Protect your children's minds
by Rick Warren
While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name ... I protected them .... John 17:12 (TEV)
"Children are not mini-adults and we need to protect the innocence of our children as they're growing up."
The mark of a spiritual leader is protection, so fathers should protect the spiritual growth of their children. Jesus says, "While I was with them I kept them safe by the power of Your name ... I protected them ...." (John 17:12, TEV)
Jesus guarded the disciples' spiritual growth by protecting their minds. It is your job, as a father and spiritual leader, to protect their innocence. This is a huge task today in the culture we live in. Children are not mini-adults and we need to protect the innocence of our children as they're growing up. They cannot handle violence; they cannot handle sex; they cannot handle death. These things are a heavy subject for a little mind.
So when our three kids were growing up, Kay and I were very strict with what movies they could see, what TV programs they could watch, what books and magazines they could read. We got all kinds of grief from our kids for it.
When they were little, and could only see a 'G'-rated movie, they would say, "We want to go see this PG movie!" When they got a little bit older, they would say, "We want to go see this 'PG-13' movie!" We'd say, "You can when you're older but right now you're not going to see it." And they ruthlessly criticized: "Dad! Mom! You guys are so narrow-minded! You're the only parents in the entire universe who are not letting their kids see this movie!!"
It is amazing to me how Christian parents let their kids, even teenagers, see all kinds of things they have no business seeing. We should care about their minds. My three kids have grown up and they are happy, well-adjusted kids. Why? Because their minds weren't filled with garbage growing up; their minds weren't filled with vulgarities growing up. They're going to be exposed to that soon enough in life. They don't need it at a young age. You protect what goes into their mind.