As parents we are so very careful of our little charges
physical safety. We guard them, as best we can, from
injuries. We work hard to build good nutrition into their
diets so they will have healthy bodies. We teach them to
avoid dangerous situations. We fret when they are away
from us, worrying over what may happen to them.
How odd then, that we so often ignore the spiritual, emotional
and mental dangers they are surrounded by. In fact, we often
encourage them to stay in areas of danger. A child's heart and
mind can be such tortured places and as parents, we have a
a charge to guard, not just the bodies, but the hearts and minds
of our children. The bloom of "innocence" is so easily wiped off
from their lives.
Reading can be dangerous. Even those who are extremely careful
of what their children may watch on television often encourage
those same kids to read anything, as long as they are reading.
There is a feeling that, if it is in print, it must be good. That is
simply not so. In fact, reading can be more dangerous than viewing
TV because it is more private and there is far less parental
guidance in the way of discussions over what might and might not
This post is not about Me giving You standards. It is about Me
challenging You to guard what comes into the hands of your kids
and to be proactive about it. I once had the goal of reading before
hand any book my kids wanted to read. That goal got left on the
wayside of life many years ago, however, I do know what authors,
and types of books I will allow.
I have tried to set a standard by making it know that there are
many books I will not read. I strive, like Mr. Collins of Pride and
Prejudice, to give my little comments as unstudied an air as
possible. As we are eating dinner, I might say, for instance, "I
checked out an interesting looking book from the library today,
but you know, after the first chapter I decided it wasn't the type
of book that would be appropriate for me, so I'm not going to
finish it." I want my kids to see me having to say "no" to things.
They are not the only ones who face temptation. (And not the
only ones who fall into it, but that is a post for another day.)
My younger years were blessed with books that encouraged me
to think in ways that were good and wholesome. Romans 12:2
has great wisdom for us here.
And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of
your mind, that you may prove what is
that good and acceptable and perfect
will of God.
Of course, it is reading God's Word that renews our minds, and
yet, good literature, from babyhood on up, plants good seeds
in young heads. It will train, teach and guide our children to
seek after that which is best. Good books can come along beside
the Bible as helpers. They can hlep bring about Proverbs 19:22
in the lives of our children.
Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.