Saturday, March 30, 2013

How society is polluting the children with sin instead of correcting them

I am writing two other blog entries for today and tomorrow that are related to the season, but in between this has been on my mind. Kids.

I work with small children. I used to be a teacher and now I am a teacher's aid. I love being around kids, listening to what they say, watching what they do. I love how they learn, and best of all is being a part of opening up the world of literacy for them. Even tying their shoes and wiping their noses is satisfying because it helps them. I especially love working with them in the faith setting, teaching them about Jesus, because their faith is sure and innocent.

Though children are not sinless, they are declared innocent. In Deuteronomy 1:39 we read about little ones who have no knowledge of good or evil. There's a point in life when you don't have conscious knowledge of good or evil, you haven't reached that condition of accountability before Holy God. Isaiah 7:16 says the same. Based on those verses and others that tell me there is an age of accountability, and prior to that, a child's deeds are not held against him.

But children DO sin. Oh, yes. Make no mistake. I believe that in former times, children were more innocent and less sinful and willful early in their lives than they are now. The rampant sin that has polluted the earth has touched the hearts of children at an earlier and earlier age. When I began teaching in 1982 I never saw what I am seeing now. Let me give some examples.

There is a video going around called something like 'bed time bandit'. It is a short video of a two-year-old boy who is covetous of his sister's pillow pet. He had kept going into his sister's room to steal it at night, so the parents said to the sister, 'lock your door.' (Nothing is said of how they punished the brother for stealing it in the first place.) Even though she locked it, the sister still insisted the brother was stealing the pet. So the parents set up a video camera to watch what was happening at night. Not to be thwarted in his coveting of the item, the boy devised a plan when confronted with the locked door. The video depicts what unfolded...


The boy emerges from his room at night, gripping a pair of opened fingernail clippers. He carefully closes his bedroom door, I surmise so that the light wouldn't alert anyone. He spends a few moments carefully picking the lock of his sister's door, and when successful, goes back to his room to replace the clippers. I surmise he did this so as not to be caught with the tools of breaking and entering. Then he goes in, grabs the toy, and scuttles out, all the while silent in his footie pajamas and silently closing all the doors behind him. The video ends with his parents laughing.

I'm not laughing.

The boy devised a plan to thwart his parents' orders, and to illegally enter a place he was told not to go to get a thing that was not his. He thought about this plan for a while, so we have malice aforethought. He was studious at every step of the way, in replacing the clippers, being quiet, and closing the doors, so we have stealth.

How often does a two-year-old have the fine motor skills to pick a lock? How much mental energy was given over to decide which tools would do the job? He didn't choose a knife, or a screwdriver or a fork or a stick. He selected just the right tool because he spent time thinking about it first. How often does a two-year old have the patience to perform a minute fine-motor task, in the dark??

What happens when the kid is sixteen and he wants some beer from a locked store? Or to change his grades which are on a computer behind a locked office?

And what does that tell the sister, that she has to lock her door against her brother just to be safe in her own home? And how safe is it to have a child sleeping in a locked room...what if there is a fire?

Here is second example I thought was repugnant. It is called "Tooth Fairy fake-out." A little girl who has lost her tooth explains to her mother that she has devised a plan to 'trick the tooth fairy'. She will trick the tooth fairy because she wants to keep the tooth but she still wants the money.  She decided to roll up a piece of paper and put that under her pillow instead. She is quite happy with that plan.

Until the next day, when instead of the money she expected, she received a 'ticket' from the tooth fairy. She was furious.


Thirdly, on the playground I overheard a discussion. Several kindergartenters were fussing because one of them had been told that they could not be on stage. (There is a concrete pavilion with picnic tables they use for various purposes). The child was mad because she had been told by another child that she "was a no-talent and couldn't be on the stage with the rest." She was angry and said that she had plenty of talent. I pondered that for a while. I wondered, where do kids get the idea of talent and no talent and stages and performing and talk to each other like that?

Ohhh. Now I see- it is the effects of the Simon Cowell-like barbs and insults. Kids watch these reality talent shows like Dancing with the Stars and The Voice and American Idol and watch the adults shame each other at another's expense. Then they repeat that behavior on the playground.

I don't blame the kids. They're kids. And the  pervasive influence of instant video that captures moments like these and social media which repeats them are also helping to serve up sin on a silver platter. In 1982 when I began teaching, there were no video recorders, or internet. I'm sure that these behaviors still happened, but they weren't replicated and they certainly weren't celebrated, or rewarded!

No, kids are kids. They model their behavior after watching us and by what they are taught. Sometimes they are actively taught to sin, as in the above cases.

How so, you ask? Well, the family of the child who tried to cheat the tooth fairy was given $100,000. They were the big winners of the America's Favorite Video contest and feted with confetti and streamers and prizes and affirmation. "Cheat and lie, win money!"

Not the tooth fairy family, but you get the idea...
It isn't the kids fault, but parents. They are teaching sin, accepting it, laughing about it, and getting money for it. Kids aren't sinless but they learn how to handle sin from us. And we are failing them.

I pray for the rapture to come. I say that unashamedly. What Christian would not want to be with Jesus in person, given a choice? Away from sin and disease and in glory and perfection? But I also pray for it on behalf of the children. They are suffering so badly. Not just the ones who are actively being abused, neglected, abandoned and killed in the womb. (or outside of the womb). But I pray for the ones who are abused by sinful adults who do not teach the child the way he should go. (Proverbs 22:6). Who celebrate their sin and profit from it instead of teaching them God's statutes.

"Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul." (Proverbs 29:17)

Won't it be a beautiful thing when children can be brought to the Lord Jesus in the Millennium, and they can learn directly from Him?!?!

Meanwhile, I say that the children are polluted with sin from birth and it is up to us to train them in righteousness, not capture it on video and celebrate it. Why pollute the children more?

4 comments:

  1. This post hits home. I was accused a few years ago of being "mean" to our oldest granddaughter (2 or 3 yrs old at the time) because she was being naughty and then trying to act cutesy to me. I told her what she did was not cute at all and I refused to laugh at her. I then told her mother (my grown daughter who was never raised to be a brat BTW), that if she could not refrain from laughing every time the child pulled the old 'cutesy trick', then she needed to leave the room! Later on I was accused of being mean and disliking my own grandchild!
    Her parents both treat her as if she is a little celebrity and I wince whenever I see her emmulating the so called idols of today.
    My girls were learning scriptures by heart and songs from Sunday school at a young age...my granddaughters know every word to many of the pop songs...words that would have gotten their mother's mouth washed out with soap when she was that age!
    I agree Elizabeth, for the degeneration of this generation I pray the rapture brings these kids home to the Creator before they are accountable and all go down the proverbial tube!
    Pray for my daughter too please...she is double minded at this time in her life (29 yrs old).
    She seeks my advice, though hardly ever follows it...I have reminded her that I am not her judge, that she is not accountable to me and her father any longer, but to her heavenly Father; as well as being the example to her own girls.
    ~God bless and have a glorious Easter~

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  2. I couldn't agree more with this! I haven't even seen the bandit video but I am appalled. First that it is a two year old being this slick and deceptive, which by the way just plain creeps me out but second that no one else is appalled.

    I was reading a blog recently where the mom was treating her each of her children to a "special day" where the child would play hooky from school and spend the day doing whatever activity of choice i.e movies, bowling,followed by a restaurant of choice. All the commenters were chiming in with "How fun!", "hope you guys have a great time" and I was left scratching my head wondering why no one thought it was wrong to take your child out of school just to spend some quality time with them. The interesting thing was, is that it was her other childs turn to have a day and he didn't want to go; felt it was wrong. She tried many different ways to convince him, even saying that she could lie and tell the teacher he was sick. The little boy said no to all of those ideas and the mom ended up telling the teacher the truth (after the son repeatedly said he didn't want to lie to his teacher) and the teacher gave permission for the mom to take him out of school for the day.
    I don't know, maybe I am being too harsh and my friends would remind me of judging others but it bugged me. Anyway (lol) as always Elizabeth, thank you for the great post!

    Marrell

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  3. I work with a group of fourth graders in our church's AWANA program, most of whom do not attend our church. It is obvious to me that most of these kids do not hear the word "no" enough, are not told certain behaviors are not acceptable or (God forbid) wrong, and taught to respect their elders as well as their peers. I am only there for about an hour, listening to their memory verses and helping with their book work, but each week I leave there exhausted. We have a generation of children being raised by adult-aged children who never matured or grew up. Instead of being an authority in their children's lives, they are buddies, friends, BFFs.

    One of the boys in my AWANA group--9 years old--acts up all the time. I give him one warning, then start taking away minutes from game time. One week he said to me, "Do you want me to keep coming to AWANA because if I keep getting into trouble, my mom won't let me come?" I explained to him it was HIS choice whether or not he gets in trouble, but he wouldn't see it that way. I'm the bad guy for not letting him do whatever he wants.

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  4. I agree Elizabeth. In fact, I've come to realize how it is that the Lord would have wiped out whole cultures in the Old Testament. According to the Lord's instructions, everybody, including children would be put to the sword by the Israelites. And now I see why...children from a very young age can become corrupted. We are seeing it now and just imagine if our society continues any further just how bad it will be for children, even very young toddlers, if not babies. It was actually a mercy for the Lord to destroy them before they could destroy each other and spread the corruption to the cultures around them, destroying them too. Not saying that we are instructed to do as the Israelites of old. We are not instructed to do this; ours is an age of grace. BUT there is a Day coming...when the Lord Himself will descend and everyone will face Him on that Day. We will all have to give an account for the life that we lived. There will be God's perfect justice and those who are not forgiven by God in Christ, will face God's just wrath for their sin.

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