Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Filtered Heart

This morning the kids were eating breakfast and I was in the kitchen. One of them came in and told me about something scary someone was watching on their device. They'd seen part of it and said, "I'm glad they weren't actually playing the game because that is scarier." This one's had some hard nights going to bed lately because of accidentally seeing scary stuff. I totally understand this because I watched the Christmas Carol as a kid and any time I was alone (mostly to use the restroom) I was sure Marley would show up, chains a-clanking. 

I took this one's face in my hands and said, "I want you to guard your heart. You have to guard your eyes and your ears because that's how things get into your head and I don't want you to have frightening stuff in there." Okay. 

The day went on with no mention of it, but as I was praying with the kids at bedtime, this one prayed, "Thank you that I have a filtered heart." 

I was dumbfounded. 

What a beautiful way to put it. 

We don't let just anything in there. Our hearts are precious, so we filter.


Another time we talked about porn. We'd already had "the talk" so I told them some people video themselves doing that. Do you think that's appropriate? No, no. That should be private. 

"Yes," I said, "It's something special that should only be shared between two people, so if you ever see that, or even pictures of naked people, you need to look away as fast as you can because seeing something like that can be addicting like cigarettes or drugs. You also need to tell a grown up what's happening." 


I share that because I was comfortable telling my kids about sex, but porn seemed difficult to explain. It was actually pretty simple and now they know another way to guard their hearts. If I had doubts about it really being necessary now, they were put to rest when the kids promptly confided a kid at school had said he was going to look up photos of naked women online. Who knows when they would've talked to us about this if I hadn't brought it up out of the blue! (I did that with the sex talk too. I'm not a proponent of waiting for them to ask. I think they need to be armed.)

It's easy to be afraid as parents, especially when our kids' world is significantly different from the one we grew up in. However, Jesus says not to be afraid. He believes in our kids' ability to go out into humanity and change the world for the better. This verse helps me believe too:

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life... 

And here's the verse I had in mind when I was talking this morning:

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

I'm so grateful my kids are listening, even when I can't tell. 

I'm so grateful for small experiences that teach how doing wrong is a crock that steals our joy. 

I'm grateful I'm on a journey towards knowing how to filter for my hearts' sake and I get to learn next to my kids rather than be the perfect example. 

I'm grateful to finally know that the latter is better. 






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