Last week in my classes, we memorized James 1:27, one of my favorite verses. It says:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
We do a pretty decent job of the orphans and widows part but the polluted part, well, that's the kicker. Each student was assigned this short essay question: How will you raise your children to be pure and try to keep them from the pollution we live in? These responses tonight are from more of my female students. All are used by permission.
Fifteen years from now, if I have kids, I'd try my best to keep them from being polluted. However, I believe it is nearly impossible to keep them from seeing, or hearing the bad things in society today. Some parents try to prohibit their children from Facebook, cell phones, or even dating. But I believe that no matter what you take away, some pollution will find its way through. It's in the songs, around their friends, at school, and in things they read. Instead of trying to take away these things, why not let whatever pollution comes to your child be exposed, and then train them to know what's right and wrong? That's a parent's job: to train their children, not keep them in a bubble. Whenever they grow up and see all the things you tried to keep them from, they'll be lost and won't know what to do. The Bible says that you should train your child in the way that he should go, so they won't stray.
As a child, personally, its challenging to stay pure. You're surrounded by influences that aren't pure and are tempting to do on a daily basis, or when you get a chance to. My parents are constantly on me, and sheltering me. "Sometimes you can have the strictest parents, but a child will do what they want to do away from home," a friend once told me. So I guess there is no guaranteed way to keep a child pure. The only thing I can do when I grow up and become a mother is teach my child right and wrong, and pray they do their the best to stay on the right path. But it will always be up to the child whether or not they will stay pure because it's their decision. My job would be to teach them as they go along in life as a guide, and hope they follow it.
Keeping children innocent and away from the pollution of this world is a tough thing. As time goes on, it gets harder and harder. However, when I have children of my own, I want to deal with pollution the way my parents do. I grew up in a church and was constantly surrounded by good Christian examples. I was taught good morals and manners from the time I was born, and there were consequences when those requirements were not met. I would say my parents were pretty strict on me when I was a child, and have gradually lightened up as I've gotten older. My parents are confident in what they have taught me, and let me make a lot of my own decisions. People have told me I have lived in a bubble for awhile, but I'm thankful my parents monitored me the way they did. I think it will be hard to keep my kids unpolluted, but I will do my absolute best.
I would always try to put gospel and Christian music in the house for them to listen to. I would try to give them fresh food to eat, and to keep them away from movies that are R-rated. PG-13 movies are fine, if they are older. I would teach them to always go to church on Sunday- no exceptions! I would always try to tell my son (if I had one) to treat a lady with respect and to always be a gentleman. Also, my husband and I would try to give the children family time once a week. And every year, in the summertime, we would try to take a vacation to other places, so they can experience new things.
When I have children, I want them to be as pure as possible but I don't want them to be excluded from the world. There are many things in society we have no control over. From my experiences, I realize there are two side to the world and my parents have allowed me to grow up seeing both. I have friends who live in the projects and friends whho live in mansions; their lifestyles are completely different. I want my kids to be exposed to both so that they not only will be appreciative of their own lives but they will also be street smart and know right from wrong.
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