Preserving Our Their Innocence

Posted by  | Friday, August 6, 2010  at 8:44 PM  
As a young mother, I definitely struggle with the fine line between sheltering my children too much and trying to be wise and help them by protecting their innocence. My blogging friend, Tiffany, wrote this thought-provoking post on the topic and I really appreciated her humility and honesty and I would love to hear your thoughts as well...

I have been thinking a lot lately about preserving my children's innocence. Now I do not want to get into a deep theological debate here, so let me be clear with that statement. Yes, I believe that my children were born into this world with a sin nature. No, I am not claiming that they are innocent in that sense. I am referring more to innocence in the way of "unknowing".

I talked a little bit about media here. I didn't delve into specifics too much, though. So today I am going to. Because I don't know about you, but as a mommy to two children, I am fed up with it.

I have to be honest with you first. In the post mentioned above, I said that we were cancelling our cable. That is where we were getting the funds to sponsor Gerlie - our child through Compassion International. Well, to make a very long story short - we didn't cancel. Our phone and internet are included in our cable package. We found out that if we canceled cable, we would have actually been paying more - ridiculous. We are sponsoring Gerlie. This was our second month supporting her. We have had no trouble accruing the funds to send to her - praise God! Cadi thinks that we do not have cable. We have not told her otherwise. So the children never watch it. I never turn it on during the day, and I seldom ever have. I would prefer to spend any down time another way. Anyway, I just wanted to get that out in the open.

Back to media.

Back to preserving my children's innocence - keeping them pure.

I am just struggling with knowing how to raise these two precious children in such a media driven, perverse world. Have you seen the immodest clothing that is already being pushed on our little girls? My husband is very sensitive about what our daughter wears, and I am so thankful for his wisdom and discernment in this area. I wasn't always so thankful. I didn't understand what we were up against at first. I remember when Cadi was a baby thinking that the itty bitty baby bikinis were so adorable, but Jim would not allow that on his daughter. I thought it was harmless and cute. However when I stopped to really think about it, I knew he was right. A bikini has been a sex symbol for years. We would not allow our teenage daughter to dress in a bikini, so why would we let our infant daughter, or toddler, or preschooler? And if you do allow your little girl to wear a bikini, I am not judging you, this is what we do in our family to preserve innocence.

It goes beyond clothing even. It seems as if the world/media is pushing our daughters to grow up faster and faster. Have you noticed? Have you seen the movies, the TV shows, the music pushed on our little girls? What is the harm? What gets sacrificed? Our children's childhood!! That is huge. I want to preserve my daughter's (and my son's) childhood for as long as I can. They only get it once. Why not make it long and sunny? (I have a whole post on this drafted up for Raising Homemakers. I will let you know when it publishes.)

I want to preserve Scotty's innocence by keeping him away from the images of scantily clad women that our culture is saturated in. So at 20 months he doesn't watch cable. But what do I do in "the real world"? I saw on The Duggar's show one time where they had a code word for the boys/men when out in public. If the women/girls saw another female dressed immodestly they would say this word, immediately the males would look at their feet and keep walking until they were told all is clear. Sounds a little extreme. Or does it? I am still mulling this over. I have a friend that does this with her son and husband.

What bothers me the most is the way we, as Christians, have been brain washed into thinking this loss of innocence is just normal and going to happen. That immodest clothing for little girls is cute, that inappropriate movies are funny, that sex education needs to be taught far too early, because we want them to hear it from us first etc. I have fallen prey to it before myself. But I am choosing to be more aware, to put my guard up, and to protect these children in my care. I am not going to concede to our society. I am not.

I believe that I have a God-given role in the life of my children to preserve their innocence. I am still working out exactly how. I do not want my children to be defenseless in our culture, but the Bible also tells me to dwell on what is pure, true, lovely.

Philippians4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

I think my children's childhood should mirror this. The gift of innocence is a beautiful thing I can give to my children.

I do not want to stir up controversy, but I would love some discussion.
What do you do to preserve innocence in your children?
Have you thought about it before?

1 comment:

ChezDeshotels said...

Wow, thanks so much for this as a mother of two precious girls I think of this often and we do not allow for 2 piece swimsuits of any kind no matter that we have a 5 year old and 19 month old. We so desire for our little girls to be little girls to play with dolls and dress up and NOT grow up to fast. I have to really work hard to find clothes and shoes for my girls (what is with shoes with heels for a 1.5 year old????) But keeping thier innocence is such a priority for us and I would love any suggestions mom's would have on this subject

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