When Lindsay was little, we lived in Mount Pleasant, MI. All around town, there were green signs directing you toward one of our largest employers: the casino.
One Sunday, Lindsay was drawing in a notebook during church. She was four, and just learning her letters and sounds. About half way through the sermon, she whispered to me, “Mommy, what did I write?” I looked down and saw Lindsay’s first written word: ‘CASINO’. I was so proud. And so sad.
Sometimes we’re not even aware of the messages our kids are receiving as they ride around town in the back seat. Culture can be so pervasive–especially as the screens in our homes create more and more windows to the world. Does this mean we should buy vans with no windows? Or throw rocks at our TV’s and computers?
No, I believe this means we need to take our role as parents even more seriously. God has ordained that we teach and counsel and train and lead our children in God’s ways. Our little girl wrote the word casino before she even knew what one was. But, when she could understand, Ken and I have explained to her that casinos don’t represent God well because they exploit peoples’ weaknesses. In fact, each ugly billboard and commercial and vulgar song that our little girl comes in contact with is an opportunity to teach her what God is like–how he is different from these things.
When our kids leave home someday, they’ll see all sorts of signs leading to all sorts of entrapments. But hopefully, they’ll also hear their mom and dad’s words ringing in their ears–telling them the way to walk.