Monday, February 25, 2008

Innocence Lost

It seems to me that one of the most valuable things in this life is our innocence. This isn’t an argument for or against original sin or original glory. It is simply a statement on how I am raising my three sons.

I remember years of try to experience everything in life. That was my goal… to experience everything… and for the most part I did a good job. But, really what I experienced was heartache, disappointment, loneliness and loss.

I was left to my own devises at an early age and too often made my own, usually immature decisions.

But as I grow older I am seeing the innocence in my children and am dying everyday to protect it. The television is on less, the video games are played less, the internet is surfed less. Although, there is still television, video games, internet, et cetera, I am seeing more and more the value of less and less of it all.

Why does my 9-year-old need to learn about beer and bras from television, or how to use a sniper rifle from Call of Duty, or the debauchery found in most every nook and cranny of the internet. One of my 9-year-olds son’s friends found his way to nude pictures of one the stars from High School Musical. Ugh. Is this a conversation I need to be having with my son at this point in his life? What is wrong with maintaining his innocence as long as possible?

A good friend of mine said that he doesn’t mind his son seeing so much of the world at such a young age. His theory is twofold. First, he was raised worldly-wise and second, it will better prepare his son for dealing with the world.

I won’t call it a bad way to raise a child... that is between him, God, his wife and his children. However, I have to ask what is wrong with waiting? I say, let’s teach them what Truth is and then walk with them through this corrupt world system. Let’s not simply deploy them into it and hope for the best. Instead of doing it like it was done, let’s do it better. Let’s fight for innocence. It really is one of the only things we can never get back.

Genesis 2:4 says that the man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed. I think at least part of the term “naked” here means innocence.

There is no fear of exploitation, no sense of vulnerability. Not vulnerability in the sense of weakness like a delicate flower or a baby chick, but a vulnerability that comes from strength of character and integrity like a great warrior. But after the fall of mankind, nakedness takes on a negative sense. Innocence is lost and shame is found. There is a sense of weakness, exploitation, and exposure. There is no peace, there is always struggle.

So, I diligently fight for the innocence and purity of my children’s hearts. I am not perfect, but like Josie Wales once said, I “endeavor to persevere” for their souls sake.


Joy said...

I'm with you on this hon. Nicely put. But you're good that way.

jane said...

wow joe! what a beautiful concept and how sad that is so rare in our world! i know the struggles with my own boys are so overwhelming at times. i'm glad you have taken the lead! i applaud your efforts. you are my hero!