The question has been asked of us more than once. I’m not sure it’s my place to answer, but I will say this: “If blood sucking, murdering Vampires are the ‘good guys’, then who are the ‘bad guys’!?? And if main characters are having premarital or adulteress sex – it certainly doesn’t make our list!” It’s not just a bad influence in our kids lives, it’s potentially deadly to their Souls & Spirits…
Friends listen, there are so many things out there that fill our hearts & minds with good & wholesome feelings & ideas that we simply don’t have time to worry about things that are questionable. It’s not about the violence, we watch LOTR frequently. It’s more about the negative spiritual content. Frankly, we just avoid entertainment that doesn’t have a clear line between good/evil. Even Star Wars has a pretty clear line, sure, it gets crossed by more than one character, but the line is still there… Some shows on tv are just blatantly teaching horrible life choices & habits to our families & it’s no wonder that we have so many 14-17 year old mothers in our American high schools, with shows like “16 & Pregnant”! But others try to hide the depravity behind a storyline, like “Desperate Housewives” & “Jersey Shore” – it’s not surprising that divorce rates keep going up… Sit-coms these days often portray the Dad as an idiot & the Mom as the bossy/witch. What a skewed version of how God intended our families to be. Even actual KID shows teach that it’s cool & accepted to disobey parents & ignore all authority, have you ever sat down & thought about it while your kids watch “Zack & Cody”?? – This is nothing new, my generation had their own issues, although not quite as sleazy, there was the original “90210” & others. Do we really need to wonder why kids find it normal to act like adults when the adults in their lives allow them to watch such things? I could say the same about a lot of mainstream music & rap, it can be very degrading towards women & speak poorly about our differences in race & creed… Surely you get the point though. – These characters become our kids role models – when what they really need is a real life role model to model what NOT to allow into their Spirit!
How do we ‘avoid‘ it all? What do we say to our kids? Where do we start? – Well, for starters, we follow a “Family Media Covenant” that all of us have signed & renew it every year. (You can read about it here.) We hold each other accountable with family check-ins. Meaning we discuss a certain CD, movie or concert choice, etc. as a family. Pro’s & Cons. Then in the end, Dad has the final say if we are not in 100% agreement. But usually when it’s talked through, the kids decide exactly how we would… In your search for the good/bad in any given choice, there are many parental guidance websites that can help with excellent reviews of books, movies, tv & music choices. We use “PluggedIn”.
Try to realize it’s not a one-time “cleaning house”, but an ongoing process for your whole lives. The goal is to ask God what HE would have you see, read, hear & then follow His will for your life. He always wants the best for you & will always protect you if you let Him! For us, the family talks help to keep everyone balanced. We don’t want to become legalistic & cause ourselves to much stress over it, but we DO want to remain under God’s protection! Our kids often surprise us by asking tough questions about what WE read or watch, by helping them understand how we got to our decision, they learn how to get to one for themselves.
One year, Harry Potter was a long discussion that we all learned from. It will likely be revisited soon, as our younger boys are older & may become interested. We want them to think it through & know that they are all different. One might need to be older for a certain level of violent content, one might not. One might not be able to handle discerning good/bad behavior in a character & not need to see that show, while another might not have the same problem. It’s crucial for kids to learn their OWN habits, strengths & weaknesses. One day, we parents will not be there & they need to have the tools to make wise choices on their own! We teach our kids to choose what they allow IN their eyes/ears by the guidelines in the bible. While they are still learning, it is our job to protect them… Evil IS real & it can be harmful to our Soul/Spirit when we allow it to enter our mind/heart through our eyes/ears. We also show our kids how they can see these effects in each others lives… We use this verse as our measuring stick:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8
Important Note: Scientists have proven that people, males esp. are very visual & that images can last in their mind for their entire lives, these images can pop up into their consciousness at any time w/o desire or warning. This is why God teaches us to guard our hearts & allow the Holy Spirit to transform our minds to be like the mind of Christ which is Holy & Pure = protected from evil.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” -Proverbs 4:23
No matter what country you live in or what age you are, there will always be people in this world that want to have you join in their folly. Often that leads to dangerous situations & leaves lasting scars on your heart & in your life. We know it can be a challenge to be different & say “NO” when everyone else seems to think it’s all so great… But we’ve always found something better in choosing to protect our heart/mind while following God instead of the crowd. That something is peace of mind. Literally, no fear, no bondage, no nightmares, no anxiety… just peace. It’s our prayer that all of you would have that peace today!
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” -Romans 12:2
Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see.
Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see.
There’s a Father up above, looking down in tender love,
So be careful little eyes, what you see.
Be careful little ears what you hear
Be careful little mouth what you say…
Be careful little hands, what you touch…
Be careful little feet, where you go…
Other helpful verses:
James 4:7, Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 119: 9-16