“Dad, can we watch a clip?” came a 6 year old voice, spoken with as much enthusiasm and eye fluttering as possible, and sent on a mission by her three older siblings to suck me in. “Not today,” I replied. I was feeling strong today, you can’t suck me into the media game today kids. Some 20 minutes later, my son walked up to me and said, “Dad remember last week when you were talking about those animals that are really fast?”
“Cheetahs?” I questioned.
“Ya, that’s it! Dad I would like to learn more about them, do you have any books or…clips to help me learn more about them?”
“Oh ya, I saw this sweet clip the other day. Check this out…”
Sucker, these kids are good. They don’t need to be taught how to get what they want not to mention suck me in with them. For I too want to watch those adorable little cheetahs chasing down some sorry antelope bringing it to its knees! It’s not that I like death, but I am fascinated with how God made the world. I could probably watch videos of animals and nature every single day for many hours and never get bored. I love that kind of stuff. And we should, right? Be fascinated with creation? It helps us to fall in love with Jesus more, right?
Ah yes! Justification and over-spiritualization. I have pretty much practiced these two things to exhaustion. My heart is quick to justify feasting on things that are easy, entertaining, take no effort, relaxing etc. But is that the best thing to do? Is it a good use of my time? It’s not like I am looking at anything ‘bad’! But where do we draw the line? What’s the litmus test? HELP!
I have spent a significant amount of time wrestling with this; particularly how do we help our children navigate through this journey of overwhelming media? It’s not like my parents know. I happen to be part of the FIRST generation that has to cross through the journey of media and find healthy boundaries with it. The purpose of this blog is to open up a discussion among those of us who desperately want to honour God with all of our lives. It’s not people who are perfect, or have all of their junk figured out.
But rather those of us who aren’t certain;
not completely clear;
not wanting to completely isolate our children;
nor wanting to fully indulge in all that the media world offers.
So this blog is the challenge to begin a conversation with others, or for those who have already started the talk – to carry it on. And over the next number of weeks I want to write more to help us talk.
But to get the conversation started, I want to propose the first thought. It’s something that I have been forced to evaluate and gauge in my life. I am by no means trying to preach, rather I want to explore this with you – and I would love feedback. Perhaps not answers – but more questions. Please understand that my quest is to find the Truth (Jesus) so He will set me free!
My hypothesis in regards to this topic goes something like this. “I believe that whatever the parents demonstrate and model, the children will most likely live.” TRUE? Or FALSE?
If our goal is to have our children love the NFL – watch NFL.
If it is our desire to have our children love cooking – watch cooking.
If the goal is to help our children have a balanced, healthy media intake – parents ought to model that.
If we want our children to love Jesus – we need to love Jesus.
If we want our children to watch movies with their brains on and not just get sucked in – teach your family how – explore it together, talk about it, evaluate it.
If you want your children to NOT watch evil, demonic, or sexually explicit things – train them how to be wise in their decision making – don’t just say NO or YES! Rather we need to explain it and train them.
The Bible says ‘train up a child in the way they should go, so when they are old they won’t turn from it’. Training means we need to walk with them, teach them, model to them, discuss with them. This generation has been given this task by God – what a joy! Let’s do this together!
My challenge is twofold.
Spend some time talking with Jesus about the goals that He has for you, and your children. Does your media consumption help you move there? Perhaps there needs to be some changes. Perhaps while you were reading this – you already knew what needed to change. 🙂
And second talk to other people in a similar stage in life to see what they are doing. What works and what doesn’t work. Just BE HONEST!!