Sunday, April 1, 2012

Curiosities and Diversions

Although I possess a natural inclination towards simplicity, I also recognize that we are people drawn towards stimulation.  By one means or another, we will seek that which tickles our fancy, plays with our senses, and leads us down paths of exploration.  This natural penchant is the impetus behind all of our questions and should be encouraged and nurtured.  It is also the means by which many have found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, bred guilty consciences, or worst of all - become enslaved to that which they once chased with heart-hammering blindness.

As a parent, this is an area to which I believe a good deal of thought and prayer should be devoted.  Our kids will search out that which is made to delight, shock, and titillate; a wise parent will recognize their responsibility to guide their children as they endeavor to look around corners, under rocks, and inside cupboards.  It is a serious task we are given: to do our best at feeding curious delight and brave fortitude, at the same time embedding a healthy discipline to refrain and pass by more foolish enticements.  

It is a challenge - all these things come our way unbidden.  They knock on our doors, soliciting our buy-in to be the newest, latest thing to improve our lives; they buzz across airwaves with light, color, and sound designed to capture our senses; they trickling into conversations with lofty condescension, telling us we will be behind the trend if we don't jump in now; they crash through walls with wild enthusiasm, inviting us to be spirited away on the fun before we have time to think.

But we do have time - no - we must take time to think, and even better, to pray.

How this plays out and the decisions that are arrived at will be different within each family.  I am not the one to whom any of you are answerable.  But here are a few standards which you might find helpful as you navigate this responsibility.

1) What are your own diversions and where do your curiosities lead you?  Your children will recognize hypocrisy when they see it, so be the first to look for it within yourself.  As you look for ways in which you spend your free time, is Christ "your cornerstone, sure and precious", or is He seeming more like "a stumbling block" set between you and temptation? (1 Peter 2)

2) Evaluate your child's motivations both by who you know them to be and by probing conversations. Lead your children by example, asking questions which reflect a desire to hear from them as you seek understanding in making judgements, while teaching them that the final decision will be one that lines up with the Lord's standards.  All things should be viewed in the light of Christ.  What we choose to do with our free time will shape our character as much as anything.  See this as an opportunity to better 'know thyself.'

3) There is a saying that "timing is everything."  I've found it to be quite a fine check to have in place when making decisions.  Many lessons about maturity, delayed gratification, learning how not to follow the pack, and how to be strong when standing apart are all part of what can be gained by choosing the best timing (or not) of doing something.

4) Lastly, be sure to provide worthy choices to fill and satisfy the curiosity He has placed within us. Be proactive in searching out recreation, amusements, and occupations that will feed hearts, minds, and souls.  Healthy deviations from our routines abound, only be purposeful in choosing them.  Vary them from quiet, peaceful times designed to nurture a love and appreciation for reflection, to energetic adventures made for stoking fires of marvel and awe.

May we be mindful that all our time is under His watchful eye, in His loving hands, and bestowed as a generous gift of love.

Linked with Titus Tuesday and Works for Me Wednesday and Simple Lives Thursday

1 comment:

  1. Phil . 4:8 has been my life verse for many many years. It's wisdom has served me well through many trials, distractions and unhealthly traps of the world.