Updated: Apr 2
Hello Visionaries! I wasn't sure what to post, but I felt prompted to repost a blog post from when I first started blogging over here, an edited version, of course, but I thought you guys might enjoy it. As we come into the Christmas season and the New Year, bear with me. The posting schedule might be a little inconsistent for a bit before I get everything figured out, I also might drop to one post a week, we'll see. Anyway, here is the post for this week!
As an avid reader, I know this to be true. A chapter in a book can determine the way I think for hours, if not days. Stories can arouse questions about ourselves that we don't quite know how to answer. They can build us up until we feel like we can do anything or tear us down until we feel like we're nothing but dirt. They can scare us and inspire us! They can move us and bore us. Stories can make us weep and make us laugh. That is why it's important to watch what we read.
Books are important because they teach us many things. Like anything, there are two sides to every story, and we need to make sure we know what we are reading. I recently downloaded an audiobook for my two younger sisters and me, it was about dragons, but I won't mention the title. It sounded interesting, and it was at first. But it was a good story that quickly went wrong simply because it had a lot of gory details that added nothing to the story. This was a middle-grade fiction book made for children.
Children are the most vulnerable to be lead astray by a story. To children, it is not just a story it is a way to learn. Not about things you learn about at school, but about how they should act, how they should conduct themselves, and how they should treat others. If the main character in a story is performing dark magic, worshipping idols, or even just being rude and sarcastic most of the time without being corrected, then what does that tell a child?
Children are easily led astray because they don't know any better, but it is our job as Christians and parents to protect their bodies, minds, and souls. I'm not saying that we should go to our local bookstores and vandalize all the books we deem inappropriate for children. I'm saying that we need to be mindful of what we let our children read. Until I was about fourteen, my dad always helped me pick out, or picked out, the authors I read. I would usually pick out my own books from certain authors.
Many times, my dad would come home from work to find me sitting somewhere with my nose stuck in a book, and he would almost always ask what I was reading. If he didn't recognize the title, he would ask me what it was about and who wrote it, and I would tell him because I knew he really cared and wanted to know. Sometimes on weekends or in the evenings, when I saw him reading, I would go over and ask him the same thing, and he would very patiently explain what he was reading to me. It didn't matter to him that I was probably too young to understand most of the theology books he read or that I probably didn't really care for a flower guide to Colorado. The fact was that he paused what he was doing and took the time to tell me what he was reading instead of brushing me off with, you wouldn't be interested, or you're too young to understand.
We usually underestimate what a child can understand, and sometimes it's not about whether they understand or not. It's about taking the time. Taking the time to know what your child is reading and letting them know that you're not setting one set of rules for them and another set for you. My dad never did that, now, there were certain autobiographies that he made clear could only be read when I was older, but that is different. It's not like he was telling me I couldn't read The Hunger Games and then going behind me and reading them. Or saying I couldn't read horror books than reading them himself. We should never double-cross our children like that. Personally, when I am reading fiction (notice I said fiction here), if I wouldn't let a kid read it, then I don't read it myself. Generally, I follow this same rule in all genres, even though there are a few missionary autobiographies that I think need to be saved for older audiences.
Now I'm not saying that we should lock our children away with only the Bible and Pilgrim's Progress to read, though that may not be a bad idea, especially in this day and time. I'm saying we should go the extra mile. We should make sure we know what our kids are reading, and we should give them good books to read. Stories that teach them how to be better versions of themselves, to be selfless and fearless, and how they should treat others. Stories that teach them that we are not alone that show them how to love like God loves them!
Not only that, we who can write should strive to write stories that will awaken these desires in not only our own children but in other children as well. As the rabbits in one of my favorite children's book series, called The Green Ember Series, work for the Mended Wood, we should work for the Mended Wood of books. I'm calling you to arm yourselves with words, pens, keyboards, or whatever you use best. I'm calling you to fight for the hearts of our children. Because stories are powerful, and we need more that speak of good things.
We need more books that sing echoes of the Mended Wood! We need books that speak to the heart and right the senses, not wrong them. We need books of hope! We need an army of writers armed with the truth! We need Writers that Inspire! Writers who are willing to swim against the current of our modern world to write something worthwhile, who are willing to write stories that will hopefully spark a fire of thoughts in their reader's minds. Writers who can write a story that gives us something to think about long after the book is put back on the shelf. We need books that build people up and inspire them to do more!
So, will you take up your pen with me and join the fight?
Are you willing to swim against the current of our modern culture?
Will you help me inspire the world?
Will you help me write stories that are powerful?
I would ask more questions, but I think I asked them all! As for other news, the sprinting section is up and running, and I added a platform and publishing section for those sorts of questions too! If you think of a section I should add, let me know!
So, will you write stories that are powerful in the name of the Lord?
Keep reading, keep writing, and keep dreaming!