Keep Them Little {31 Days: Day 28}

keep them littles

source: d sharon pruitt

When I was in 7th grade I kept the book, Yours Forever in my locker all year. I read it about 14 times. It was my favorite book in my favorite series by my favorite author, Robin Jones Gunn. The books told the story of a 14 year old Wisconsin girl named Christy Miller who visits her aunt and uncle in California for the summer. She meets Todd, the surfer with the screaming-silver blue eyes, she has bonfires on the beach and she falls in love with Jesus.

These books really influenced me as a pre-teen and teenager. I wanted the godly friends, God-loving boyfriend and the good decisions Christy experienced in these books. The dating principles laid out in the Christy Miller series (and it’s companion, the Sierra Jensen series) are worthy of emulation for American teens. One of my favorite parts of these books is taken from Song of Solomon 8:4. The verse says, do “not awaken love or arouse love before its proper time”. The encouragement is to keep romance, love, crushes, boy-girl relationships away from our experience until we are old enough to really understand and partake in them.

When we allow our children to date too early, push kids to “like” a child of the opposite sex in elementary school and support crushes on pop stars, we are waking up that love inside of them. It is a path that cannot be begun again. Holding hands with boyfriend #1 may be new and exciting. But it will be old hat with boyfriend #2.

It’s kind of obvious in the dating, boy-girl relationship scene. We don’t want to awaken love until the proper time–until they are old enough to understand, to make informed decisions and set up personal guardrails with God in mind.

The same idea is true for every area of our children’s lives. We don’t need to awaken other desires too early, either. I am always dumbfounded when I go to the movie theatre with a group of adults to see a PG-13 or even rated R movie and there are children there! If you walk down the toy aisle at Wal-Mart, you’ll see action figures and dolls from movies that are too old for them. Movies that the world says kids shouldn’t even see!

Introducing adult themes be it sexuality, violence, terror, mystery or even humor may not scar our children. It may not scare them or bother them. It may entice them. It may excite them and begin a hunger for more.

The Bible warns us to be innocent concerning evil. This is true for adults, of course. But as adults, can we make an effort to help our children be innocent concerning evil? Can we help them be children longer?

Let’s not fall into the they-are-just-kids-they-won’t-get-it-anyway trap. Let’s protect our children, not out of fear, but as guardians of the most precious, priceless treasure God has given us.

How do you keep your children little?

 Additional Resources for you:
The Princess and the Kiss
 by Jennie Bishop (a picture book introducing purity in relationships)
Guardrails by Andy Stanely {a sermon series}
Robin Jones Gunn’s website {see all of the Christy Miller and Sierra Jensen series–perfect for tweens and teens!}
Age Appropriate Stuff {a post by me!}

 

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for posting. I concur and wish more parents did too. When I was a tchr, I was always surprised the conversations my students had based on movies they were allowed to see. They just don’t watch movies, they really do internalize more than we realize. It is so hard, but I’m trying to protect my children as much as I can.

  2. Dear Amanda, How did you get so very smart? As I watched a 4th-grade girl teeter-totter onto the church stage in heels to sing with the children’s choir on Sunday, I couldn’t help but think I WANT MY LITTLE GIRL TO BE LITTLE. I played with Barbies until I was 14. By the grace of God, I was not in a real relationship until I was 17. (And still wish that one had never happened.) I am certainly not perfect, but my parents let me be a kid. And I love that. I hope I do the same for my children.

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