I've been dealing with some pretty heavy things lately. Things that I always knew I would stress over but have put aside while Beatrice has been little. Things like how we will raise her and protect her from the world. Things that are tough for outsiders to understand. But things that hound me. I have learned that no matter what your ethnicity, religion, or background, most parents want 3 things for their children: success, happiness, and most importantly, they want to protect them.
As Beatrice gets older and begins to be impressionable, I stress about her being influenced or subjected to opposing values or belief systems that we do not support. Things like magic and fairy tales and other "fun" things wrapped up in child-sized packages that God says to avoid. Duet. 18:9-12, Rev. 21:8. Things that are marketed towards children but oppose God's Word. It scares me to think that she could come in contact with these things in movies, television shows, and books. JD and I are quick to change the channel if the cartoon has a witch or a magic spell and we read all of her books before we buy them. We know that we can protect her while she is in our house, but what about when she's not at home? How can we know that she won't come in contact with something we don't want her to when she's not with us? If you haven't guessed by now, we are pretty serious about this God stuff. We take Him at His Word and when He says to stay away from XYZ, we do. It's all of the XYZs in the world that worry me. How can I remove them all so that my precious children never have to come in contact with them?
I have laid awake at night scheming how to protect my daughter from these things. JD and I agree on what movies she can watch and what things we will allow her to play with, but to imagine her to only be in our house throughout her entire childhood is not exactly realistic. She will have friends houses to sleepover at and opportunities to see some stuff that we would never subject her to. That is the scariest thing to me: not being able to protect her from the world.
After letting this stuff eat at me for a few days, I finally had a heart to heart with God about it. I need to lighten up on the stressing and trust Him to protect her and equip us to teach her what His Word says. That is really what parenting is about, right? Teaching our kids how to live, whether it be a God-honoring life or not. We teach them because we cannot control what is out there. We can only instruct so when they are exposed to unsavory things, they will know how to choose God. I fully believe that we have several years to protect her from things that she should not watch or be exposed to while she is little and trust me, JD and I are on it. I worry about when she is older and will have more opportunities outside of our protection.
This is when I want to be a Duggar. They homeschool and have enough children for the others to play with so they don't really need outside friends or influences. I'm kidding, sort of. A sweet friend told me not to worry about the things that I cannot control, but equip Beatrice to know what the Bible teaches so when she is exposed to something that we don't condone, she can stand up to it and not let it trickle into her brain. It is our job to teach her what is right so she can make right decisions. I know that this all sounds like I am trying to control everything in her life, but my only intent is to protect her. She is precious and I want to give her the precious gift of knowing how to live a life in line with God's instruction. That should be pretty simple, right? If not, that Duggar thing might not be too bad after all....