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 young men. All are used by permission.
I would raise my children like my mom is raising me. She gives me rules and boundaries. I would take them to church and teach them right from wrong. They would be involved in sports. I would tell them stories about me when I was their age. I don't believe in hitting or whipping. A person has to be exposed to the world to learn what to do and what not to do. So, you have to be exposed to something not to do it. I would always try to make it to my child's game, or event.
It is definitely a hard task to do. I wouldn't allow them to watch anything that is involved with wizardry or dark magic, like Harry Potter. The main music in my household would be Christian- alternative rock, classical, jazz, and mild popular music. I would have already blocked the shows and ratings I think to be inappropriate for them. I would do this until they are seven to ten years old, and be much more lenient. My mom and dad have done most of the things with me, even though, I still listen to stuff that probably isn't good for me. I observe what is bad, and have an understanding of why my parents raised me like they did.
I think it is possible to keep my children clean from the world by the end of fifth grade, but after that, it will be impossible, unless they choose to do so on their own. I cannot "baby" my kids forever. Trying to keep my children from the outside world, I would have to be pretty strict, like having an early bed time. There would be no more than PG-rated movies, my friends and family couldn't curse, and I would block websites. I would provide a great role model for my kids. It is a challenge to keep children clean from the world, but my mom and dad have successfully kept me clean from the world.
The main thing that causes the problem of teen's parents is obliviousness. Many parents are not aware of their childrens' actions. Little Tommy is just going over to John's house to play! Without any thought, Tommy has just entered an environment that is not controlled by his parents. Tommy has the ability to do anything and John's parents are OK with it. When I become a parent, I will strive to be aware of what my kids are doing.These days, I do not think trust is enough to know where your kid is, what he is doing, who he is with, etc. I would also prevent, or control access to, entertainment, phones, etc. It is possible to keep your kids modest, but many have given up.
Fifteen years from now, if the Lord decides for me to have kids, I will be very protective. I will discipline them at a young age, like I was raised. I will also will have to let them make mistakes and accept the consequences. I pray to God that I can be half the father that mine was. My children will learn to work hard, be nice in church, sports, at home, and everywhere else. They will get their needs and earn some of their wants. I will raise them to understand to make it right when you have been bad. Sometimes, I will be loose and sometimes tight with my kids. I will also work with my spouse for agreement on our discipline.
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