Children and Parents
#GODLYparents don’t allow their children to be prostituted in beauty pageants, dance teams or cheer squads.
1Ti 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
To some degree, I can understand when a lost person allows his daughter to be a cheerleader, on a dance team or in a beauty pageant. They look at their daughter, and see someone they are proud of. After all, every child is a beautiful child, and my daughter is more beautiful than yours. However, to extend that pride to the point of allowing your child to be put on exhibition is an act of sheer perversion. To normalize the exhibition of children illustrates the depth to which our society has sank. Jesus warned that it was better that a millstone be placed around your neck and you be cast into the depths of the sea than for you to offend one of His little ones. To place these children on exhibition in such a way is damaging to them on many different levels.
First, we must consider the child’s self-esteem. A child is not equipped to process the difference between real beauty or talent and something which is painted on them. The child believes that beauty and talent are measured by the number of trophies on their parent’s mantle. How sad. The child is pushed by her parents to do more, to work harder, to push on in these competitions to the point that her entire identity, her entire life revolves around the competition. Where will she be when she is twenty-five and too old for the competition? Will she wake up and decide that she has no value? If there is no competition to win, is the girl worthless?
Pr 6:16-17a These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look…
Second, we must consider God’s opinion of pride. It is the first on a list of things which God hates. God declares it to be an abomination. I wonder if God, looking through time, saw some mother forcing her child to practice one more cheer routine when He inspired this verse. Do you get where God places pride? On this list of seven abominations, we do not see adultery, fornication or sodomy. The first on the list is PRIDE.
We could spend time discussing modesty. Ultimately the cheerleader or beauty queen is all about saying look at me. More than the “look at me” aspect, these children are often forced into clothing fit only for a harlot. What is our world’s response to this? Thousands of people will pay to watch these exhibitions of children dressed in the attire of a harlot.
We could spend time looking at the physical torture these kids endure in practice and primping for these contests, but it speaks for itself.
We could discuss the effect of contests, pageants and the like on church attendance. Which is more important?
What about the key verse I mentioned above? Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems as though the children involved in these activities have parents, a mother, who wanted to do these things as a child but could not. Is she torturing her child, teaching her child that physical beauty and talent are all that is important because she is vicariously living her childhood dreams through her daughter? Does that mother despise her own youth?
#GODLYparents teach their children (and teens) that GODLY, Bible-based standards do not change as the world changes (even if big-names colleges and camps back up on the Word of God).
If we are really honest with ourselves, we know that God never changes. Of course, we know God cannot lie, and that the Bible is God’s Word. With that in mind, what does God have to say about Himself:
Psalms 102:26-27 They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
Psalms 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
The psalmist speaking to God proclaims that God will never change! God, His standards and, as we will see, never change. We can assume God, who is also perfect, was perfect from the beginning and that His opinions were perfect from the beginning. Ultimately, it does not matter what we think, it is God’s opinion which matters.
Knowing that God and God’s Word are both perfect, what should we do with God’s Word?
2 Tim 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The Word of God is perfect for us for all matters of doctrine: we can look to the Word of God to determine what we should believe about, well, everything.
The Word of God is perfect for us for all matters of practice: the Bible is there to teach us (and our children) how we should act. If we are concerned about whether some action is right or wrong, we can look to the Bible. Want to know if you should vacation on the beach with a bunch of naked people? Look to the Word of God. Want to know if you should drink alcohol? Look to the Bible. Want to know if you should have a physical relationship before you are married? Look to the Bible!
The Word of God is perfect for us for correction: When we do something wrong, the Bible is there to show us what we did wrong and even why it is wrong.
The Word of God is perfect for us for instruction in righteousness: When we are seriously seeking a relationship with God, the Bible is there to help us grow closer to God and be conformed into His image.