Thursday, December 12, 2013

Polluted by the World

When all my kids were little, life was crazy and I was exhausted. Four kids in four and a half years is a lot of diapers, and no sleep. It was definitely a challenging time. But I am finding that as my kids get older, the challenges of that kind are obviously gone but, the challenge in shepherding their hearts is daily with me. The conversations go deeper. There are things to teach them that I wish I didn’t have to but do because we live in a world that does not reflect the heart of God. And many times I am left crying out to God clueless as to what to say or do. Recently one of those challenges shook me.

My oldest daughter and I were reading a book series together.  We were on the second to last book in the series.  She had already finished the book and I was nearing the end. One night as I lay reading the book I found myself very disturbed by the direction this author had chosen to take the story and felt the dread of what was to come next. My daughter had already finished the book. She had already read what I was reading and I could not take it back. Her innocence of the sins of our world was now about to change.

My first reaction was there is no way we will finish this series or ever, ever read this author again.  I stopped and prayed for this new moment of cluelessness I found myself in. I could either ignore what I had read and hope she didn’t understand it or address it.  But I am not one to ignore. I want my kids to learn things from me so they get a biblical perspective. So with a lot of prayer I took the teaching moment but it didn’t necessarily take the direction I thought it would. This was among the scripture that God had given me to share with her:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27 NIV)

We did talk about what happened in the book. She didn’t understand it so I had to explain it to her and we referenced scripture to get God’s view on what happened and how it was sin.  But this was not the main topic I felt led to discuss. Instead, we talked about the importance of knowing God’s word, being in it everyday, and putting on our full armor of God because the world we live in, in most ways, does not live the way God desires.

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I won’t be able to read every book she reads or be there to preview every movie she watches, or magazine she looks at, or listen to every conversation she is hearing.  I can do my best, in this short time that she is with me, to protect her from being polluted by the world.  But leaving her blind to the world she lives in would not protect her.  The main topic The Lord had pressed on my heart to share
was this: The importance of her learning to do just as the Word says, “to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

A teaching moment that I think I learned as much from as her. I saw her heart and her desire to keep from being polluted. We discussed what to do with the book and agreed that I should read the last one in the series first to make sure it didn’t get graphic.  We also discussed other topics that may come up in books or movies, her being bold enough to put the book down or turn the movie off, and the freedom she has to come to me with any questions.

I was also reminded that I can wholeheartedly trust God with her heart.  I am free to be her mom, I don’t have to be her god as well.  I don’t have to manipulate and control every detail of her life to keep her “safe.”  She is already in good hands, the best.  I can just love her and be a part of shepherding her heart. It is not my job to mold her and make her, that is God’s. He is more than able and much more suited for the job than I am.

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