Sunday, October 31, 2010

Protecting is a Part of Good Parenting

Protecting is a Part of Good Parenting

I heard the parents of an 8-year-old girl defending the question of “the appropriateness” of a top pop song. The mother answered, “Well, I mean, unless you shelter your children from all music and T.V. you can’t keep them from singing to and dancing to (said inappropriate song).”

The implication? Parents are helpless to exercise their wisdom and authority over the things they deem inappropriate or harmful for their children. This is a frightening implication for any parent, but especially disturbing as a Christian parent commanded to guide and direct his children “in the way he should go”.

Why would a parent feel he can’t (or shouldn’t?) protect his 8-year-old from lyrics he deems harmful (music is a powerful influence according to studies)? Is the statement “I can’t protect him from that” just a convenient way to avoid the work that accompanies such protection?

I’ve seen other “helpless” responses from parents. I remember my own father wringing his hands as I left the house with young men he *knew* I shouldn’t be with. But, what was he to do? Everyone else was doing it.

Or the fashion battles that very few parents are willing to fight anymore. (Are you honestly OK with the fact that your teen-aged daughter has a message written across her rear end? Or her cleavage showing?)

I’m discouraged by the epidemic of displaced authority given over to the culture instead of parents in whose hands God has placed these children.

There is so much confusion and deception about “children needing to find themselves” or “express themselves” instead of brave men and women loving their children enough to say “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.

There is a gross misconception about the “harmless” exposure to the messages bombarding our children through music, television and peers. (Whatever things are TRUE, PURE, JUST, HONEST, VIRTUOUS, PRAISEWORTHY, LOVELY…)

It’s not about “sheltering” as much as it is about directing their tastes to spiritual things (which will naturally involve abstaining from some things while replacing those with others–call it sheltering if you like). If a child is fed a steady diet of junk food, that’s what he will crave. Conversely, our job is to help them develop a taste for healthy food just as we are to do with their spiritual diet.

Let’s hold up our daily activities, interests and pursuits to the light of God’s Word. If if it doesn’t stand, get rid of it. No matter the cost.

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