He said, "No thanks, God will save me." Then a rescue crew from the local fire station came. "No thanks, God will save me." Finally the National Guard came with a helicopter, and the man said, "No thanks, God will save me." He drowned. He met God and asked, "Lord, why didn't you save me?" "I sent Boy Scouts, a rescue crew, and the National Guard! What more did you want?" The joke makes us laugh, but it contains a truth, and the truth is that we must take advantage of the means given us to protect and help ourselves and our children.

My family was in a very severe crash, which we escaped with only very minor injuries. Do I give credit to God for this? Of course! But let me tell you the ways in which God managed it: He prompted me to re-pack the trunk so all the heavy things were on the bottom, as they should be. When I was reluctant to do so, I believe He worked through my young daughter, who lost her shoes, and my husband, who couldn't find them, until I decided to take the 10 minutes to re-pack those items. (Not so much a prompting as a bludgeoning over the head from the Holy Spirit, there!) He sent me promptings as well to nag at me that no, it was NOT okay to just shove my oldest daughter back in her booster if she fell asleep; if she fell asleep, she needed a harness. This also led to me sitting in the back, because in her harnessed seat she could not reach to pass the snacks. And most of all, he sent a CPST into my life who was so dedicated and passionate that he inspired me to become a CPST too; God gave me a chance to learn and put into practice what I needed to know to protect my family, and because I made the most of that opportunity, my family was able to be protected, through His mercy.

We can and should depend on God to help and protect us. But sometimes He helps and protects us by giving us tools to protect ourselves and our children. If we truly believe His word we will take our responsibility to magnify the talents He gives us seriously, and that includes learning the best way to care for our children and ourselves, and then putting what we learn into practice- including in the car.

How can we do this in regards to car safety? By seeking knowledge. By seeking resources to learn, and then practicing what we learn every single time we're in the car, no matter how short the ride. (The majority of crashes happen within 5 minutes of "home.") By doing what is safest, not just what is the legal minimum. By showing that we're listening and trying to protect our children and ourselves with our actions, and not just giving safety lip service- that's how we'll show that we truly appreciate the gifts we've been given.
 
ADS

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
You may share the link to this thread, that's why I reposted.

Please don't copy/paste without pming to discuss. Thanks. :)
 

lukensophie

Senior Community Member
YES!!!! My answer has ALWAYS been, "God gave you those children to love and protect. It's your responsibility to do so."
 

Mommy!

Active member
Lovely, and so well written. Thanks so much for sharing!

If it's okay I'll just briefly mention one way I've often put it with people, both in our church and otherwise: You can't just sit around unemployed, sleeping away your days, never doing any work and expect God to provide for your family financially. (This is one example people can usually relate to). Anything in life, you have to do your part and God will do his.

But you express it so much better! :)
 

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