Protecting Your Child's Heart
I have felt compelled to write a blog post in response to Kim K’s most recent internet posting. For those of you who don’t know, Kim posted a naked photo of herself to Instagram. The response to this photo, while not surprising, has ranged from disgust to praise. Some of her ardent critics have attempted to shame her for a racy photo while others’ have praised her calling it, “female empowerment”.
Wherever you land on this topic, there is a deeper issue at hand that is not being addressed. How are young girls and boys receiving this photo? How are their hearts being protected? We live in an age where mostly anything goes and passing judgement on someone for what they choose to engage in, is not cool.
After all we’re just islands of oasis, right? What we do and say doesn’t positively or negatively impact someone else, right?
Kim K’s choice to express herself in this manner teaches young girls that to gain attention you must take your clothes off, teaches women to be beautiful they must attain a body like Kim. These rules are unspoken but create devastating anxiety and depression within young girls and women every day. They believe they are not worth anything or valued and those beliefs are reinforced all the time with stunts like the one Mrs. K pulled.
What about young boys? What will they think? How will they respond to Mrs. K’s nude photo?
Are we, as parents asking these questions?
Boys’ hearts and minds need to be protected and guided just as much as girls. I have counseled too many 9-12yo boys that have very poor views of women. Boys need to be taught that women, girls are not objects. Boys need to learn that females are not simply to be used for sex. Boys need to learn that sex is something of value and not something you buy out of a vending machine. The danger in Kim K’s actions, are that they will create a generation of men that will expect women to look a certain way, act a certain way and value sex over intimacy.
What can parents do when a celebrity such as Kim K, does what she does?
Parents have 100% responsibility in what their children view just as celebrities have a responsibility to curate an image that is respectable, admirable, an image that children can look up to.The truth is that even if parents took away all social media from their children, there would still be ads, commercials, movies, TV, video games, the internet, books magazines, etc.
That is why I believe it imperative that we protect our children’s hearts and minds. As parents we should be in no rush to grow them up or give them more independence than what’s developmentally appropriate. We need to set realistic standards of beauty, relationships and community, which will only come through modeling.
Parents we must shepherd their boys’ and girls’ hearts for they will turn into men and women that are either respectable and understand the influence of their actions on others’ or that they will always be seeking validation, never be satisfied and willing to do anything just to feel good about themselves.
Children are valuable, protect their hearts.
Love Is a Choice
This post is written from some of my work with married couples. Many spouses will have different reasons for why they got married. One common reason I hear is that they were lonely and didn't want to be alone anymore or they fell in love. Couples will also have reasons for why they got divorced. One reason I hear quite often is that they don’t feel the love in the relationship anymore.
These reasons, while on opposite ends of the marital spectrum, have at least one thing in common, they are based on a feeling. Is it wrong to say, “I feel in love”.
Or to say, “I don’t feel in love anymore”
There is all kinds of research that tells us of the biological effects of being in love. That being said, does it make sense to base your marriage off of a feeling? Feelings are fleeting and can often be misleading.
Love is a choice and should not be simply be reduced to a feeling. Many marital vows include the saying of loving each other in sickness and health till death do us part. That is choice language. Can you imagine if your husband or wife's concept of love was based on a feeling and you had terminal cancer with very few days to live? Dare I say your spouse may not be at your bedside if their "love" was primarily rooted in feeling.
A husband who has a terminally ill wife makes the choice to love her, even if her youth has been taken. He makes the choice to love the intangible, her mind, her personality, her soul, her imperfections In this scenario, the husband has to base his love on choice, not feeling.
How does this topic connect to your marriage?
Being married for any length of time, you are going to have disagreements, arguments, maybe even hate each other. There will be significant temptation to harbor bitterness towards your spouse and get to a place where you don’t feel in love anymore. Your husband or wife is not perfect, nor are you. However, you get to choose to love them despite their short comings. This is every married person’s responsibility, this is not something that can be abdicated or displaced on to the other spouse. A spouse’s decision to love should not be contingent on the other spouse’s actions. You love, because you choose to love, not because you’ll get something in return.
Choose to love, it’ll make all the difference in your marriage.
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