There is so much in the world to divert our children's attention away from the things of God, and the Devil will come to each child with his agenda and plan to see if they will buy into it. But when we do our part to teach, instruct, discipline, and train our children in the ways of God, then our children will develop a hunger for the things of God.
This is challenging, convicting, and a little puzzling. How do you know for sure if your child is just being a five-year-old and getting really excited about a new passion in life (Star Wars and the Stars Wars Lego game on XBox360) or if the enemy is presenting a temptation to your child to keep her away from the things of God? We don't let Alyssa play video games every day. She plays on the weekend and for a limited amount of time. And, we try to keep her changing the games so it's not always the same one. We read the Bible together as a family. We pray together. We talk about the things of God throughout the day. Still, Stars Wars and that Star Wars Lego game seem to be on Alyssa's mind A LOT! She loves talking about Star Wars, acting it out in the car, playing the game when she's allowed, and now wants to find books at the library about...you guessed it...Star Wars.
So here's the dilemma...do we again shorten the time she's allowed to play? Do we take it away altogether for fear that it's becoming an obsession? Or do we keep on as we have been; allowing her to play for a limited time on the weekends only while making sure she's getting outside to play, ride her bike, etc.? My fear, if we take the game away completely, is that we'd be setting her up to resent us in later years. I mean, we can't remove everything she seems to have a passion for in life that's outside the "Christian Bubble", can we? What if the obsession becomes gymnastics, dance, or horse riding? Am I only afraid of this particular phase because it has to do with so often demonized video game industry?
Another question that comes to mind is, can we use this current interest to draw her nearer to God? We've already talked with her about how "The Force" is a mythical thing but that we, as followers of Jesus, do have a "force" within us that is called the Holy Spirit. A force that guides us to make the right choices and allows us to know more of God. We've talked about how God talks to her through His spirit, helping her make decisions in tough situations, like choosing to stay in bed during nap time even if Mommy's sleeping in the next room and won't hear her walking around.
I feel like we're doing a decent job exposing Alyssa to the things of God every day. But, I don't want to ignore an area that could potentially draw her away from those very things. This is where the hard stuff begins, I do believe.
So, what do you think? Have you faced a similar issue? How did you handle it? And, how do you help your child(ren) develop a hunger for the things of God?