This Beautiful Inheritance: Guarding the Flames of Childhood Innocence

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Guarding the Flames of Childhood Innocence

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Tommy Nelson Mommies for Thomas Nelson, Inc. As a member of this group, I receive products for my use and to review at no charge to me. I receive no monetary compensation for my participation. All opinions are my own.

There are small flames inside my children -- the flames of childhood -- with sparks of innocence, creativity and wonder. I marvel at these qualities in my kids -- when they play princesses and knights, when they ooh and ahh at the night sky, and when they giggle with Daddy like there couldn't possibly be anything better. These marks of childhood are so precious and so remarkable. Children truly light up the world.

All children are born with these inner flames, yet as they walk through life, the sparks are extinguished... some more quickly than others. Some children are forced to grow up too fast. They are exposed to things children should never see and given more than their share of responsibility. The adults who force them into these situations or who neglect to shelter them don't realize they're pouring water on their children's flames. You can pick these kids out when you're around them. They use words kids shouldn't know, they say unkind things to others, and there's no way you'll find them playing knights or baby dolls (video games are now way more magical).

I may sound like a staunch, overprotective, worrywart Mama Bear, but this is something I think about constantly. I do not want my children to lose their innocence. My children are so special. They are caring, kind, curious, playful and loving. And it truly feels like every time we go out, they're faced with some kind of situation that attempts to extinguish those flames.

We enter the Chick-Fil-A play area, and my kids' eyes light up because there are NEW FRIENDS here! They immediately start asking, "What's your name? What's your name? Do you want to play with me?" And each time their excitement is met with a silent shrug and a kid who turns away, my heart sinks. These experiences tell them that kindness doesn't matter and that there's no reason to get excited about something small like new friends.

Water on the flames.

When my four-year-old excitedly suggests to her friend that they pretend they're giants and he says "That's a stupid idea," her countenance falls, and she begins to question her own imagination. She's also learned a new insult, likely to be used later.

Water on the flames.

When my girls hear older kids being disrespectful to adults, and when they turn on the TV and see a boy and girl (who just met) kissing, and when they see toddlers in string bikinis and decide that theirs have too much material...

Water is being thrown on the flames.

I know some of you may be thinking, "WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO? KEEP THEM LOCKED UP INSIDE YOUR HOUSE EVERY DAY?" And honestly, sometimes the answer is yes! Their childhood innocence is a precious thing, and I want to shelter them from everything and everyone that tries to hose it out of them.

I know the day is coming when they will start school, and when they'll start high school, and it's only natural to grow up... but that day isn't now. And there's no reason to rush things.

No, I don't really intend to lock them up. But I am and will always be very selective about the people they spend time with and about how much time they spend away from home. Their character, attitudes and values are mine to sculpt. And right now I want them blazing with innocence, like every child's should.

Today I'm giving away one copy of the children's book "The Story of Jesus," because what better way to preserve your child's innocence than with age-appropriate books with faith-building messages?! This board book is a wonderful way to introduce the life of Jesus to young hearts. Sweet, rhyming text and adorable illustrations will engage your child as you read about the story of the Savior. The padded cover is a soft but durable format for little hands, and the “carry-me” handle makes it easy for kids to tote this book to bed, to church, in the car, and on-the-go! To enter to win, just leave a comment with your thoughts on today's blog post. Be sure to let Rafflecopter (below) know you entered. I'll announce a winner Tuesday, May 20.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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