Tuesday, October 2

A brief respite, in the van yesterday, running quickly to a fabric store by myself, switching from radio station to radio station, enjoying the unusually quite empty back seats. A small town Christian radio station crackled in for a brief minute, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," I heard a woman say. I flicked the radio off as I pulled into the parking lot and parked the van at my intended location.
There were several tables full of fabric marked down to $2 and while I sifted through, that particular verse being mulled over in my head. The store was quiet, only one other shopper besides myself.

I recently read the beautiful blog of a woman who, from what I gather, lived a Plain life for most of her life. She saw a commercial for a crime show and realized that there were heinous crimes that she didn't even know existed. She questioned her husband, wondering if one can ever regain their innocence.

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This clip I had read and the scripture coincided in my thoughts. I don't think corruption by the world in avoidable or that seclusion away from society is the right answer. Friends who were Mennonite just moved away from our cabin up north, their seven children having never even been into the nearest small town and our family being the oddities that stopped by every once in a while.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." How do we maintain a pure heart in a corrupt world? What is it that clouds our vision and view of God? I want my children to see God. I don't want them growing up skeptical and disillusioned.

I remember reading a story about a Mom who took her children to a big city for a special trip and gave her daughter $2 to spend. Much to this Christian mother's chagrin, the daughter skipped around joyfully, handing out the money to the homeless she saw on the city streets. It was a spiritual lesson for the mother on how skepticism had stopped her compassion.

We need to guard our hearts. Things like skepticism, fear, complacency, sarcasm - the confident languages of society- blind our spiritual eyes. Having a repentant heart helps me. I heard a preacher (a very humble one) say once that he repented at the end of every day, after running through his thoughts and actions. It convicted me because I was never a repentant person before God. Somehow I thought that once I repented for my sin and became a Christian, that was that. No more repentance necessary. Asking forgiveness of my children when I've wronged them hopefully makes it easier for the cycle of repentance and forgiveness to become natural for them. Humility will keep us pure in heart.

I'm interested in knowing, how do you maintain a pure heart in a corrupt world or attempt to teach your children to keep a pure heart? Please share.


Rebecca said...

I think what you mentioned about the "crime show commercial" is a good point. Keeping the TV off does much to preserve innocence. Even a "good" children's show has commercials full of junk. And I find that even for myself, the more you are exposed to, the more you are comfortable with. I watched a popular sci-fi series last night with my husband after not watching any dvd's for ages. I was appalled at the violence - which really was not very violent at all and not gory at all. So keeping tv, dvd's and video games to nothing or bare minimum is sure to be helpful in preserving our children's innocence.

Beyond that, I think the question to me is how to protect while still preserving innocence. You can't deny statistics that 1 in every 3-4 girls are molested and 90% of them by someone they know and trust. Even preschoolers nowadays are taught "good touch" vs "bad touch". How sad that our children have to leave the pure world of innocence so quickly! Even sadder that so many people are deceptively untrustworthy! Saddest yet that church statistics aren't much if any better than the world's. So how do you keep children innocent and pure of heart and mind in that kind of reality?

For us, part of preserving our child's innocence, is protecting her so she doesn't have to be equipped with the sad facts necessary to protect herself. No need to know about good vs bad touch and more if your child is always with you or a few undoubtedly trustworthy others. I don't understand friends of mine who will go to a sale and drop off their kids with childcare workers they have never even met!

Keeping all the "bad" out of kids minds isn't enough IMO. If we are going to help them be pure then we need to fill their minds with good and beautiful things too - scripture, awareness of God, learning to abide in Him, beautiful images from His creation etc. I just posted on some of this on my blog.

Me said...

Thanks Becky!

Kit said...

Hi, Hannah. I've never commented before, but I do check your blog pretty often. I really like what you said about repentance. I think that "repent and believe" sums up the Christian experience, not just at our conversion, but all through our lives, as God works sanctification in us. I think that repenting and believing the gospel - and by gospel, I mean the good news that not only does Jesus forgive us our sins but actually GIVES US His righteousness, so that we look like Jesus to God - should be our very breath, as believers. As a mama of four myself, I find myself needing to repent quite often during the day, for LOTS of things (impatience, anger, a sharp word, worry, anxiety, to name a few). It is such a relief to come to the foot of the cross, even in just a minute's prayer, leave my sin there, and again believe God's deep love for me! I've heard it put this way...that my sin is much worse than I think it is, but that the Lord loves me exceedingly more than I could ever dare to hope!
As far as my children are concerned, we try to do the things already mentioned (limited "screen time" of any kind, etc.). As the above commenter noted, we need to fill them up with "good stuff". But the only way for me to live honestly before my children (and everyone else!!) is not to downplay my sin (children see right through hypocrisy anyway!), but to confess it, repent, let them see that Mama NEEDS Jesus in a bad way, and to come alongside them as they, too, are confronted with their sin, and come to the cross together. Lord have mercy!

Me said...

Katherine, thank you so much for commenting! I love what you had to say about children seeing our hypocrasy. So true. They are smart! One thing that I try to be conscientious about is the way I refer to, speak to, and treat my husband in their presence. I know that my daughter's view of men and my sons view of women is shaped mostly by the way their Papa and I treat each other.
thanks again for de-blurking!

Kimmie said...

What a beautiful post-I am sure that simple preacher must be a powerful tool in the hand of our Father.

Father-Give us hearts that are soft in your hands Lord, Help us to keep our eyes on you as we walk through this troubled world, help us to see trouble and introduce your Life into it. Give us boldness where there is fear, give us strength where we have weakness, give us wisdom that only comes from you so that we may be ready to do ask you ask us. In Jesus' name amen.

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Christina.B said...

Great post!