Last week I was flying solo as dad and trying to get ready while my kids watched a movie in the other room.
At least that’s what I thought they were doing.
When I walked in on them, I found my son watching videos of dancing routines on YouTube. The video wasn’t necessarily explicit, but it certainly was over-sexualized.
My 6-year old son looked more confused than anything else. And I could tell he felt a sense of guilt, even without knowing why.
“Daddy, was that a bad show?” He innocently asked.
My heart sank.
He’s six years old.
Six. Years. Old.
He had just dipped his tiny toe into the ocean of confusion and shame surrounding purity.
As his daddy, everything in me wanted to throw away the TV, break the internet box, smash the iPads, and burn down the house.
I’m his protector. And you can rest assured that I will do whatever it takes to protect the heart of my son.
But here’s the thing… I can’t.
Even if I moved my family to the middle of nowhere, sin would still find a way into my son’s heart.
There is no escape.
But, there is good news.
The truth is, our kids will be exposed to all kinds of crap that they shouldn’t see or hear. And even the best kids with the most well-intentioned parents will fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
We can’t shield the hearts of our kids from everything the world has to offer, but we can offer them something better.
We can offer them Jesus.
After the YouTube incident, I sat my son down and talked with him about gardens.
I reminded him that whatever kind of little seed you place into the ground will eventually grow into something much bigger.
I told him, as followers of Jesus, we must protect our hearts from the kinds of seeds we plant. Some seeds will grow into plants of shame, fear, regret, sadness and jealously. But the seeds of the Kingdom, the kind of seeds Jesus teaches us plant, grow into plants of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22).
I reminded him that there are lots of things that will try to satisfy his heart, but there is only one actually capable of doing it.
You can’t protect your kids from the junk of this world. But you can offer them something better.
You can offer them Jesus.
Need more help pointing your kids toward Jesus? STOP BEHAVING: A Gospel-Centered Devotional for Men.