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 eighth grade girls. All are used by permission.
In twenty years, based on my experience as an American teen, I will understand the bad things in the world. And I understand that many times bad things can get to a child. With my child, I don't want to be "overprotective," and then again, I don't want to be a parent who doesn't care. Really, I want to let my child enjoy things other people enjoy in a childhood life, such as the Internet, sleepovers, cellphones, and relationships. I do want them to have that, but I want them to understand certain things have boundaries. But I know nothing about parenting, and everything happens for a reason, so when the time comes, I'll know.
My children won't be polluted by the world. It all depends on how old they are and what their personalities are like. My children disciplined based on the three D's: disobedience, disrespect, and defiance. This world is mainly polluted by not having enough respect for their environment. I will only allow my children to watch certain movies that I want them to watch. Movies with mild cursing will be acceptable when they are twelve or thirteen. My children will not be able to watch scary movies, because I don't want to instill this devilish character in them. Also, my child will be able to start cursing when they are out of my house , and paying their own bills. I will have rules that are reasonable and consequences that will fall into play if they do not respect the rules I have set out for them. I don't want my children to be naive, but I want them to be aware of the world and know it's not their friend- it's a struggle.
To keep my kids pure, I would not let them watch TV by themselves. Instead, I would allow them to do educational and physical games. I would let them have a Facebook, but I would want to know their password and be able to check their friends, and posts. I would let them have fun (sleepovers, parties, etc.), but I would want them to know their limit of fun. How I raise my child will be exactly how my parents raised me. I would never force them to do anything they didn't want to do, but I would encourage them to try new, exciting things. Alcohol, drugs, and such things that make this world impure would never be discussed inside of the house because I know that by the time they know what those things are, they will automatically know they are wrong. There is no perfect way to raise your children; there is no perfect child.
I would surround my child with people who are her age, but are also pure and whose parents are pure. I think Christians who aren't pure just made big mistakes, but I don't want my child to make the same mistake. It needs to be made known unto them that impurity affects everyone, and people will be judged based on their actions, even if it has nothing to do with them. My friend watches shows like those and she takes it very lightly. She knows right from wrong, but she doesn't realize how some actions affect you. This generation is more free to do things than the past because of the money and the wealth.
When I heard about this topic I got very excited. I think about this all the time! My mom and I discuss the different styles of families that I'm around. She always points out how we're all different. A few years ago I met a family whose children had never been exposed to much, and basically they had a culture shock. This seriously opened my eyes. One of my best friends' parents are really strict, almost too strict. Her parents tried to keep her away, but she rebelled. I don't think she understood what her parents intentions were. But anyway, she eventually got bullied at school and got pressured into things she knew her parents wouldn't allow. I don't want to make the same mistake they did. I want my future children to know why my husband and I make the decisions we do. To help them understand, I would use my life and experiences as examples.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org