The age of innocence

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TAKE a look at that face!

This is the face of innocence—a young boy without guile.

My three-year-old son knows nothing about credit cards, online dating, or paying the mortgage for our Casa Ruffolo Uno home each month.

My three-year-old son, Nicholas Louis, knows only a few things of life: where is the food that is placed in his mouth, the clothes he wears every day, his toys, and where to sleep.

But soon—very soon —the world around him will do its utmost to shape and mold his life into one this writer, husband and father continually dons fashionable cape, eye mask and skin-hugging tights to fight back against.

Dear reader, there is no doubt that we live in a world where evil is good and good is evil.

Take a look at the movies presented by Hollywood, the onslaught of commercialism all around us and the unrelenting filth of rampant violence and sex that would turn a mute into a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

All of this awaits this precious little boy of mine.

Look at the face of innocence.

What can a parent—a father—do to hold back the sands of time and help mold this “pearl of great price” into the righteous man he has every right to become?

Here are some ideas:

1. Families are forever – Be the Dad who prays daily with his children. Never stop praying. Pray before your meals are served at the family table. Pray when you wake up and pray before you go to sleep. Make sure your children are active participants in vocal, individual prayer (nothing ever repeated) and once they are old enough, help them speak to Heavenly Father in quiet, reverent tones as one should speak silently to the creator of all things.

2. Defend your home – Make sure no one and nothing comes into your house that could in anyway be a negative influence to your children.

3. Adios television! – Filipinos are the second-most avid watchers of television in the world, according to a 2016 survey released by Asean DNA. That means at least 21 hours a week sitting in front of the boob tube. For the most part, television programming is rubbish that creates mindless, robotic couch potatoes. Unplug your TV. Better yet, give it away or discard it. Have your children grow up in a world WITHOUT television.

4. Goodbye commercials – Never think the media, in any form, is a substitute for being a parent. If work or social responsibilities require you to be away from your children, find a way to bring them along but never allow even the Disney Channel to replacement for being a Dad!

5. Open a book – At, you will find a world of new ideas to keep your children “intellectually stimulated” by reading. Put a book in the hands of your infant and as they grow, buy more books and constantly praise your children on their nascent reading skills.

6. Family home evening – Make every Monday night ”Family Night”— meaning no internet, no telephone but only time specifically reserved for Mom, Dad and the children.

7. Embrace the Internet – Make the decisions for your children and together watch nature and world programming from the BBC (Planet Earth II rocks!) and National Geographic. You and your children can both learn something new and wondrous about this marvelous world we live in.

Look at the face of innocence.

You can preserve your children’s childhood by never being afraid of talking about Jesus Christ.

Make our Savior the center of your family. Talk of and study the amazing life of Jesus while following the admonition of the Apostle Paul: “From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3–15).

Lead by example. Don’t ever smoke, drink liquor or gamble as your son (or daughter) will mimic everything they see you do. Most importantly, learn how to say NO. It’s okay to say no to cruddy television commercials which dull the senses; no to extreme violence found in PlayStation, Xbox or PC games and never ever allow your children to watch sexually themed movies or adult programming.

Look at the face of innocence.

As a Father, I cannot dunk my son in a vat of liquid amber and preserve him forever as the innocent child he is today. But I can be the leader of my family. I can be a positive example of a husband and father and lead him, guide him and walk beside him every day to grow and become the righteous adult he will be.

All too soon.

Questions, comments or travel suggestions, write me at [email protected]

TAGS: boy, Casa Ruffolo Uno, child, evil, good, innocence, Jesue, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Nicholas Louis, parenting, son, values
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