Remember the song, “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see?” Do you remember its purpose? We are living in a time where exposure or experience is believed to be vital to learning. It is no longer good enough to simply lecture in a classroom. Pictures or videos are necessary to not only hold attention but also to seemingly enable comprehension. Is this a bad thing?
My wife and I were discussing the difficult distinction between sheltering a child and protecting innocence. The illustration that seems to help me see the difference is thinking about illnesses. Science has come a long way to identify the causes of all kinds of ailments. Most likely the greatest discovery was finding that one can avoid contracting serious diseases by actually being exposed to the disease itself. Once exposed, the body learns how to fight off the germs and bacteria that cause the disease. That may sound like I am in favor of exposing children to the major problems of the world but stick with me.
Sheltering would be like keeping a child in a vacuum, an area where there is absolutely no chance of their getting exposed to any kind of virus or disease. The problem is that, eventually, that child will grow to a point where they must step out of that vacuum. Once they do, even the tiniest bit of exposure can be harmful because their body has not learned how to fight.
Protecting a child’s innocence does not then lead to exposing them to all the filth and disease, but rather to, as the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go.” I’m not about to fill my three-year-old’s head with everything he should not do. For instance, I’m not going to pull up some pornographic website and say, “Don’t ever look at this.” That would be like pumping gallons of infectious material into his bloodstream that he will never be able to handle. Instead, I need to be teaching my three-year-old the importance of respecting others. He needs to know what is appropriate behavior in public and in private. Most importantly, he needs to know the love of God and how God’s Word is to direct his life.
Parenting is the most important job that God has created for man. We are raising the next generation. If we mess up, it is not only going to affect our kids but all the others that come after. Take this simple word of advice and take a second look at how you are doing to protect the innocence of our world’s future.
Stay faithful as you…
Walk in Him.