I try to preview all of the books we get for Halo ... for crude language, boyfriend/girlfriend stuff, meanness toward siblings, disrespecting parents, minimizing deceitfulness, bad/selfish attitudes, and more. The principle here is G.I.G.O. ... Garbage IN = Garbage OUT. And it doesn't only apply for TV and movies ~ books can also be influential, either positively or negatively. In addition, just because a book comes from a "Christian" bookstore doesn't mean it's acceptable.
The old saying, you can't judge a book by its cover, is quite true. My mother-in-law had gotten Halo a set of four books about some twelve year-old girl and her horse, of course. She asked me to look them over before she gave them to Halo for her birthday. The covers were well done ... the summaries on the back seemed interesting and harmless ... but just as I was about to say the books looked okay, I decided to open one up. The page I happened to turn to had the girl and her friends doing drugs ... smoking pot if I recall! Insane!
Anyway, I've never told Halo exactly what I'm looking for when I'm previewing a book ... but somehow she figured out part of it. She was recently reading a novel to her brother over the course of a couple days. The main characters were two boys named Soup and Rob. I had only skimmed it, and hadn't read it entirely, so I asked her how she was liking the book. "It's good. I skipped over the part about g-i-r-l-f-r-i-e-n-d-s though," she replied by spelling out the word :)
I don't exactly know why I started writing this blog ... somehow it all evolved from the previous paragraph ... but I've just been shocked lately at what is going on with young people. I saw Bristol Palin's interview on FOX and she said something like ... abstinence is best, but it's not realistic, because everybody does "it". Parents, myself included, need to take parenting seriously and view it as their most important task. When you consider what things children are taking in from TV, movies, magazines in the checkout aisle, the internet, video games, books, school, friends ... it is any wonder so many kids today are so messed up? It sometimes feels impossible to raise godly children in this evil culture we live in ... where wrong has become right.
Is there any hope of avoiding the traps of sin that youth are so vulnerable to? I think so ...
How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
I know my kids are sinners and that they will make mistakes along the way, but my prayer is that they will continue to seek God and that their strongest desire will be to obey Him.