The Little Foxes Spoil the Vines
As parents, we possess the responsibility and privilege of creating our children’s characteristics, or at least, strongly influencing their reactions to others. This statement could be disputed because children from the same family often develop different values and standards; that they do, is an undeniable fact. Also, scientific data would indicate that our personality (especially our mannerisms) is influenced by a genetic code, but not our sense of judgment and method of response to situations.
The home we provide and the people with whom we associate, coupled with our own conduct, creates the environment and develops the situations and perplexities that demand spontaneous reactions. Day-by-day situations stimulate and develop the sense of reasoning and the ability to evaluate problems and methods of solving or coping with them.
Exposing children to self-centered and antagonistic atmosphere, which forces them to defend themselves or continuously tolerate the aggressive and abusive actions of other children or immature adults, is not a wise decision. If we desire our children to develop and exercise a favorable attitude toward society, we must take responsibility for their environment. Children’s natural method of learning is from the functioning members of their world; they constantly mimic the actions of the people around them even when the action is improper and ugly. This is the only God-given source of learning to act and interact that is available to our children.
“Evil communication corrupts good manners,” 1Corinthians 15:33. For this reason a nonfunctional and passive environment is not productive for normal behavior in children. Wise parents will avoid placing their children, especially the very young, under conditions such as those created by television and similar forms of lewd entertainment. Many children form an age-enduring concept of life founded on the irrational and fantasized world portrayed on television and will struggle in the real world.
If Children spend too much time alone in front of a television, they can become confused about realities and develop communication problems that interfere with relationships. Family communication and relationships are essential if we intend to help our children mature and learn to generate a happy home with healthful surroundings.
The human mind makes constant judgments on the actions and reactions of the things happening around it. When an underdeveloped, but functioning, mind continuously watches abnormal activities, it eventually accepts it as normal behavior.
The mind is constantly judging and approving or disapproving the actions being performed before it. In a controlled situation where the actors are family members or close friends, wrong judgment and improper thinking can be corrected. When a child watches screen activities, whether vulgarity, lawlessness, or horror scenes, he is allowed to form his own opinion. He passes judgment, demands revenge, or retaliation under the influence of the scriptwriters without interference or proper tutoring from the parents.
If the scriptwriter wills his viewers to agree with murder, the parents cannot prevent their child from accepting murder as a workable solution to similar problems. Most parents are unaware the scriptwriters are formulating their child’s approach to future solutions to actual problems.
When children react to the world around them in real life situations, they are affected by these actions and are often corrected. Involvement with television is nonfunctional—the only demand for action is placed on the mind. The decisions and judgments formed are never brought to light to be judged or corrected.
Murder, says the Messiah, is committed in the heart, or emotional realm of the mind. It does untold evil to an innocent mind by allowing it to be forced into approving, justifying, or willing a murder to be committed. Adults, even Christian adults, are guilty of the same action if they engage in watching detective and murder films.
Not all children are subjected to the contamination of television, but all children are forced to react to their environment. When children are placed in an environment with temperamental and criticizing adults, many develop a very hostile attitude toward the world, becoming selfish and vengeful. Some do the exact opposite and develop a low self-esteem and assume their mistreatment is due to a flaw in their character; therefore, they justify the abuse. When this happens, a child loses his self-esteem.
If a child is laden with too much responsibility, it creates a spirit of frustration and resentment. As the resentment begins to surface, it is displayed in an overbearing and vengeful attitude toward other children.
If a child is being mistreated, the situation forces him to form an opinion and draw his own conclusion. But the conclusion drawn is usually unsound, for when the mind is undeveloped, it is incapable of making sound judgment. Some parents assume such a child can understand and cope; therefore, they ignore the problem. A parent may assume the child is not in touch with his feelings; therefore, his opinion is dormant and further assumes that disrespect and ill-treatment has been understood and accepted.
It is a dreadful mistake to assume a child is handling a bad situation smoothly based on outward reactions or statements made by the child to authoritative figures. Children seldom, if ever, share all their inner emotions and conflicts with parents, especially if a situation exist that is threatening their safety. Most children are unable to find words that express their inner emotions, and if they could, they would be too fearful or ashamed to express them.
If a child is being forced to react to an immature and disrespectful adult day after day, the child’s chances to remain a loving, carefree, and responsible individual is jeopardized. An inner hostility or inferiority complex is definitely developing.
When a child’s rights are violated or ignored, or if he receives neither respect nor consideration from the adults around him, he will constantly plot a solution, escape, or counter action. Mistreated children fantasize and daydream the death of the offender, while outwardly seeking to please them.
Children’s ability to cover their inner feelings often create a false sense of security for caring parents. In problem situations the parent may say. “John is very mature for his age and understands the situation completely,” or “Susie is so grown up and reliable, she doesn’t even notice. I’ve explained the circumstances and she understands our deeper feelings and loves us in spite of this trying situation.” These statements are seldom, if ever, more than fantasized wishes.
Children have emotional and spiritual needs. When these needs are ignored or neglected, the spirit starves and the emotions are damaged. A wise parent will not be indifferent to these needs. When a parent is, it could very well destroy the child. Parental neglect creates emotional problems for their children that will follow them throughout their adult years.
Many parents, especially overworked parents, are not involved enough with their children. Public education often offers nonfunctional experiences, and parent involvement and ability to create a functional family is almost nonexistent.
Many children lack an environment where they can experience sharing and learning in a family setting. Education through the dead letter only creates free time that children often use for alcohol and drugs. Hands-on experiences are by far the best way to learn.
Children need to be taught to bear some responsibility. These experiences are essential to child development. Parent-child relationships are the only means of building and maintaining close family relationships that can strengthen family ties. These ties will produce values that help to create a strong country.
Early America produced many outstanding and dedicated heroes; men and women of stable character and lofty goals. These thinkers came through hard times and difficult situations. One major benefit contributing to their grand success was parent influence and involvement. In those days children were a part of the home and were included in all phases of building a strong family unit. Pioneer parents were sometimes forced to educate their children at home and depended on other family members to help teach them. Many of these children were forced to bear difficult responsibilities, but the experience helped them to develop some common sense.
Pioneer children were raised under strict rules and were seldom entertained or affected by outside influences, yet they were expected to work and bear some responsibility. Contrary to the modern philosophy, these children grew up to be healthy, productive individuals that contributed to the world they lived in. They did not experience the emptiness that demanded their senses be dulled by drugs and alcohol. It cannot be denied that these people produced the most civilized and human form of government that has ever existed.
Our wonderful system of democracy was founded by individuals who were brought up in a society where children shared in family work and responsibilities and education was experimental and functional. Yet these dedicated individuals exhibited fortitude and character above every other generation. They were able to establish a form of government that was far superior to any form of government that mankind has ever known. This strong and productive government was able to stand for more than one hundred and fifty years unconquered, because it is built on the solid foundation of Yahweh’s word.
Many of our leaders are void of the character and the common sense it takes to preserve freedom and unity. The kind of unity that formed this wonderful government has proved itself worthy of the sacrifices that were made. Children who are left untouched by family relationships and responsibilities, even when highly educated, will be spoiled and unfit for positions of leadership as is made manifest in our present time catastrophes.
Let us pray that our eyes be opened to the high cost we must pay for continuous child entertainment in the home and nonfunctional education. Many will pay with the life-blood of their precious offspring.
“Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes,” Song of Solomon 2:15.
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and re-pent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me,” Revelation 3:19-20.