In a world full of ugly how will we teach our children to be decent human beings?
It’s the question at the heart of several conversations I’ve been a part of in recent months. With Hollywood’s current events and our tumultuous politics, this has been a recurring topic on social media and in personal conversation.
I’ve heard comments such as these:
“How will my boys be men that respect women when we have a president like this?”
“When those in power behave this way how are we to teach our kids it’s wrong?”
“How do I explain the ugly things that happen in this world to my kids?”
People in the spotlight are responsible for the most hideous behaviors and appear to be above the law. More shootings and ugliness spill out daily into our homes from simply turning on the television. At the swipe of a finger the news bombards not only us, but our children as well.
We worry how their hearts and minds will be affected by the people in places of prominence and the events in our world.
It can leave us feeling helpless.
So, how do we raise men and women that respect others while the world pushes in?
Going on a walk with my family, I happened to lag behind a bit messing with the dog. I looked up and pulled out my phone just in time to catch this picture. As I glanced down at my phone, the thought crossed my mind.
This is how..
My hubby and my oldest were walking, genuinely engaged in conversation about serious issues. Our greatest goal has been to be the ones they come to first in a struggle.
I am honored when they let us in.
We are far from perfect parents but we make it our mission to have our boys consider us a safe place. My husband and I decided to have an open door policy in our home, to be honest with our boys.
We choose to talk about life. Real. Not fun. Ugly. Exciting. Glorious. Confusing. Life. Un-filtered and un-censored. Sometimes the conversations aren’t fun, and they aren’t always pretty and sometimes we have to initiate because they’re embarrassed.
There are days my kids see and hear things I’d rather they not. I can’t control what comes out of the mouth of the president, the celebrity on tv, or for that matter, the person next to us. And I certainly don’t always agree with their views.
Talk to them
When I watched my husband walking with our oldest, who is, quite literally growing into a man before my eyes, I was filled with a sense of awe. An understanding of the great privilege a parent holds, fell upon me all over again.
I believe the greatest mistake we can make in parenting is to put the power to impact our children into the hands of others. Whether this be a politician, school, church, society, or anybody else.
When we throw our hands up in defeat, we claim helplessness over our own children.. when we should be claiming promises over them.
Ours are the words they hear daily. It’s our voices that have the ability to shape what they understand to be true of the world and themselves.
With a million voices vying for their attention, I want my husbands and mine to be the loudest. We are the ones that love them. No matter how well-intentioned he may be, the president doesn’t love my children. Whether they be a republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, they don’t love our children.
They do not know my children individually and they do not know what is best for them.
Therefore, I will not give them that much credit.
I refuse to give away the power that I possess to influence my children because of what celebrities, politicians, or anyone else chooses to do or say. In a world full of agendas and lies, I pray that our home will be filled with love and grace so that they won’t feel the need to look elsewhere for their worth.. or anyone else’s.
Wherever I may fear the greatest threat comes from, supposing it’s the White House or the house down the street, I want my kids to know that their greatest ally on Earth is right here, walking next to them.
When questions arise and the ugliest part of humanity shows it’s face, because we know it will. I pray they’ll remember the love they’ve been given and the truth they’ve been shown. This is what I hope will lead and guide them as they grow into men.
Though imperfect as we are, we love them fiercely. My hope is, if I am honest with them for my need of grace, they will be honest with their need and that will extend far beyond our home. I pray that because they have been given grace, they will be grace givers, always.
That they will see and know the ultimate Grace Giver.
We certainly can not keep them from all the ugly in this world. But it is my privilege to take their hand and walk with them through it.