by Lisa Lloyd
We came upon a lingerie store with a gargantuan poster of a busty bra model.
I tried to distract him by pointing out the Lego store right around the corner. But he ran over to the poster and stood underneath the “angelic” woman. His eyes told me “heaven” was right here.
I watched as chuckling adults passed him by. They laughed and said to each other how “cute” this was. But it was far from cute to me. I was embarrassed, and all I wanted to do was pick him up, ignore what was happening and find a cookie counter to distract him. But what I had in front of me, in addition to a boy drooling over beauty, was a teachable moment. Despite my desire to run, I decided to engage. I walked over, passing the snickering mall-goers, and stood by my son. “She’s beautiful isn’t she, buddy?”
“Yeah, Mom. Ohhh yeah.” His eyes stayed glued on the image.
Good grief. I knelt next to him and continued.
“As you grow, there are going to be many women you’ll see who will model like this. They will be everywhere—on TV, on billboards, and in the mall. As a man, you will be drawn to want to look at them. But you have the opportunity to not only protect your mind from the forever stamp of this image, but you also have the chance to show her respect when you turn your head or close your eyes. And when you do this, you are telling her you don’t have to look at her like that to see her beauty. Because women are beautiful because God made them, not because they show their skin.”
It’s times like these when God reminds us that our jobs, whether parents or guardians or grandparents, is to help shape and mold our kids’ characters. Because kids with character can change the world—or at least their little corner of it. We can empower them to impact their communities, neighborhoods, workplaces and families—no matter their age or ours. All for the glory of God.
A couple days later, we were at home watching TV, when a commercial came on, advertising an outdoor water toy. A little girl, who couldn’t have been more than six years old, was wearing a bikini and splashing in the water. Deuce immediately put his hands over his eyes, almost at attention. When he could hear that the commercial was over, he dropped his hands, looked at me with his toothless grin, and gave me two thumbs up.
I can’t protect my kids from every negative influence, or person, or image, but I can embrace teachable moments to help my kids become the men I’ve envisioned them becoming. Men who love God with everything in them. Who choose Jesus at every turn. Who are willing to be made fun of, who are willing to be persecuted, who are willing to risk it all to live for the fame of God’s name. It’s not the church’s responsibility to help my kids become this. It’s my responsibility, the parent. God tells us so.
In Deuteronomy 6, Moses commands parents, guardians, and all of the believing community to teach our kids to love God with everything in them. But his first command was to the adults.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. —Deuteronomy 6:4-6, NIV (author’s emphasis)
Moses knew the Israelite were headed to the Promised Land, where they would encounter enemies of God. The Israelite were God’s people, chosen to reflect His image to the entire world. So they couldn’t follow what the world followed and love what the world loved: possessions, money, sex, the elevation of self, to name a few. So God had to be their number one, or they would forget Him and become like everyone else.
Do we deeply love God with all our heart, soul, and strength? Do we value what He does? As broken people, we won’t always. And we will often choose ourselves over God. But in our heart of hearts, are our intentions and endeavors reflective of loving God more than anything else? This, I believe, is what loving God with all our heart, soul, and strength looks like.
God continues—These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. —Deuteronomy 6:6-7, NIV
The purpose of parenting is not my happiness. It’s not my comfort. It’s not passing along traditions that I grew up with or making sure my kid is happy. If we want a kid who’s going to choose God at every turn, these temporary things can’t be our focus.
The purpose of parenting, and therefore my job as a mom, is to partner with God to shape the spiritual trajectory of my kids’ lives, so that they leave my home bent on making God famous.
Lisa Lloyd is a speaker, emcee, actor, and writer. Since receiving her bachelor of fine arts in theater from Southern Methodist University, Lisa has been featured in many major performance mediums. Her television credits include What Would You Do? and Prison Break. You may see her on television commercials, highway billboards, or TV screens at the local airport. She has performed with many theaters, including the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and the Dallas Theater Center. She is a highly sought-after speaker at women’s retreats, conferences, and events across the country. She and her husband Markus live in McKinney, Texas, and have two boys.
Excerpted from Chasing Famous by Lisa Lloyd. ©2017 New Hope Publishers.