Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pre-Reading Books

Teacher Tuesdays

I admit it. I shelter my kids. 

"I will set no wicked thing before my eyes."
Psalm 101:3a

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
Proverbs 4:23

My children's minds are growing daily, and for a short time of their lives, I can stand at the gate and help guard what goes in and out. I know that each family has different values and ways of doing this. Mine are probably tighter than most in some areas, but not as tight as others in different areas.

Movies and music are pretty easy to monitor, but as my 11 year old grows and becomes more of a reader, it's getting harder for me to be the guard over her books. My prayer is that I've taught her right from wrong from God's word so she can learn over the coming years to know how to protect her heart.

For this school year, studying the ancient time period, I bought a dozen or so books from recommended book lists for her to read alone. I thought it might be a good idea to browse a few of them, just to check them. I was honestly thinking more of reading level than content.

Books that make you blush...

Picking up The Epic of Gilgamesh, a book written long ago, between the days of Noah and Abraham, within the first few pages, I was blushing! To see if I was overly prudish, I read a few pages to some friends, and their eyes widened as well.

After that experience, I've decided not to trust book lists, and I will be pre-reading almost all of her books this year. It is a lot more work on my end, but I know it will be worth it. And, I'll be able to enjoy many of the books along with her, like The Golden Goblet which I just finished and thought was exciting and great for the time period.

For the record, I shelter myself too.

I'm convinced more than ever that what I put into my mind via music, media, and books makes a huge difference in my life, and as I get older, my time is more precious and most movies and shows seem more destructive than entertaining or valuable.

And lest people think that books are safer, I would heartily disagree. In fact, my imagination can take me farther in a book than any movie could go. That is a gateway that definitely needs to be guarded!

The time will come, gradually, that she can handle heavier material. But just as I do not plan on reading personally anything that will make me blush before God, I will most certainly not read them to my kids or let their imaginations wild on them.

"For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret."
Ephesians 5:12

Moms - be the guard for your children. And I'd also encourage you to be a guard for your own heart as well.

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