If I had to share what the hardest part of being a mom is, it is guarding my kids hearts. It was the hardest thing I learned how to do as a teenager and adult. The world is constantly throwing things at us – and they most often go against what we know to be right as Christians. Media is the worse. It is even harder for those of us who choose (or have to) send our kids to public school. Our kids our ambushed daily with images, language, music and temptation to do things they shouldn’t. How then, can we help guard our kids hearts?
The most important thing we can do in guarding our kids hearts is letting them know that their hearts are safe. I think there are a lot of kids out there who just hear the “no” of mom and dad, and don’t understand that we really want what is best for them. They hear the “no” of Christianity- and they don’t understand the love that God has for them. It is important that we teach the heart behind guarding our hearts – because there is a battle raging for our children.
My teenager often comes home and shares how her friends respond when she tells them she has to check with us first about watching a certain movie, tv show, reading a certain book, or even music or places she might go. Our daughter knows we are trying to protect her- and most of the time, her heart is actually sad for her friends, who don’t have parents who are trying to protect them! This is even kids that come from Christian homes- not just worldly kids!
We explain to our children that God want’s us to guard their hearts and their gates. The heart is easy for them to understand. We explained to them that just like a city can have gates, that protect the city from ambush, our body is the same way. The gates are how we get into the city- and the same is true about our bodies. We have five gates, that are also known as our five senses. Our eyes, ears, mouth, nose and even touch our ways that our body gives entrance to experiences. Some of these experiences, like ice cream on a hot day, or pizza at night, are great. However, there are some experiences that are either not good for them now- or maybe ever. We explain to our kids that we will give an account to God for how we helped guard these gates – and that we are training them to do it for themselves.
This is especially important with teenagers as they are given plenty of opportunities to explore new things – including the opposite sex. We will talk about this side of things a little more on Thursday as we continue on with a special day devoted to training teens.
The biggest way we help guard our kids is by monitoring and being an active participant in their lives. We watch tv together. We do movies and music- together. We read books – together. We are a part. It doesn’t mean we always make the best choices- but once an image has been seen, it can’t be taken back. In today’s world, vulgarity is everywhere. Our kids purity of mind is taken earlier and earlier. We must be on guard for our kids hearts.
*If you want more on this series- check out the expanded version in ebook format! *
Worshiping With My Life,