Sherry Bitler, Guest Writer
Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52).
I wanted our children to stay children as long as possible. Being a mom with young children was a role I enjoyed. But childhood is the very time we must prepare our children for adulthood. We spend time encouraging them with schoolwork. We encourage extracurricular activities to help them develop character traits. We also need to prepare them for the onslaught of impurity that saturates our society.
I could not neglect my responsibility to teach our children about God’s design for their sexuality and purity. Many parents dread “the talk”, that stressful moment when we must explain how babies “get here.” But wise parents understand that laying a foundation early for this chapter will make discussions about purity and sex a normal part of everyday life. We can be proactive in shaping our child’s mindset. Childhood is a precious time, and our culture gives children information that they are not ready to fully understand. Often demands are placed on them they are not yet wired to comprehend. I did not want to relinquish my privilege and responsibility for shaping our child’s thinking on this important topic to other people whose worldview was different from Scripture.
Ask yourself – What are my goals for my child’s view of purity, are these goals in line with Scripture, is modesty important, what will modesty look like in our family, how will I achieve these goals, what activities will support and encourage purity, what activities will not encourage purity?
Our answers will help dictate our choices for our child’s day-to-day agenda. My husband and I had to think through our goals as we considered their television, their computer time, the movies they watch, the clothing they wore, the friendships they develop, the books they read, and the video games they play. We had to go against the norm to achieve our goals. We elected out of a few popular activities and developed some creative ones of our own to maintain a vision of innocence of body and soul.
Making our choices for our children at this young age should reflect the choices we will want them to make when they are teens. For example, a skimpy little bikini might look adorable on a two-year-old; however, we may not be as comfortable when we see our sixteen-year-old daughter wearing one. Even though we might encourage a ‘macho’ temperament in our little toddler, it is not as appealing if he becomes an aggressive young man. Wise young moms will start shaping attitudes from a very young age. We are at war for the minds of our children. Don’t sell short the impact we can have on our children if we begin when they are very young.
We can be intentional in structuring foundational goals. Take a good look at your own personal purity. If modesty is important for your child to embrace, how will you display modesty in your home? Do we model modesty in the fashion choices we make or are we all about following society’s lead? Are we helping our children understand that outward beauty will always fade, but developing a beautiful heart will last a lifetime?
It is imperative that we help our children develop self-control. This will have an impact on their ability to maintain purity. Honoring and respecting others are also key character traits that will help our children make choices within borders. I wanted to model these qualities in my daily life through my speech, my acts of kindness to others, my treating each other with respect and consideration.
Innocence can be hard to find and harder to protect. Teaching our children to pray and ask God for the strength to make good choices is imperative. I wanted to help our children develop a worldview of pleasing God in their choices. For little ones, it will begin by teaching them to want to please their parents.
Heavenly Father, please help me to understand what I need to live before my children to impact their attitude toward purity and self-control. Please give me the wisdom to know what and when to share in a conversation dealing with this part of their lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sherry Bitler, founder of a local traditional Christian School, a home school cooperative school, and a summer program for children at a popular Christian Conference Center. She is a spiritual mother to hundreds of young women. Challenged by her daughter-in-law, she began writing a blog, The Grateful Grammie. She loves time with her husband of 47 years, their four children, their spouses, and twelve grandchildren. Sherry shares more about living with Multiple Sclerosis in the MARKINC, Help & Help Story: When MS is Your Constant Companion.
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