Dear Book Lovers,

I went to a parenting workshop a couple of Saturdays ago. A point I took away was that we need to help children have heart knowledge of a rule. They need to see that we aren’t trying to just make them into “nice” children. We are trying to help them learn how to live life well. Right now I’m thinking about how this applies to protecting.

Children think that we protect them only because they are children. As they grow older, they may think they have outgrown the need for protection. They may resist and resent it, seeing it as unnecessary and burdensome.

What they don’t often grasp is that adults protect themselves. Adults, not just children, put on coats and sweaters when the weather grows cool. They live in houses or apartments so that they are not overly exposed to heat and cold. Adults drive cars with care not just to avoid unpleasant experiences with the gendarmes, but also to avoid accidents. Some adults have food allergies and protect themselves from allergic reactions by not eating those foods.

As adult Christians, there are some films we don’t see, books we don’t read and places we don’t frequent. We are protecting our minds and hearts from experiences that waste our time and/or draw us away from God. (They may not always be the same films or books, but I think you get my point.)

I think kids might look at protection differently if they heard us talk about the ways we protect ourselves. When choosing not to read a book or see a particular film, we might, for example, talk about how the film or book promotes lies about how to live well or that it portrays a lot of mean people or….