Sunday, September 23, 2007

Worldview approach?

So I was over at Seeking Faithfulness the other day, reading a post called Absent Morals, we get a cesspool. I agree with Holly in this:
I am sickened by this, because this is a conscientious decision by “grown-ups” that children are not worthy of protection from the worst that the literary world has to offer. They desire to throw horrible material out there, then claim no responsibility when horrifying crimes are committed against children because someone was inflamed to act upon their deviant lusts by library materials. The removal of morality does not create a vacuum. It creates a cesspool.
And I agree with Holly that our children need to be protected, and that we should point these things out to town councils, store clerks and owners. We should do these things, it helps people to live the way that GOD wants them to, but... I felt a bit out-numbered at Holly's blog as most people saw it as a protection issue. That children need to be protected from this stuff and that, that is the big point.

UPDATE: do let me emphasize this point. I do believe that children need to be protected and that we aught to do what we can to protect them. BUT I do believe the issue is bigger than this. Our children first and foremost need to learn how to biblically approach the world that they live in. They need to learn that God is in control They need to learn that God's glory should be first and foremost their aim in all that they do.

I was talking with Jim about it a bit and he helped me put into words better what I was thinking (he's ever so good at that!) I am SO blessed. :)

My approach to this stuff is that it's there, it's out there, and it's likely not to change. What I want to do as a parent is teach my boy how to deal with it. To answer his questions if he has them, but moreover to point him to how God says we're to deal with these things. That sex outside of marriage is wrong, REGARDLESS of what other folks say about it, what God says is... sex belongs inside a marital relationship. it is part of the symbolism of God's relationship with his people.

Jim calls it a "reformed" approach, I call it, I want my boy-child to learn good discernment and to have an excellent bible-centered world-view.

Yes, I will shelter him from stuff he doesn't need to know about it, but I have NO desire to not take him with me places because I am overly concerned about what he will see. I don't have that strong concern. To me that's not the issue. The issues goes beyond the here and now to the then and future. How will he as a Christian young man deal with the world? (at least I'm praying that God will so touch his heart to love him) How will his world-view impact on how he sees the things that go on around him?

Oh how I want to nuture that. Oh how I fear that I won't know how to do a good job of it! But With God's grace, he will learn it. :)


Holly said...

I responded over on my blog, Annette. It's not fear that drives me, and we do work on discernment. I just think you can't understand having not reached the point of having teenaged sons. Besides. It's not the teen boys that I'm so concerned about - not really. We've worked with them so much over the years, to prepare them.

It's my 9 year old girl, who is reading these things. Do you really think you would be prepared to explain some of those terms to the a child - an innocent girl - at that time? I don't mean this abrasive, I just mean...really? It's so young, so pervasive.

And no, perhaps it never will change. But things are much worse than when I was a child - and the generation ahead of me let them get that way. If Christian parents would draw a line in the sand, and say..."This isn't going to happen" wouldn't happen.

How graphic would you let things get? Will it be okay when the magazines begin showing people having sex on the cover? Would that be bothersome? Will it be okay when women walk around topless, like in European nations?

I just think we need to draw the line.

Annette said...

Holly YES, we do need to draw the line. That's not what I was trying to address here. What I was trying to address was the "not wanting to bring your children into stores". That's what got me thinking.

We do need to step up and say.. HEY.. this stuff isn't okay. And because it isn't okay, I will look for places to shop that don't display this type of garbage. (and then explain why I think it's garbage).

What I don't want to do is get caught into the... I can't take my child here because of the stuff they might be faced with. What the world images, is what the world images...and God's word can be used to address that. I ever so firmly believe that.

I don't like it. I am not required to like it. I can fight it and say I don't like it and this is why. And I can teach my child that this is not okay because God's world says so and this is why. Teach him to follow the reasoning when it's there. And to avoid it, and as he matures, to have the discernment as well to be able to fight it and stand up and say this is not okay to have this. and so forth.

Holly said...

Yes, I see your point. And we do all of those things you mentioned.

I'd also like to point out that it can be overwhelming to take seven children into a store that displays these things...and try to deal with EVERYONE'S questions and inner feelings. It is my job, and I will do it. But it is not easy. I think that changes dynamics somewhat, too. So much of the groundwork is lain at home, of course. That's where the true work occurs.

Annette said...

Yes, and yes again Holly. :)

The most younger generation that I've taken into a store at once has been three, and even that was much different than just taking one. So seven would definitely change the dynamics a bit. :)

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

I believe you'll reform your position again once your child is dealing with hormonal impulses. Or if you ever have a girl whom you do not want influenced by these images as you are working to instill in her a Godly view of her worth.

It is absolutely our job as parents to protect children and young adults from the wiles of the devil. If you have not slowly and completely desensitized your ability to discern these things by then, you will find that putting explicit and suggestive words and pictures in front of a young teen boy is tantamount to throwing a stumbling block in his path--and Jesus addressed that in Matthew 18:6 and Luke 17:2 and Mark 9:42.

It would be better for you to tie a millstone around your neck and throw yourself into the sea than to cause him to sin.

Don't mean to sound curt, but I'm finding it difficult to express this lightly. :)

Annette said...

So Grafted, are you saying that if I don't turn magazine covers, and if I don't banish my son from stores where magazine covers are to be found, that I am forcing him to sin? That is what it sounds like you are trying to say. Then I would have to shut him up in the house and never let him out. So no seeing friends, no walking down the street because it is EVERYWHERE. Quite literally everywhere.

I am NOT saying that protecting our children is wrong. We have to protect our children as best we can. That's not what I was addressing here. What I was addressing was the .. what seemed to me fear, of letting children see this type of stuff. I firmly believe that the stuff we see is WRONG and with that... the knowledge that because it is wrong I have to teach my son how to deal with it. I have to. Otherwise how will he deal with it when he is grown and on his own?

teach him to not focus on the wrong stuff and instead to focus on God through it. That is how he will fight the sin that is so pervasive around him and within him. Learning discernment comes from being able to see what is around us in the light of who GOD is, and then from that learning how to respond to it.

Thank you for your thoughts

e-Mom said...

I found my way here from this week's Christian Carnival. Nice to meet you! There's some interesting discussion here.

Your post reminds me somewhat of the issues we wrestled with before finally making the decision to send our kids to private Christian school. We knew that they would be nurtured in a Christian worldview there (which we wanted) but we also understood that they would not be completely sheltered from all the world's evils. After all, every student at their school was still a sinner!

I think there must be a balance. We must protect our kids from evil as best we can, but we must also give our children the tools to deal with the ugliness that they will inevitably encounter.

Blessings, e-Mom