Chapter 7: Lies Women Believe About Children
Day 2: Protecting Your Children
Lie #28: “Children need to be exposed to the ‘real world’ so they can learn how to function in it.”
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive
the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance,
admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.
1 Peter 2:11
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles,
to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there,
the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything
under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Scripture is gloriously and beautiful clear on our status in this world as children of God. We are strangers, aliens, foreigners, and exiles. Our home is Heaven. We belong in Heaven. We were created for Heaven. Therefore, if we truly belong to Christ, this world will never be very comfortable. It will never quite feel like home. And that’s a great thing.
Unfortunately, we often forget about where we belong in an effort to get comfortable here. We forget we’re only visiting, so we begin to act like this is our home, and our lives indicate that we belong on earth, not in Heaven.
If you were to go on a mission trip to an African country, I would venture to say you’d be uncomfortable and out of place. But you’re not there to find comfort and peace and make a home; you’re there to minister to the people of that country. You know that at the end of your time you’ll go home; so it affects how you act now. Instead of complaining about the conditions, you’d probably be more patient and understanding. Instead of looking to buy a piece of land to settle on, you’d probably try to crash on someone’s couch. Instead of feeling like the ministry is eating into your personal time, you’d probably try to do as much as you can, knowing you don’t have much time there.
Our lives on earth are meant to mirror this picture. Our Heavenly home ought to be in our thoughts and it ought to affect the every-day choices we make, conversations we have, and priorities we set.
Unfortunately many people fail at this, and instead take the limited time they have on earth to find comfort, prosperity, and pleasure. The result? Instead of passing along a committed faith in Christ to their children, they pass on a committed trust in themselves, in pleasure, and in the world.
This (failed) mindset is exactly what causes well-meaning parents to believe that their children need to be exposed to the world early on in life in order to learn how to function within it. However, if we belong to God and are not of this world, it only makes sense that we raise our kids to know that this world is not our home, and to protect them from the evil of this current world we must live in.
They need to know that we don’t belong here.
They need to know that there is nothing good here.
They need to know that this world is full of evil, but God is full of good and wonderful things.
There is only one thing that prevents us from doing this:
We, ourselves, don’t actually believe our world is evil and full of sin.
So instead of protecting our children from evil, we let them flirt with it, because to keep it from them means we must keep it from ourselves.
And so children begin being exposed to great evils at a very young age and become corrupted before they even turn 13.
There are some things a child should never be exposed to. Certain media, toys, even some conversations a child should never hear or be part of. What purpose is there in children knowing four-letter-words? Why should a child (or even an adult!) know how to twerk? It’s not cute. It’d deadly. A child should not be exposed to violence, drugs, and alcohol. A child should not become desensitized to foul language. A child should not learn from their parents that it’s okay to gossip about others. They shouldn’t be taught that it’s okay to have sex as long as you “feel like you’re ready.”
Every Christian I’ve talked to wants to raise Godly children; but not every Christian is willing to do what it takes.
It’s hard work to raise godly children. It requires thinking ahead and being strategic. It means keeping them separate from certain influences – media, people, places. It means being committed not only to their holiness, but to our own.
The biggest question I hear in relation to children being exposed to the world “what’s the harm?” The harm is great – it just doesn’t always show up immediately.
What’s the harm with letting your child listen to secular music on the radio? Well, your kids begin to pick up the messages in the songs, and they aren’t godly. Before you know it, the songs and messages are so deep in a child that they begin to affect how they think about things and they don’t even realize it.
What’s the harm with letting them play violent video games? It’s just a game, after all… until it isn’t. Until they become so desensitized to violence that it becomes a “normal” part of life and makes it easier for them to become violent themselves – even if it’s just threats.
What’s the harm in allowing them to watch movies that have “some language?” Nothing until your kids start using it, too.
What’s the harm in allowing your kids to have a sleepover? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. Do you know what goes on in that home? Do you know what they allow, and what they don’t? Do you personally know the family? Do you believe that they will work as hard to protect your child’s innocence as you do?
What’s the harm in public school? I can’t even begin to tell you all the harm found in our schools today. I have seen more people destroyed by what they learned and did in school than by what they were exposed to at home. And it’s not just high school. It’s all the way in 1st grade. The language, the topics discussed, and the attitudes expressed just by the other children, not to mention the education that may or may not be hostile towards God, can greatly influence a child who has yet to learn how to think for themselves, how to stand up for themselves, and how to be different. School teaches children to fit in wherever they can. It teaches values, morals and ethics that are contrary to the word of God. It teaches them it’s okay if everyone else is doing it, and that being popular is worth it.
And if I may go even further – do you really want your child being taught about “sexuality” in a public school by a person you do not know?
So what’s the big deal with all these things? The big deal is where they lead to in the future.
Do you want your children to be innocent and pure?
Do you want them to make good decisions?
Do you want them to be trustworthy and responsible?
Do you want them to know what they believe and why?
Do you want them to confident and secure in their identity as your child and God’s child?
Do you want them to love Jesus more than anything else?
If you want to reap beautiful, God-loving adults in the future, you must be willing to take the time and make the effort to invest in from the beginning.
Consider the purpose of a greenhouse in gardening. It’s place that is designed to be safe-haven for plants that are not strong enough to withstand the elements. When you have a young, weak plant you cultivate it indoors, providing what it needs, and keeping away the animals, the harsh cold, and the insects that can destroy it. When it’s big enough, strong enough, you then are able to plan it outside where it can now flourish, and overcome the obstacles of the outside world, rather than be overcome by them.
We must have this perspective of our children. We must make sure that we protect them from the outside elements of our world and the evil and sin that will attempt to destroy them the moment they step outside. We must feed them, teach them, strengthen them to stand on their own, so that when the time comes they have every possible opportunity to succeed, not just in life, but in their own relationships with Christ.
Don’t let the world raise your children.
Don’t let the culture shape their morals, values and ethics.
The time will come when they will discover the evil of the world, but we must first ensure that they are grounded in Christ. God requires parents to train and teach their children; don’t underestimate your responsibility before God to protect and care for the children he has entrusted to you.
Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
I am in a unique position to be teaching about this topic, as I so clearly have experienced the opposite in my life and it has benefited me greatly; but I also have so clearly seen the consequences of the false mindset that has caused so much destruction.
Is it hard work to protect your children? Yes. But it is more rewarding than you can begin to imagine.
“Children will cultivate an appetite for whatever they are fed in their earliest, formative years. If we allow our children to listen to music, attend movies, read books and magazines, and hang out with friends that promote profanity, negative attitudes, illicit sex, rebellion, and violence, we should not be surprised when they adopt the world’s philosophies.”
Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Key Points to Remember
- God never intended that we should know evil by experiencing it for ourselves.
- Our task is not to raise children who fit in but who stand out.
- You never influence the world by trying to like it.
- This is more than right here, right now – this is about your child’s soul for eternity.
- We do not belong in this world – it’s time to stop trying to.
In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.