Cole and I went for a drive in my truck the other day. It was in the morning and as we got out on the road, Cole started fussing. I looked over to see him squinting his eyes and turning his head to the side.
The sun was still low in the sky and the light was shining directly in his eyes. I reached over and pulled the visor down, but his car seat was too low to do any good.
So driving with one hand, I reached over and held my hand mid-air about 6 inches or so in front of his face. My hand cast a shadow, protecting his eyes from the bright sunlight and he was able to enjoy the rest of the ride without having to duck his head or squeeze his eyes shut.
Parents have to protect the eyes of their children. Not just from the sun, but from other things that are just as (if not more) harmful.
Television, movies, Internet — there’s a lot of smut and violence out there that can and will affect our children if we let it.
When I was a teenager I used to argue this point. “I can watch violent movies and play violent video games and they don’t affect me,” I would say. I truly believed that. But now that I’m an adult, I realize that they did affect me. And as a father, I don’t want to give those things even half a chance to affect my children.
King David knows the danger of not protecting your eyes (2 Samuel 11). When he was up on the roof of his palace and saw Bathsheba bathing, his lust for her caused him to do several very stupid (and evil) things.
David’s actions had far-reaching consequences not only for him and Bathsheba, but also for David’s family, Bathsheba’s family and the people of Israel. Yet the most detrimental effect it had was on David’s relationship with God. All of these ill effects could have been avoided if David had only protected his eyes.
Several years ago I read an interview with the comedian, Sinbad. The son of a preacher, he’d made it big in stand-up comedy and movies. The interviewer raised the topic of the Internet and Sinbad said that with all the evil content out there on the Internet, he would not allow his children to get on the computer unless he was sitting right there next to them.
That may sound extreme to some, but Sinbad knew the importance of protecting his children’s eyes. Besides, can any attempt to protect our children’s eyes (or our own) be considered extreme?
Ask King David.
Parrish Myers is pastor of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville. His column runs every other week in Sunday Life.