Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Avoiding Pollution of the Mind

By Stephen and Alex Kendrick with Randy Alcorn

(Be) fully aware of what is going on with your children, while guiding and guarding the things that influence their hearts and minds.  Here are six key influences to constantly keep your eye on.  Any of these can steal your children's hearts away from you, pollute their minds, and lead them away from God.

1.  Their friends.  God's Word says, "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm" (Proverbs 13: 20).  Pray for and surround your children with wise friends.  Be willing to say 'No' to any parties, sleepovers, and 'fun' events that would put your children under the influence of foolish kids.  Instead, initiate and lead fun events at your home and on your turf rather than sending your kids off into unknown situations.

2.  Their education.  The worldviews of your child's teachers in school will likely become the worldview of your child.  If you want to raise godly children, you must guard carefully who is teaching them and what is being taught---both at school and at church.  Homeschooling and Christian schools are worth the sacrifice and should be prayerfully considered.

3.  Their music.  Develop in your children a love for the music of God and a disgust for the music of the world.  Teach them to discern if the messages embedded in music are helpful, loving, truthful, and edifying, or if they are angry, sexual, rebellious, self-centered, or corruptive.  Fill their music libraries with godly music performed by godly artists.  And lead the way by your example!

4. Movies/TV.  Today's movies and television shows are now considered two of the top influences in culture.  They have become increasingly more influential in how the next generation thinks and interprets reality.  Do not let your children watch whatever they want.  Build a library of good content, and take time to watch more edifying programs with your kids.  Then discuss afterward what was right and wrong in what you've just seen.

5.  Internet.  With Internet pornography, pedophiles in chat rooms, and an ocean of sites that are stumbling blocks for kids and adults, courageous dads need to become watchmen over what their sons and daughters see online.  Train your kids to run from evil, but help them by loading filters onto your computers.  At the same time, keep Internet access out of your kids' rooms and out in the open.

6.  Video games.  Video games are often very violent, perverted, and addictive.  They are designed to draw your children into a fantasy world and keep them there for endless hours when they could be doing something productive and edifying.  Guard what games they play, how long they play them, and be ready at any point to initiate 'game fasts' for specific periods of time---even packing up the system altogether if it becomes a stumbling block to your kids.

You can expect each one of these to be a potential battleground.  So don't be surprised if your kids momentarily become angry and don't understand why you won't let them be around certain people or be entertained by certain things.  Your love is why!  But remember that saying 'No' creates a void you must fill with something better.  Lead them toward good friends, good books, good music, movies, and activities.  Teach them to ask, 'Is this honoring to God?'  'Is this true, holy, and healthy?'  'Will this help me do the right things?'  'Will this make me love God more or less?'  'Will this fuel my passion for Christ, or will it pour cold water on it?' ...


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