Tuesday, February 26

Guarding their hearts and minds

Honor cuddled up to me on the couch this evening to read from a library book she picked up last week. I confess, I wasn't listening attentively to every word, as I silently counted my knitting stitches. But slowly, the words 'witches' and 'coven' seeped through to my brain and I snapped to attention. The book was describing how witches try to "sneak away from the coven to make mischief in reality" and attack the dreams of children.

Honor was confused. She has thrived on fairy tales and has such an innocent mind and heart. She thought it was a simple tale of good versus evil. She is nine, but she is a young nine. I have guarded her from so much, but tonight she understood that there are such things as witches and that spiritual warfare is very real. Sunday school words with substance.

I have been lax about screening all of the books for the girls like I did for the boys at this age. I still check all of the chapter books, because so many feel the need to need to work in drama about girls 'coming of age' or witchcraft. But it has been so long since I've had anything concern me from the picture book section of the library. I let me guard down. Honor consumes books like most people consume oxygen. There is no keeping up with her. But she understands now what to watch out for and why it is important.

I am just sick over it now.

This book has such a whimsical, yet mysterious looking watercolor illustration on the cover. The title sounds delicious on the tongue: "The Dream Keeper". But inside, the illustrations get darker and darker. There are two 2-page spreads of grotesque drawings, distorted imitations and figures. One is a disfigured woman, bald and nude, with birds wings and lion feet. Another shows a frightening figure holding a skull. Many are just distortions of familiar images from other stories.

If the illustrations aren't enough to plant images in your brain of things to fear, the words will take care of the rest:

"The Dreamkeeper knows that spirits, like ghosts, have a shape but no body, 
and that only bad spirits cast shadows. The scary shadows you see on the wall 
or ceiling at night often mark the presence of an escaped bad spirit up to no good."

And there you have it. Read them this book and your children will be sleeping with you until they turn 27. Once she realized what the book was really talking about, Honor was horrified and felt so bad for even trying to read it. I assured her that she didn't know and hadn't done anything wrong. I should have been more careful in my protection of her. I explained that if I sounded frustrated, it was NOT at her, but at the enemy. He makes things sound so attractive. He imitates beauty. He sneaks things in. I explained that it is my job as a Mama to guard and protect her and that as she is getting older, she will begin to take on more and more responsibility for guarding her own heart and mind. 

I am glad that we had an opportunity for growth and discussion, but I am truly nauseous at something so evil being wrapped in something so alluring to children. I'm nauseous thinking about the many other attractive packages that our enemy laces with evil. 
    Ephesians 6:12
    For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

Spiritual warfare didn't end at the printing of the bible. It is very much real. And we are still called to be aware, especially as parents. We'll be working on some Armor of God studies this next week.

And because Honor sometimes tends to worry, we'll also discuss Philippians 4:7, which tells us that the "peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." This is attached to verse 6 as part of a "do this and then this will happen" duo. Verse 6 says to "be anxious for nothing, but in everything, through prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

Proverbs 4:23 instructs: 
Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.


Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Oh sweetie, I am so sorry. That's just like the stinkin' devil to wrap himself up in a pretty package. He's tricky that way.

We don't often talk about the dark evil powers and the warfare goin' on 'round us. I do introduce the subject in Kid's Church every now and again.

It's good that Honor came to you (Honey, I work with kids...that one is pretty mature for nine :o)...with her concerns and open the door for this conversation.

I hear your frustration but know without a doubt you are one FANTASTIC mother. I know these things...'just sayin'!!!

God bless and have an extraordinary day sweetie. :o)

Andrea said...

I know it was hard for both of you to experience that, but Honor needs to be proud that she quickly recognized something as wrong, and then turned away from it. We, as parents, have to do our very best in teaching them - and then we trust them to use that teaching for their own well-being. I'm sure you didn't expect her to have to do that at such a young age, but what a relief that you have taught her well thus far!

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