Friday, November 8, 2013

Being An Example To Our Children

Michael was disgusted this morning as he showed me a video of a group of girls engaged in a popular sexually-suggestive dance while what sounds like a grown man cheers them on. These girls appear to be from around 7 years of age to early teens. I watched in growing horror & disgust as they frenziedly gyrated to this man's enthusiastic encouragement. The whole spectacle was repulsive. It was vulgar. It was disturbing. And it brought home to me the very real responsibility we parents have to protect our children. Of course there's the issue of the pervert videotaping & encouraging these young girls to move their bodies in this way. "No decent grown man behaves this way! What on Earth is wrong with him?! And where are the parents of these girls?!" Such were some of the (quite appropriate) reactions to the video. Obviously, that man needs some responsible fathers to come set him straight, if you catch my meaning. But that aside, we need to remember that these sorts of things don't happen in a vacuum . . . which set me to wondering. How many of those outraged people bring (or allow) into their homes the music of the singers who "dance" this way? How many of them have been entertained by such performances on the T.V. or computer? Our children aren't blind; they see perfectly well what we are entertained by & follow suit. After all, if it's okay for a performer to do it, why not our children? We can pretend there are 2 standards here - one for adults & one for children - but we need to remember that children learn by example. So, when we see our children behaving in certain ways, we always need to look in the mirror first to see where the blame falls. (I'm not denying here the doctrine of original sin, but I am saying that our children observe behaviors in us & others that stoke their indwelling sin & even give it new expressions.) And that leads me to one other facet of this video that bears scrutiny, & that is that this occurred in a group. These girls fed off of & emulated each other. Which underscores how very important it is for us to guard our children from destructive "friends". When we see that our children's friends are teaching & encouraging sinful behaviors, then we should erect barriers between them. That is our job, even if no one else agrees, for our children's good. We have a God-given responsibility to guard & protect our children. Just because we won't be 100% successful in this fallen world does not mean that we shouldn't be diligent in that task. Children are moldable, & their young hearts, minds, & affections have to be protected from any influences that seek to harm them. God has given parents that responsibility, & we will answer to Him for how well or poorly we shoulder it. There is grace when we fail, thanks to our Savior, but it is a solemn task we undertake to raise our children in the fear & admonition of the Lord, & we must work at it to the best of our ability. So, all that is to say that I was very forcefully reminded this week that Michael & I must be oh, so careful what we allow into our home, lest we unwittingly encourage our little blessing from God to choose friendship with the world rather than God because of our example.