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There has always been evil in the world and there always will be. From the time of Adam and Eve to the present day, evil has manifested itself.

We live in a world when the influences of evil abound. Young people today are confronted with temptations of every kind at earlier and earlier ages. Society will be in very sad shape unless we provide our children and teens with armor to defend themselves.

ESPN ran a very good investigative piece on professional wrestling this past weekend. It was shocking. I haven’t watched that foolishness for many years, so I was not prepared for the level of depravity to which that “entertainment” has descended.

Vulgarities are considered essential to the show, as are sexual expressions. In fact, wrestling shows apparently have regular video portions depicting wrestlers engaging in sexual acts. Wrestling officials said there was no reason to be concerned because just like the wrestling performances, the sexual portion of the show was “just acting.”

Children as young as five were shown on the ESPN report using language they first heard on the wrestling programs. Parents of the children expressed no concern over what their kids were watching or doing.

Numerous schoolteachers and administrators complained to the ESPN crew of extremely frightening behavior by children in school — children who are a very young age.

The five-year-old boy who used sexual terms heard on the wrestling shows was asked on camera if he knew what those terms meant. He gave an accurate description.

So what do we do? Do we ban wrestling? Do we remove it from TV?

Of course not.

Parents are the first line of defense. Children who are taught right from wrong in the home, and at a very early age will be better equipped to avoid such challenges.

Parents need to be good examples to their kids, and they need to teach them about the evils in the world around them. When parents are their children’s best friends, and when children love their parents so much they do not wish to do anything to hurt them, choices are not difficult for children to make.

We play “what if” with our kids. It’s a game in which we describe various situations they may encounter and they tell us how they will deal with that situation. Naturally the circumstances we describe take their ages into consideration, and we try to be realistic about what they may encounter.

If the kids do not answer as we would like, or if they have no answer, we teach them in a loving way what would be the best response and why. When they understand and agree with the choice it become their choice, not something they are being told to do.

When children are prepared, and when they have already decided how they will react to a given situation they do not have to struggle to make a decision when they encounter a problem in the real world.

It’s working.

Recently my 9-year-old son came home from a friend’s house much earlier than planned. I asked him why he was home so soon and he told me his friend was watching a video that wasn’t right so he left.

The reinforcement he received for making a right choice should make it easier the next time.

Unless we teach our children at a young age what is right and what is wrong, unless we instill in them a love for righteousness, and unless they develop a respect for their parents we will find ourselves in a world filled with immorality and evil.

Virtually all evil is based on selfishness. Lust for sexual self-satisfaction, lust for money, and lust for power are all based on selfishness.

These are contrary to the teachings of God.

In the early ’60s we took prayer and the Ten Commandments out of schools. With them we took the basic principles of religious teachings out as well.

Today we are raising a generation of children who have no idea what is right and what is wrong. They have no concept of what it means to be thoughtful, kind, and loving. The concept of service to others never enters their mind.

Instead, young people think only of themselves, and many in society encourage them to continue to do so.

In fact, those of us who cling to traditional values and teach them to our children are looked at as strange.

Unless we return to our roots and bring good old-fashioned values back into style, we are in danger of destruction. Self-destruction.

Kids will be good when they want to be good, not when they are forced to do so. Strong family values, and a strong supportive church will provide the tools to help give our kids the armor they need to fight the dragons of our day.

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