[Ralphie is visiting Santa at the department store, only he is so nervous he misses his moment]
Santa Claus: How about a nice football?
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Football? Football? What’s a football? With unconscious will my voice squeaked out ‘football’.
Santa Claus: Okay, get him out of here.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] A football? Oh no, what was I doing? Wake up, Stupid! Wake up!
Ralphie: [Ralphie is shoved down the slide, but he stops himself and climbs back up] No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
Santa Claus: You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.

If you haven’t guessed I like Christmas movies.

Each year we buy a new movie.  We have quite a collection.

Our favorite is “The Christmas Story.” It’s about a boy wanting a Red Rider  B.B. gun for Christmas and dropping hints to everyone he thinks will listen.

When he would blatantly tell someone what he wanted he would get the same reply “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The poor kid.

Now my boys love this movie for one reason, a gun is involved.  It’s dangerous and you can shoot stuff.  Something about guys and world domination.  The boys are excellent shots because their dad (Dave) has taught them just about everything he knows.

Last year I was away at a conference my husband texted me a photo of Severyn showing off at the shooting range.  He shot a smiley face into the target, Dad was proud.

Now some moms would get hysterical if their boys were shooting guns, and some has even chided me for allowing it. My reply is I trust Dave, better him showing the boys than me. He is also developing the heart holding the gun.(We got to let the Dads be the Dads) It’s not the gun that’s dangereous it’s the person pulling the trigger.

Like the characters in the movie, we discourage the next generation with our own brand of “You’ll shoot your eye out.”  They start talking about patience, obedience and even missions and we say things like “be careful what  you pray for” or “that’s a dangerous prayer.”

If it was up to some of the characters in the movie poor Ralphie would never get the gun. We do that too. We sometimes are afraid their prophetic voice will miss it’s mark, or they will teach the wrong thing so we don’t give them the opportunity to exercise their gift.

It’s not up to us to teach them what to think, it’s up to us to teach them how to think.  We are to teach them to  renew their minds in the Word themselves, not do it for them.

When raising up the next generation it’s about their character and heart behind the gifts.  The gifts without strength in heart is dangerous.  However, not letting them operate in the gifts is just as bad.  If you have a teacher on your hands, give them the podium.  If you have an administrator, give them the clipboard.

Q4U: How else do we hold back the next generation?