My families favorite place to go here in Anchorage is the used book store in town called Title Wave. It’s a huge store with shelves and shelves of classics and novels, Biographies and cookbooks and everything in between. We love this place. We usually leave with armloads of new reads and can barely get in the car and buckled back into our seat belts fast enough before we crack our books open and begin to read. I love that all of us love to read. There is always a section in each department of the store that features new releases and popular titles. The children’s “New Release” section caught my eye the other day. Here on display were multiple books capitalizing on the popularity of wizardry, sorcery, dating werewolves and vampires, and the life of a pirate. Book after book after book. Not the same author…many authors, many stories, every book designed and written to entice our children. I had to ask myself this question, “Why are writers intent on exposing all of our children to witchcraft and dating paranormal evil beings? Why are girls being romanced by men with fangs and the power to shed their blood? Why are my children being taught to obtain power from other worlds using incantations, blood, chants and cohorts with devils? Do my elementary age children need this knowledge to propel them into their future?
When the ten year old boy down the street repeatedly declined the offer to come outside and play with my sons because he was playing World of War Craft, I wondered yet again…who is designing the culture for our children?
“Okay, so it’s entertaining….it’s not real. Come on, we know that there aren’t vampires and if there were, my daughter would never date one!” Is that what I am going to tell myself to inoculate me from the truth?
We steer clear from as many books like this as we can and look on to other literature that entertains their minds and try to find books that teach morals and good character, but these messages are popping up subtly in many books, games and movies.
I’m beginning to see my world as a modern day Babylon. The king of this kingdom is doing his best to educate the youth of our culture in the mystics and magics of ancient cults. He is whetting their appetites for inquiries into paranormal activity and teaching them to experiment. There are no rules really, no guidelines…just a healthy curiosity to get them started and then enough literature and animation to keep them hooked for hours, days, months, and years.
Your children, and mine are growing up to inherit a world fraught with sexual, biological, and spiritual experimentation. A world full of tolerance and hatred defined by those who refuse definition, guidelines or morality. This is the world of Daniel, of Shadrack of Meshak and Abednego.
The greatest battle being waged in our culture is against our children. They are the ones who need to be covered in armor. They are the ones who need to learn how to pray and how to confront the power that is at work against them. Our children need us to hold the shield of faith in front of them and cover them until they can hold that shield themselves.
How old were Daniel, and the other Hebrew boys when they faced the fiery furnace and the fury of a king who needed his dream revealed and interpreted all at once? Maybe teenagers by the time these showdowns took place, but did they just wake up with knowledge and God’s power one morning when they noticed their first chest hair? I don’t believe so. Their character that we get to see displayed as teenagers was forged in the years that they were children. Someone taught them and taught them well.
Someone told Daniel that if He prayed to his God that God would reveal to him secrets from a king’s dream and the meanings behind them. There was someone in his childhood that modeled for them the benefits of the Hebrew diet enough that Daniel and his friends could turn down a king’s banqueting table and win a contest of beauty and wisdom by it. Somewhere in their bedtime stories or home education they learned that God was a deliverer of His people and could save them from a fiery furnace…but not just that, they also learned and then believed that their God may choose not to deliver them, but He was still worth giving up their life for.
Do my children know this? Do yours?
It’s so much easier to set the children in front of a movie or video game. Believe me, I’ve found this to be true for me. But what our children need is training in spiritual warfare. They need to learn to pray and to “pray through”. They need to know that “Greater is He that is within them than he that is in the world”. Someday, in the not-so-distant future, they may be in a showdown with the enemy like Elijah or Moses where they stand before the best magicians and sorcerers of their day….some may very well be their old neighbors from down the street, and they will need the confidence of their all-powerful God to confront the magic and trump the sorcery. They need to learn now that God is a fountain of wisdom and gives it liberally to anyone who asks…even children. They need to know that the “Same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in them….(Romans 8:11)” This has to not just be taught, but modeled. That is my assignment as a mother. This is the joint assignment of my husband and I as parents.
Maybe someday the New Release section of the children’s book stores will be full of biographies of children who defied their culture and lived according to God’s principles and did exploits through His power. Maybe the stories of our children will inspire another generation to believe what God says about Himself and maybe even convince an adult or two that
“…wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him. (Daniel 2:20-22)