Thursday, May 10, 2012

WARNING! May Contain Peanuts

If your child was allergic to peanuts and the result was possible death, would you give the child peanuts?  It's only possible death, right?  And besides, there's great medical care out there.  Fabulous drugs that can surely pull us out of whatever mess we get ourselves into.  Sure honey, go ahead and have the poison, it's just too hard to live differently than everyone else.  We mustn't deny you the physical pleasure and gratification.  The sacrifice is just too great, it's not fair to you.  Absurd.

We spend so much time protecting the physical well-being of our children.  We strap them into car seats, require them to wear helmets while riding a bike, avoid foods that cause harm and even death.  We teach them to swim so they won't be taken by water.  We make medical decisions in their behalf to hopefully attain the greatest chance for health and well-being.  We sign them up for sports that require protective gear for everything from their teeth to their spines, and we promptly provide said equipment.  We cut their food into tiny bites so they won't choke.  We are vigilant in our desire for their physical bodies.  And yet, they still manage to get in harms way.  They are still taken.  We have no control over the corrupting powers of this world that lurk around every corner.

Never fear!  We have stewardship over something much greater than physical health and well-being; their souls.  It seems we are so focused on the outward that the inward is all but forgotten.  What are we doing for the souls that will remain far after the body doesn't need us anymore?

Are we so focused on fitting in and following another's path that we forget we have our own?  What price are we willing to pay for the souls of our children?  Who's responsibility is it?  The child's?  Our neighbors?  Our amazing friend who does it all?  No, none of the above.  The responsibility for our children is ours.  We respect our children enough to hold them to the best possible standard we know, and we are constantly seeking higher standards to raise the bar.

No athlete will ever tell you they achieved physical greatness by running fewer miles with less hills, removing weights from the bench press, or finding shorter opponents that are easier to shoot over.  Why then, do we think that spiritual greatness will be achieved by lowering standards and doing what everyone else is doing?  

How many black spots can we afford to put on our children's souls.  We are the parents, they are the children.  We get to provide them with the best protection we possibly can.  If we choose to do so.  As mothers we are unique in our ability to know the weak spots and sensitivities of our children's souls.  We can know the things to seek, and the things to avoid, for their best benefit and growth.  

If a portion of your child's soul was compromised by media, would you allow it? If the allergy is to content (tv, books, video games, movies, sports, youtube, facebook, etc.) would you provide it?  If you knew that the physical gratification of addiction would be fostered by a thing, would you participate?  We allow books and media that desensitize by the second.  We enable habits and pleasures that take the place of values and morals.  We comfort ourselves by saying, "Well that's just a part of so and so's nature." And then we wonder 'why' about so many things.  I believe nurture trumps nature, every time

I know people allergic to a whole slew of items from sugar to modified corn starch.  I also know people that stay away from the aforementioned slew, and then some, simply because those things have an adverse affect on their well-being.  Not a diagnosed allergy, but a recognized sensitivity that is much better left unprovoked.  Do we wait until a deathly allergy is upon us, or do we recognize sensitivities and make adjustments?  Do we hope for drugs and remedies to enable us to still partake, or do we accept responsibility and choose differently?

WARNING! Contains content designed to deaden the conscience and bruise the soul; not much, but just enough.  Science has not yet proven any accumulating affect whatsoever!  It'll be fine, don't be silly.  

We buy devices that claim to remove harmful and damaging material from a movie.  Does it remove all harmful and damaging material or just what someone else decided was so?  We employ software to limit Internet and handheld device content.  We rely on rating systems devised by the very people that hope to addict for the benefit of their pocket books.  What about when they fail?  We can't erase what is permanently imprinted because of a technical failure.  Do we get to claim innocence when we choose to outsource our responsibility to a piece of machinery?  Are we doing our children any favors by making sure they have access to the latest and greatest for whatever justifiable reason?

What physical pleasure and gratification are we providing our children and at what cost?  Is it enough to put good in, or do we need to keep harm out as well?    The idea that 1 negative comment is erased by 10 positives could be applied here.  Are you spending time in a 10:1 ratio on the good stuff so that you can afford to dabble in the harmful?  Are there that many hours in the day?  If we are doing that much good, in meaningful ways, is there even a desire for the other anymore anyway?

We can't choose whether or not to sign our children up for the game of life.  We made that choice when we partnered with God and brought them from their spiritual existence into this world.  We choose, each moment, whether or not to provide them with everlasting armor, impenetrable by the weapons of the world.  When we choose to behave as the mothers we are, we provide our children with the best spiritual protection available to them.

Sam and I just read The Harvester, by Gene Stratton-Porter.  Marvelous read.  A true hero with a heart of gold, and the most worthy desires.  Do you know who he credits?  His mother.  She made conscious, deliberate choices that were not popular.  She showed him, even to her early grave, that life is good and clean and pure.  Her confident and unapologetic mothering led directly to his ability to be self assured and confident in his own worthy efforts and desires.  The best and most lasting rewards come as a result of choosing to live up to our own potential, not another's.

What do you think?

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