Eye on Innocence
Miley Cyrus, Bratz, makeup for children, sensual clothing lines for children, our culture knows little about protecting the innocence of children.
I always wanted my children to stay children as long as possible, perhaps because my own memories of childhood are fun and simple. And yet childhood is the very time we must prepare our children for adulthood. We spend lots of time encouraging them in their schoolwork and to grow healthy bodies (through all the extra curricular sports, dancing, and gymnastics teams) but if we are to raise well rounded children who are prepared for the onslaught of impurity that saturates our society, we need to take a page out of the life of Jesus. Luke tells us that:
“Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52).”
Do not neglect your responsibility to teach your children God’s design for sex and purity.
Many parents dread “the talk,” that stressful moment in time when they have to explain how babies “get here.” But wise parents understand that they can lay a foundation for “the talk” that will make discussions about purity and sex a normal part of every day life. Be pro-active in shaping your child’s view of purity. Childhood is a precious time and our culture gives children information or places demands on them that they are just not wired to fully understand. Do relinquish your privilege and responsibility to this voracious monster the responsibility for shaping your child’s thinking on this important topic.
~ What are my goals for our child’s view of purity?
~ Are these goals scriptural?
~ Is modesty important? Why?
~ What does modesty look like for our family?
~ How will I achieve these goals?
~ What activities will encourage purity? Which ones will not?
Your answers will help dictate your child’s activities, television viewing, movies, computer time, clothing, friendships, reading material, video games, etc. It’s very likely you will have to go against the norm to achieve your goals. You may have to elect out of popular activities and develop some creative activities of your own to maintain your vision of innocence of body and soul.
Making our choices for our children at this young age should reflect choices we will want them to make when they are teens. For example, a revealing bikini may be adorable on a two year old, however, we may not be as comfortable when we see our sixteen year old daughter wearing one. Even though we might want to encourage a ‘macho’ temperament in our little toddler, it is not as appealing if he becomes an aggressive young man. Wise young mothers will start shaping their daughters’ thinking about clothing from the time they are toddlers, pointing out what’s too revealing, too short, etc. You are in a war for the mind of your child. Don’t sell short the opportunities to lay a strong foundation.
Be intentional in structuring foundational goals. Take a good look at your own personal purity. If modesty is important for your child to embrace, how will you display modesty in your home? For example, if you want your daughters to be modest, will mommy dress modestly? If you are teaching your daughter that heart beauty is lasting and physical beauty fades, will you focus on your own heart beauty?
A key to maintaining purity is self-control. How will you exemplify self-control by your daily choices?
Honoring and respecting others are key character traits that will act as borders for a teenager who is tempted by impurity. Model these character qualities in daily life through your speech, acts of kindness and consideration.
Innocence is hard to find and hard to protect. Ask God for the courage to develop your family according to His Word and His design for what is best for our children.
Written by: Sherry Bitler