When you hold a new baby in your arms and look down at that sweet face, you are struck by their pure innocence and guilelessness. It is something you want to last forever in those big blue eyes that stare up at you. You want to protect them from skinned knees and bruised foreheads, being teased, tears of sadness, evil.
But sadly, eventually, the world creeps in and one day the innocence is stripped away a little bit. And as a parent, your heart is broken. We've experienced this little by little over the past two years here. Mostly due to neighborhood children, sadly. You may remember my blog post when the boys came running in to tell me the very bad words that they were being taught. A little innocence gone.
Or the stories I've shared of them being teased, bullied or punched, leaving physical and emotional marks. A little more innocence gone.
Tonight, another big chunk of that innocence was taken away and my heart, my mothering heart that longs to protect and keep harm and evil away from my children, is broken. I am not talking about just bad words or teasing or even bullying, all of which we have experienced. I am talking about true worldly filth.
I had to turn away to hide my tears, although I did not hide my shock well. I never have hidden my emotions well. Tonight, please pray for us to have wisdom in how best to protect our boys and what steps to take to do that.
Being a parent is hard enough. Being a parent who is trying to instill Godly values and principles in an increasingly moral-less world, is even more difficult. Everything that we teach them, everything that we try to model for them, everything that we try to shield them from, goes against what the world is teaching. Everything.
Kids are exposed to way too much, way too early and they are not capable of knowing how to process what they see and hear at such young ages. Technology is a HUGE part of this problem. The kids running around our neighborhood, ages 6-10 all have their own ipads, smartphones and kindles. With no supervision or limits. Samuel has started to ask when he can have his own phone (um, not till you're 30! ;) and tonight I was able to get it through to him a little bit more why we are so strict about what we expose them to. Whether having their own phones or unlimited computer time, to spending time at other kid's houses who are regularly unsupervised. Not to be ogres. Not to be harsh and unfair. To protect. To love.
Kids need guidance and good role models. They need limits and boundaries. They crave limits and boundaries, whether they will admit it or not! The question is always how to find a good balance between protecting and sheltering. They are going to learn this stuff eventually but dear Lord, not when they are eight and six!! Please, not now.
How would you as kindly as possible cut off certain friendships from your children, especially when they live close by? Is it possible to do that kindly?
Please do say a prayer for us to parent with wisdom and love and to trust our kids to God, especially now that a new school year is beginning. We would really appreciate it!