Freedom is defined as “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” We can easily be influenced to think that our nation’s freedoms allow us to do wrong, to be loud, and to infringe on the rights of others. It is important to teach our children that freedom is a gift and it gives us the opportunity to do that which is good, respectful, and right, especially toward others and their property.
Freedom brings individual choices for right or wrong. With the Covid restrictions, we as a culture have experienced the reality of “lost freedoms.” Our children also are exposed to the freedom of others to demand we adhere to their voices even though they are unkind and destructive. We don’t grasp freedom until we lose it. Only the nations who envy America’s freedoms can see their value.
What we can do, however, is raise a generation of children who will use their freedom to do good, to be kind and to not demand their way while considering their impact on others. All of these align with godly living. We can raise children to use their freedom of speech to “not” spew out profanity and gestures that are offensive. We can raise children to use their freedom to “not” destroy the property of others. In Proverbs, Solomon is speaking to his son instructing him to follow his father’s teachings and to take the better path. We can raise children to utilize their freedom in this country to do just that. Proverbs 4:13-15 (NLT):  Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.  Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers.  Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving.
Our contemporary times give us a great opportunity to have conversations with our children for training purposes. Solomon went on in his conversation with his son to say:
 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words.  Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart,Proverbs 4:20-27 (NLT)
 for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.
 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
 Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.
 Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
 Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
 Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
Note in these verses that Solomon says to “guard your heart.” Interpersonal relationships that shape hearts are not formed and nurtured with fingers touching electronics; they are done in person to person conversation and contact. Open up your heart, and be honest with your children. Teach them to care for others. Model for them the choices you want them to make in the best use of our freedoms in this nation.