Marriage and Family: Keeping Our Kids Inside the LinesAugust 09, 2010
Recently, I met with a group of ladies for Bible Study and our conversation quickly turned to the concerns we all have for our children, as they are inundated with sexual perversion at every turn. While we talked in great detail about what they are facing, I was conflicted in my thoughts: "Should we not talk about it because it puts images in our heads that we don't need? Should we talk about so that we can be aware of what our children are facing so as to address it?" So i was in a real quandary about it all. I ended up airing on the side of Ephesians 6: "do not be unaware of the devil's schemes"....make no mistake about it, satan is deceiving us constantly in the area of sex and has deluded our minds to make it something that God never intended for it to be.
After our Bible Study, our daughter, Jorja, and I jumped in the car to run some errands. She is 15 and thus wanted to drive us around. She did pretty good, but was nervous about driving in the middle lane of the highway with cars on both sides. I found myself constantly reminding her to stay in between the lines as she drove. She finally decided that the middle lane was too scary for her, so she went to one side of the highway and remained there all the way home.
That evening, I was painting a canvas. The image I was painting was supposed to be sort of abstract. I found myself in conflict because I was always taught to "keep it between the lines", that the goal was to color within the lines or boundary markers. And every time I colored outside of them, I was in conflict with myself, "I am not supposed to do this!"
The Spirit of God spoke to me and said that this is exactly the problem today. Because we as parents have not been aware of what our children are facing, OR we do know but either turn a deaf ear and avoid it in hopes it will "take care of itself", OR we think that their teacher at school or their youth minister will cover that for us (not their job, by the way), we have set no lines or boundaries within which our children should stay. They do not share a healthy fear of God, they do not know what God's Word says about issues they face, and they do not have the loving voice of parents consistently talking with them and helping them understand the value of staying within the lines. As a result, they feel no conflict within, when they color outside the lines, by dabbling in sexual activity.
Talk to your children. Give them a safe, open place in which to talk to you about anything. Don't freak out when they do share and start yelling and screaming and making these big drastic rules for them to abide by. That will run them off and they will never talk to you again about anything! Just reassure them that they can come to you at any time with any thing and you will love them and help them understand as best as you can what God has to say about things.
As you talk to your children, talk to them about the boundaries set out in the Bible. That they are there to protect us, not to punish us. Just as we let our kids play in the yard but not in the street due to the dangers therein, so God gives us all we need for abundant life and godliness, but also gives us some boundary markers to remain within to protect us from the world and its dangerous, alluring pleasures. Together, you and your child establish some good boundaries for them (and you) to remain within, and then revisit those periodically to make adjustments as needed.
Don't expect your children to color within the lines if you have never set any lines before them in word and deed (the things you tell them and the example you model before them). Don't expect your children to talk to you about it, if you have never given them a safe place in which to do that.
Lord, help us to raise children that honor You with their life's choices. Protect their eyes, ears, and hearts from the evil of this world. Help us set out the lines you have for them (and us) in such a way that they begin to have a conflict within when they find themselves in situations that would cause them to have to color outside the lines. And by the power of Your Spirit, would You speak loudly to them when the temptations come and help them to choose to stay within the lines You've drawn. In Jesus' name I ask, Amen
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Sarah Stinnett On Monday, October 10 at 3:49 AM
Thank you sooo much for sharing that!!! My kids are small and I am so gratefull every time the Lord reveals something to me now so in 10 years I don't have to say I wish I would've - I loved your post!!!