But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6 (NASB)
I may be wrong, and I have been about so many things in this life, but I think my kids would agree that they had a pretty idyllic childhood. And compared to so many others, I guess I could say the same. I spent most of my summers on the Rappahannock River swimming and going crabbing. Yes, I had more arduous chores than most kids other than Amish would ever dream of nowadays, but my dad did put his foot down that my first job was education, so there were limits even to those. I was never physically or sexually abused. And no, I don’t consider a spanking abuse. I had a few of those, though to be honest, not many. I was a fairly compliant child.
My spring and fall evenings were spent outside swinging or chasing fireflies, or playing tag or baseball with all the kids in the neighborhood. Winter snow meant sleigh riding on the steep hill beside my house. It was the steepest hill anywhere near us, so everyone brought their sleds to join in the fun. It was usually one of the last roads in the county to get scraped, I think.
We had a large (for the time) black and white console TV that sat in the corner of the living room, and most Saturdays were spent (after other chores were done) watching Disney cartoons and westerns like Roy Rogers, My Friend Flicka, and Sky King (while I was doing the week’s washing and ironing, of course). I loved Saturday TV. Did you know that Walt Disney never owned Disney productions? He couldn’t because he had been dishonorably discharged from the army for defacing a jeep by drawing a mouse on it. I’ll bet someone wishes they had that jeep now. It would be worth a mint. He was a man who truly had a heart for children. I think he must be turning over in his grave these days.
The point is, for the most part, I was allowed to be a child. When I married, I was so innocent I was beyond naive. I was completely sexually ignorant. Wade referred to me as the “40 year old virgin” long before there was a movie by that title, and long after I was married and had three children. By that, he meant I still looked at life with the innocence of a child. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I know now that there are some things I should have seen that I didn’t. I think now that innocence was God’s way of protecting me when I was a child and even as an adult. I still don’t like watching movies with foul language or sexually explicit scenes. I know I would rather have that kind of innocence than the premature sensuality that I see most kids developing nowadays because of all the sexual imagery they are being exposed to long before they are ready to handle it. Kids should be kids! They shouldn’t have to be exposed to the garbage adults are pushing on them today. Political agendas should never enter into determining a child’s world other than to establish its safety and security. We must protect our children. It’s our God given responsibility. It’s why He created the family.