by LouAnn Rogers
You remember that day, the day your first child was born. You had the hat on their head (even when it was 100 degrees outside), the little mittens on to protect their hands, socks to protect their feet and a blanket swaddled around them to protect them from the cold. As they grow we pour sunscreen on them to protect their skin. However, as parents, we often fail to protect what is most important—their hearts. And no I don’t mean the thing that keeps them alive physically, but rather what keeps them alive spiritually. So how do we protect our children’s hearts? It all begins with their eyes.
A boy’s eyes control so much of him. Need proof? Put your little boy in front of a television for one minute and then attempt to carry on a conversation with him. The moment the television went on you lost your chance because his eyes became cemented to the visually stimulating images on the screen. As parents, if we spend so much time and energy protecting our little boys’ bodies but fail to protect their eyes from perverting their hearts, then we have failed.
My husband and I have purposed in our hearts to teach our son how to make a covenant with his eyes. We realized quickly that we could not simply offer lip service but we had to take positive steps to guard him and, in the process, teach him to guard himself.
This has been such a challenge considering that everywhere you turn there are girls dressed to draw attention to their bodies instead of their countenance. Sadly, there have been many “children’s” movies we have had to throw away and put on the “bad” list because the cartoon characters were not dressed according to godly standards. You may be thinking, “This seems extreme!” I would answer emphatically, “Yes it is!” But as parents we are to be extreme when it comes to raising our children in a manner that honors the Lord.
This issue has been swept under the rug for far too long and it’s time for parents to recognize that the struggle with lust, which our boys face from an early age, is not a fight but an all-out war. It’s time for us to open our eyes and see that there is a lust-filled world screaming at these young men and they will fall in its trap if parents ignore its lures and strongholds that indelibly burn images on their young minds.
So, as parents what are we to do? Thankfully, the Lord has equipped us with His Word and the Holy Spirit through which we can send our boys out with the tools that they need to fight the battle in their mind. Some practical steps have been…
- First, we have simply been open to talk to him about it.
- Second, we have shown him in God’s Word where the issue is addressed (Proverbs 4:32, 7:1-27; Psalm 119:9, as well as many others).
- Third, when he was about four we gave him a “code” that his sisters or myself would use when we saw something that would cause him to stumble and when he hears us say this he knows to look directly down at his feet. At the stores, you will often find his sisters turning around the magazine in the checkout lines while he is looks at his feet.
Now that he is six, as a homeschool family, he has begun to use the Internet for certain aspects of his school work, but never alone. One of the most significant things we have done in our home has been to download Covenant Eyes onto every electronic device we own with internet access. My husband is a pastor and several years ago he saw the need and benefit of the accountability that Covenant Eyes offers in the war that is waged against the men of our culture.
One of the greatest assets of this is very simple. My husband told my son, “See that little eye at the bottom of the screen? That means somebody is watching…but more importantly, no matter what you do, your heavenly Father is always watching.”
If you are a parent, especially a wife or a mother of boys, you must understand that the men in your life are under attack. We must do everything in our power to give them the weapons they need to fight back. Talk to them openly about it, pray with/for them about it, give them Scripture to rest on, and take practical steps to maintain their purity. Remember, you are not raising a “little boy.” You are raising a man! We must strive with all our might to do what we can to stem the tide and raise a generation of men who love God, live in holiness and advance His Kingdom.
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LouAnn Rogers is a follower of Jesus Christ. Her husband Jeremy is a pastor in Texas. They have four children: Jeremiah, SaraBeth, EllaGrace, and Micah. They are blessed to be “weird, un-socialized homeschoolers” and they love every minute of it. During her spare time LouAnn loves reading, sewing, and blogging.