Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Convictions

Before we begin, let me clarify some things ahead of time by saying,
  1. Convictions for children begin as rules that are taught and enforced at home.
  2. Every home has a different set of rules because each parent/set of parents chooses what is important for them to teach their child(ren).
  3. Rules can become convictions if the rules have a Biblical foundation.
  4. God speaks to each person's heart differently.
  5. As parents, we pass along our convictions to our children, but they will have to decide on their own when they leave our homes whether our convictions will be theirs.
  6. We need to realize that God will speak to our children and will put convictions on their hearts that may not be ours.
  7. You may not share my convictions, and that is fine. However, being that we each have the right to have personal convictions, I also have the right to have my convictions respected, and so do you.
In our home, we have several strong convictions about things, but I am going to speak only on the topic of magic today. This is something that is so prevelent in our society today. Sometimes the word magic is used in terms of what the actual meaning of the word is, but many times it is used as an alternative to imagination or adventure. Because my 4 year old cannot yet determine which way the word is being used, all uses of the word magic are wrong right now.

Not every Christian shares this conviction. I understand that. I respect that. I cannot tell you what to believe unless God has put that on your heart. However, it is our conviction. As such, I ask that the same respect be shown to me.

The Biblical foundation for our conviction on magic is taken from Deuteronomy 18:9-13 and Acts 19:17-20. I would encourage you to look up these passages and read them for yourself.

God has spoken to my heart through these verses that magic is something that I do not want to expose myself or my children to. Thankfully, my husband shares this conviction with me, so as a team we have worked to teach our children what God's Word says about the subject in a way that they understand.

It is not always easy to stand by a conviction when there are many who do not share your conviction. That is how we are able to teach our children how to stand alone for what they believe, even in the face of criticism or ridicule.

How have we gone about sharing this conviction with Addie? Ian is still too young to understand, but as he watches sister being taught and following through, he will also learn the "whys" of what we do.

One of the first shows this topic came up in was the "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" show. At the very beginning of the show, Mickey says the "magic word" for the clubhouse to appear. Addie was and still is too young to understand what magic is and its spiritual aspects, so all I said was, "Mama, Jesus does not like magic. It makes Him sad," and I muted the TV until that part had passed. Then we watched the rest of the show (as long as there is no more magic in the rest of the day's episode).

I did this consistently (another aspect of teaching convictions).

One day, she and I were both sick (I was pregnant with Ian at the time) and we were laying on the sofa bed in the office. I had the Disney channel on and had dozed off. Suddenly, Addie was pushing the remote at me and saying, "No magic, Mommy. No magic." I was so proud that although I hadn't made a move to change the channel because I was unaware, Addie had still made the effort to do what she could to abide by our rule. Remember, rules can become the basis for convictions.

A few months ago, I had put on a show through Netflix for Addie, and I went to take a shower. I gave her the control because the episode she was watching was already half way through, and she knows how to push the button to get the next show on. I took my shower and came out to find that the show had been paused. "Mommy, they said the word magic so I stopped the movie." Again, I was so proud because as a (at the time) 3 year old, she was showing me that although I was not even in the room, she still followed the rule.

Because her spirit has been made aware of our convictions towards magic, and she has been obedient to our rule, it has also alerted her to things that are related to that topic on a much more subtle level. One evening, I was feeding Ian in the dining room and had put on "Olivia" after reading the information about the show. There was nothing in the info to alert me, so I fed Ian without really listening to what was going on. Addie started calling to me and then walked right up to me.

"Mom, I really don't think you want me to watch this movie." She considers anything on telelvision to be a movie.

I looked up and there was Olivia dressed as a fortune teller. Because of our consistency and her obedience, God made her spirit aware of something that we had not actually discussed before.

Why am I so proud of my Addie? Because she has also followed this rule when she is with others and I am not around. This shows me something very important. As she grows, I can trust that she will continue to abide by our rules whether she is at home or elsewhere. As a mother, that is a very comforting thing to know.

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