"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything.In light of the iPod situation, I've had little snippets of conversation with my big three (14, 13, and 10) this week around this verse. I'd like to say we've had deep discussions, but my kids read those as "LECTURE!" (Picture the big "L" on the forehead!). So I work hard to throw concepts out there, and then judiciously
1 Corinthians 6:12
It's come up not only with music, but with choice of movies. Just because a certain movie is rated an "acceptable" rating (and because all my peers are seeing it) does that mean it's a good one to see? (Remember this post about a movie choice?) It's come up with how we treat each other. Yes, a grunt is an answer, but is it a beneficial one?
I love this verse in The Message:
Just because something is technically legal doesn't mean that it's spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I'd be a slave to my whims.So there's the challenge: Teaching our kids to look beyond what might be permissible, and help them reach for what is right. Permissible means accepting outside limits. This is a good start. We want our kids to accept "because I said so," if necessary. But that's not enough. And especially with teens, "because I said so" tends to breed the exasperation we are instructed to avoid.
But oh, to have them choose right just because it's right - not skating the line of what they can get by with. It's a subtle difference, but a true mark of maturity.
We are obviously in the thick of this process. When I talked with Allie-14 in person about the music download (and as I confiscated the iPod for a while), her response was, "I made a big mistake. It won't happen again."
Maybe it won't...but...most likely it will. Maybe not with music, but perhaps with another decision she's faced with. It gets so discouraging sometimes.
I have to remind myself IT IS A PROCESS, not an event. A process dotted with mistakes and wrong turns along the way. I pray I will see all my kids' mistakes, not as failures (both theirs as kids, and mine as a parent!), but as opportunities to learn. I want them to go beyond what is technically legal, and learn to love what is right.