Magazines and Parenting

My family and I went to a book store last Monday to buy some supplies. As we were getting ready to pay and line up at the counter, King told me to go to the other one. There was no one in line, so I started to protest. Then I saw, just as he was telling me, the magazine with a pornographic cover. (Here we go again with women being used as tools.) I don’t know what publication it was, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t what they call an “adult magazine.” They’re also prevalent in convenience stores and when the kids are with me, I quickly turn them around so we only see the back cover. It pains me to know that they have seen some of them before. We have grown more aware and alert about these things.

Anyway, I immediately took the girls and motioned for them to go the opposite direction before they noticed the magazine. One counter was closed and there were a few people lined up in the other. Even though it was a tad inconvenient, it was an easy decision to make.

I am so thankful that my husband and I are on the same page when it comes to raising our daughters. We know that we cannot protect them from every evil, disgusting, defiling thing, but we do what we can. My girls are already curious about boys, girls and relationships as it is. We don’t need immodest, obscene pictures of women to pollute their minds.

It’s easy to tell them right now that “it’s not for kids,” but we really don’t want to give them the idea that it’s “okay” to do such things as pose nude or even half-nude when one is an adult. Purity and holiness does not only apply to the young or to certain seasons in life — it applies to all.

We don’t want them to adapt what the world regards as beautiful or cool or good. We hold God’s word as the truth. Their beauty does not depend on their own or others’ idea or depiction of beauty. They are beautiful because they are loved by God. Without God, there is no beauty. Their goodness does not depend on what they do or do not do, or on what other people say or think. They are good only because of the finished work of Jesus. If not for Jesus dying on the cross, taking our sin and giving us His righteousness, no one is good.

Our desire is for our children to live according to the will of God — live their lives to the full, free from the hold of sin, free from condemnation, free from death and the fear of it, free from wanting what the world wants, free to love and serve their Creator, Father, Savior, Lord, Friend, free to love and serve others. This is why we deliberately parent them, teach them, pray for them.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 NIV

For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 1 John 2:16 NLT

WOMAN POWER!

A few months ago, Danae, Noelle and I were going to the mall for Danae’s playgroup. It was a Friday, so there weren’t a lot of cars parked in the open parking lot. I found a good spot, one slot away from the edge, and a short walk away from the mall’s entrance. The car nearest the edge left, so the space on my right was empty. I took out the stroller, placed it on the empty space, piled our stuff in the carrier below, while the girls waited in the car. Because Noelle was asleep, I opted to just lock her car seat onto the stroller, but I couldn’t, for some reason. I was trying to fix it while trying not to wake Noelle. Danae, at that point, was already itching to get down, so I let her stay on the island beside us.

Imagine, it was noon. The sun was hot. I was alone with two kids — one already hurrying me (and could anytime just cross the street & get run over) and the other asleep. I was struggling with the heavy car seat with heavy baby in it and the stroller. Enough on my plate, don’t you think? Apparently not. Out of all the parking spaces available, which was like 3/4 of the whole car park, someone chose the space where we were standing on. They weren’t patiently waiting on the side either. The driver was backing up into the space, the car already a foot away from the stroller. If I didn’t get out of the way to let them park, no other car would be able to pass. Imagine the pressure! Imagine my sweat! I’m the type too, who gets agitated when there are too many things coming at me at the same time.

So I gave in. I placed my sleeping daughter down on the ground, where Danae was, and moved the stroller to the island. I was so busy getting annoyed and trying to fix the stroller so we could go inside already, that I didn’t even bother looking at the driver. But I caught a glimpse when I turned my head. I did not see the face, but I noticed that it was a woman!!! I didn’t have time to process this right away as I had to get the girls to playgroup and one of the moms ran into me and started chatting with me. But when I did, I could not believe a woman did that to me. I would’ve somewhat understood if it was a man, knowing that men might think differently in such situations. I was in utter disbelief, because I know I or my friends would never do that to another woman who is clearly having a difficult time.

I always thought women, especially moms, were more sensitive to women with kids in tow. But this one, this one was different. I could not, for the life of me, understand it…..understand her. And I took this with me for days! I noticed that when I’d remember, I’d feel my heart scrunch up and I’d get all worked up again. A friend of mine even said I should blog about it, but I didn’t want to since it was an isolated case and because I felt like all my blogs are positive. I didn’t want to just rant.

So why am I writing about it? Well, I’m writing because God showed me that I can still believe in womanhood. At the Cagayan de Oro airport last September, I had to change Noelle’s soiled nappy. The janitress told me that there is no water because there was no power at that time. My worst nightmare!!! I didn’t have baby wipes either, which I don’t normally use to clean my babies’ butts because I really prefer washing with soap. A mom who overheard, quickly offered her wipes and gave me some! She was a lifesaver! Wipes were definitely better than waiting and trying to change Noelle in the cramped airplane bathroom. It was a good decision too, because it was pouring outside. Everybody got wet despite umbrellas. My jeans were wet till my knees. Thank God I was wearing Crocs, which I just wiped and it was ready to wear again. It was fairly easy to settle ourselves and the kids in our seats.

When we got off the plane, we had to ride a shuttle to the airport. It was still pouring out. King was carrying his backpack and Danae, I was carrying Noelle, my bag & a plastic bag. We were the last few to get on, so it was full. It was a bit of a struggle, but I was fine standing up with Noelle. A young lady suddenly got up and gave me her seat! There were men there, but it was a woman who thought and acted beyond herself. I told her that I was okay, but she insisted because I had a baby with me.

God showed me that I can still have faith in women, believe in their kindness, their thoughtfulness, their generosity, their sensitivity. Most women are still empathic and helpful. God pleasantly surprised me and reminded me of this. He also taught me that I shouldn’t expect people to be like me or my friends, but be grateful for those who show deliberate or random acts of kindness. 🙂

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