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Author Topic: Sowing Seeds of Purity  (Read 1601 times)
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« on: March 20, 2006, 12:29:06 PM »

It is mid-February, and as I gaze at the cold grey sky, I long for the sunshine and new life of spring. Although it is still snowy and cold outside, the numerous celery growers in the area know spring will soon be here and are busy sowing seeds in preparation for another successful year. As I drive by, I notice many cars parked outside the greenhouses; those small plants certainly require a lot of work and care to grow. I am always amazed how such tiny seeds, planted within the shelter of a small plastic structure, soon fill expansive acres with their soft green stalks. While not growing celery, Libby and I are raising children and planting seeds in our small greenhouse we call home.

    This year, as we plan our “planting schedule,” we will continue sowing seeds for purity. It is difficult to grow, I admit, and the crop seems to have fallen out of favor in the market. Nevertheless, in spite of the difficulties (or perhaps because of them), its exceptional beauty and rarity is priceless for those who seek it.

    Purity, like celery, requires a high degree of cultivation to thrive. It does not grow well in the wild, and it certainly cannot be started in the field. Purity seeds are much too fine to survive the coarse soil. We carefully sow in finely screened planting soil and gently water and feed our seeds in our protected greenhouse environment. Even so, weeds can drift into our shelter through open windows and easily chock it out. As a result, we have installed screens to keep noxious movies, television programs, magazines, and internet content out of our fertile soil.

     I know, some may criticize us for being too protective. Some say the weeds are everywhere, and our plants must learn to deal with them. I will be honest with you – we are not a major operation; we only have four young plants and cannot afford to lose even one of them. We will transplant them into the field to compete with weeds once they are well established and strong.

    Since I mentioned screens, please allow me to share with you the ones we have selected. Some folks we know do not even have a television window. We have decided to use a fine screen and weed out the noxious seeds that still manage to slip through. Although we kept the window, we did make it smaller. There are not many worthwhile movies and shows to watch, so the television is not on very frequently. We are very selective with what we rent, and when we do find a movie that is good, we buy it and add it to our small library. I cannot tell you how often we have watched Finding Nemo, but we still enjoy it. We skip past a scene or two in Chicken Run and The Princess Bride, and we all close our eyes in the kissing scenes of The Sound of Music. Some movies really would be fine except for a swear word or two. Since the total universe of acceptable movies is so small, we have decided to install a TV Guardian device to remove the offensive language.

    The internet window can be a gaping hole. Some people decide the potential for damage is too great and do not have this window. Since Turning Hearts Family Ministries is internet based and there are many good services on the web, we do have this portal, but we keep it heavily guarded. I have not found a completely effective filter (if you know of one, please let me know), so our children cannot use the computer unless someone else in the family is with them in the room. Our children are aware of temptation, and have expressed appreciation for this boundary.

    Weeds sometimes enter in unexpected ways. We subscribe to World magazine, and while we appreciate their perspective on the news, noxious seeds sometimes hide in the news photos and album covers accompanying music reviews. We appreciate artistry and have many art books, but we do not wish to study the beauty of every detail of human form. Libby and I use a few Sharpie markers to artistically add cloth where material is lacking.

    Why are we so particular about keeping bad seeds out of our greenhouse? It is because what enters our minds does not pass through, nor is it simply stored. Our hearts are fertile soil, and the seeds that enter take root, grow, and produce fruit. Two years ago, we planted a few pumpkins in our garden, and they proceeded to overrun it; our garden produced more pumpkins than we could use. We did not plant pumpkins last year, but seeds from the previous year’s fruit sprouted, and we had many more plants than before. Being a mathematician at heart, I quickly ran the numbers. If I started with three seeds, I could certainly net 300 seeds after just one year. The second year, those seeds would multiply to 30,000. The third year, I could have 3,000,000 seeds. In the fourth year, I could raise 300,000,000 seeds, enough for every man, woman, and child in the United States. Wow! In the same way, a few seemingly innocent seeds of impurity take root, grow, and bear fruit. Seeds of the fruit take root, and soon choke out the tender shoots of purity.

    As we tend our greenhouse, we cannot simply pull weeds. We must sow seeds of purity. Our oldest son turns 17 in a few months. Our second son and daughter turn 16 and 15 respectively soon afterward, and my youngest son will be 11 in the fall. The tender young shoots are growing fast. About two years ago, our teen group (our three teens and I) read and discussed Josh Harris’s I Kissed Dating Goodbye. Our children really enjoyed spending time together discussing the all-important topic of relationships with the opposite sex. This is definitely one area of life where Mom & Dad must take the lead away from culture. If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it.

    I believe Josh wrote “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” with high school age (and older) readers in mind that probably have had some dating experience. Nevertheless, the book also provides a clear biblical basis not to begin dating, and in this regard, I believe it is unmatched. However, depending on their age and exposure to dating, some of the references may or may not be appropriate for your children. Since none of my children has ever dated and our three teens are within 28 months of each other in age, I was able to edit certain words, sentences, or paragraphs as I read to them and made it perfectly fit their needs as a group.

    I implore you, as parents, to not purchase this book and simply hand it to your son or daughter for two reasons. First, it may not be entirely appropriate for them. Second, you would be missing a superb opportunity to connect with your children. Although he is an outstanding author and I believe in his message, Josh Harris (or a youth pastor, for that matter) should not teach your children about relationships with the opposite sex. That responsibility (and privilege!) lands squarely in the hands of Mom & Dad.

    I recommend “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” but with these qualifications. Read it yourself first, and then set aside an hour or so every week (schedule it, so they know it is a priority) and read it (edited, as appropriate) to your son or daughter. We read one chapter per week. After reading each chapter, discuss the ideas presented with your child, and talk about your thoughts and experiences, as appropriate. A study guide is available – I did not follow it too closely, but I usually could take a few ideas out of it for each week’s discussion. As you teach your children, speak from your heart to theirs, because purity starts in the heart.

    We began sowing seeds of purity this year with Josh’s second book, “Boy Meets Girl.” While our children are determined to avoid dating, they wanted to understand the transition from being single to being married in a God-honoring way. I am reading the book to them (editing it as appropriate) and recounting God’s faithfulness in bringing Libby and me together. It is good to read what others can say so much better than we can AND discuss our own personal life experiences with our children. We will not read the entire book now, as some of it is intended for those ready to be married.

    Purity is not what we wear, whom we hang out with, what we look at, what we watch, or whether or not our children date. For my children, purity is not a legalistic list of rules. Besides, as soon as Mom & Dad are not around, rule-based purity is at risk. Purity is a condition of the heart, nurtured by keeping out bad seeds and planting good.


Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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