This morning one of the kids asked "Why do we have to read scriptures every morning"? That launched
a discussion on the protection we get when we are obedient and do the things - like prayer and scripture study - we are asked to do each day. Both mom and dad gave counsel on how we are (I think literally) shielded by those simple acts. I don't think we'll ever know all the times danger has averted itself because we followed through on these two things.
Then we read our normal chapter a day. Miraculously (it NEVER happens) we still had several minutes to spare before the oldest had to leave.
We talked again, to all the kids this time, of that protection given to us by daily prayer and reading the word of God. We asked them if there was a difference between the spirit felt at school vs. our home.
I asked Potter "Do you ever hear swearing at school?" He said "Phhfft. ALL the time".
I asked the next oldest. "Bugs, do you ever hear swearing at school?" He said "Yep".
I pointed out that that was one instance where you can notice a real difference. I told them that we work hard at home to provide an environment where they can feel safe and loved. Their dad said when they leave home we do our best to put a vital armor on them till they get back to us again.
One son was prompted to open up. "Is it bad that sometimes, even though I don't swear, I get the words in my mind sometimes?"
I said that it was perfectly normal, especially for anyone around it during the day. I told him that the more we fill our mind with good things, the easier it is to push out the bad stuff. I pointed out that Rosebud and Princess don't get those things into their mind yet because they don't hear it - and even I (and I started to cry as I realized what I was saying) don't hardly EVER have to be around a morally hostile environment. Through my tears I told Strider and each boy how much I loved and admired them for going out into the world all day, every day, slaying dragons till they come home.
It's rare for me to be in the halls of the jr high or another place where I am painfully reminded how much yuck there is. My husband and kids have to actually use their armor all day long. I am so blessed. I am so humbled.
I remember how hard it is to be a kid. Or do I? I remember the temptations they are faced with. Or do I? Not only do I certainly forget, but man alive, it's gotten terrible out there in my 20 yrs since jr high.
I must rely on my Savior who knows these children and their trials more clearly than I do to let me know how to protect them from evil. How to teach them to shun evil. How to instruct them on ways to fill their hearts with goodness. It's a tough world! I wish I could fight their battles for them. But somehow, some way, I am told they will be stronger for it. I hope so.