The other day, I discussed the struggle I faced in finding quality reading material for my children. I explained why it’s dangerous to assume that because a book is written for children, it will have appropriate content. Many mainstream novels contain issues that either aren’t suitable for children, or violate God’s standards for living–books targeted at our children.
This world is not our home, and that means sometimes we can’t participate in all the things the world embraces.
Philippians 4:8 tells us to focus our attention on “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable-if anything excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things.” (NIV)
It is essential to our children’s spiritual growth that they read novels written from a Christian world view.
Here are 4 ways that reading a Christian novel is beneficial for our children:
1. The stories contain wholesome content. When we purchase a product labeled “Christian”, we trust it won’t contain anything that contradicts scripture. The more people are exposed to sinful behavior, the more desensitized they become, and soon they begin to believe such behavior is acceptable. Parents can protect their children from this ‘slow fade’, and from losing their innocence too soon, by providing entertainment that discourages sin and edifies God.
2. The characters exhibit integrity. Typically, such stories have protagonists who follow Biblical principles. They don’t ‘make out’ with their boyfriends, lie to their parents, or participate in drug/alcohol parties. Instead, they look to God and His word when they face a problem. When they do sin, they always get caught; they face appropriate consequences, and learn from their mistakes.
3. Our children come away encouraged in their faith. They’re given examples of how the protagonist overcame the odds, and thus believe they can do the same. They feel like they can follow God’s principles despite what the world throws at them. In these days when there are so many ungodly influences fighting for our children’s hearts, they need encouragement to stay strong in their faith.
4. We must support Christian artists. When I was a teen, I asked to borrow some music from my youth pastor and his wife. After they warned me not to copy it, they explained that God had called this musician to make the album. The artist deserved to be compensated for the hard work put into the music. From that moment on, I’ve tried to buy a lot of products from Christian people to show my support. I want my money to go to the people who are attempting to be a light to a lost world.
When choosing a novel, be sure to stick with the idea of moderation. Not all mainstream novels contain material that may conflict with scripture… And not all Christian novels will teach the same values, so it’s important for parents to monitor what their children are reading, no matter who wrote and published the book.
The next time you purchase a novel for your child, consider the Christian market. Support the authors and offer your children an encouraging and uplifting story. I’m confident you can find something your child will enjoy!
Coming soon: Part 3 – Resources for finding books for your children within the Christian market.
Did you miss part one? Click here to read it!
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