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« To Grandmother and Granddad’s House We Go!

Is That Appropriate?

By: Donna Martin

We were visiting our son and his family.  I was in the guest room changing my clothes when I heard my 5 year old granddaughter and her friend talking in the hallway.  “That’s not appropriate,” I heard my granddaughter state.  “That’s not appropriate either, and that one is not appropriate.”

“Well, when you get older you may think that one is appropriate,” her friend replied.

Curious, I opened the door and looked out to see what they were talking about.  I saw that they were looking at a catalog of swimsuits.  My granddaughter was pointing out all of the swimsuits that she thought were not appropriate.  I asked her to show me, and I agreed that she had made good decisions.  I assured her that no matter how old she was those swimsuits would still be inappropriate.  I was pleased that my daughter-in-law had begun to teach my granddaughter to make good judgments about things that were and were not appropriate.

Mike and I went to the Cotton Bowl for a fireworks show on the Fourth of July.  We arrived early so that we could enjoy the festivities before the fireworks. We listened to bands and then decided to visit the “Children’s Stage.”  Several young preteens and teens sang a variety of songs - some not really appropriate for their age.  Then the dance performances began.  A large group of young girls ranging in age from about 7 to 13 took the stage dressed in red, white, and blue with ribbons in their hair.  They looked like innocent, well-mannered young ladies.  That is until the dancing began.  Then they began “hip-hopping” across the stage.  I know that their moves took a lot of practice and skill, but the more they danced the more inappropriate their moves became.  Hips were swinging and gyrating in ways that usually only a stripper would move.  Pretty hair began tumbling down as innocent little girls were doing very inappropriate dancing.  It saddened me that their parents allowed them to participate in such inappropriate dancing.

It is important to talk to your children about what is appropriate and to teach them to make good judgments.  Children are bombarded by negative messages on television, movies, and the internet.  These messages are telling them that having sex before marriage is fine, that living together before marriage is acceptable, that underage drinking won’t hurt you, that it is fine to cheat and steal  - just don’t get caught.  The list could go on.  But these things are not appropriate and people who practice these behaviors often end up hurt and empty.

Being a parent is a tough job.   It is often difficult because there are so many parents who let their children do what they please and sometimes parents who do set limits feel they are fighting a battle alone against the world.  But we are not alone.  God says, “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.”  Mark Batterson, the author of The Circle Maker has written a book called Praying Circles Around Your Children.  In this book he describes how we can use scriptures to pray for our children.  Ephesians  5 has verses that I pray for my grandchildren.   I pray this prayer for them, “Dear God, help (names) be imitators of God and live a life of love.  Please do not let there be even a hint of sexual immorality, impurity or greed in their lives; or obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking.  Help them to live as children of light so that others will see Jesus in them.”

There are many other verses that you can pray around your children and grandchildren.  As a couple read the Bible and pray together.  Pray with your children and let them hear you praying Bible verses over them.  Do not be discouraged.  Even when your children rebel or tell you that you are the meanest mother or dad in the world, don’t give up or give in.  Living a life of love and imitating God in your own life will have a more powerful influence in your child’s life than the words you say.  Remember this promise of God, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)  You may not be around “when he is old”, but if you have done all you can do to train your child you can believe that one day, “when he is old” he will remember your faithful prayers.

The Martins are available to present “Happy Together” Marriage Enrichment Events for churches and organizations.  To schedule an event call Michael at 940-735-1515. They are certified “Prepare/Enrich” Facilitators and are available to work with couples on an individual basis using the “Prepare/Enrich Assessment.”  They publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at



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