Our family loves movie night! On Friday nights when we are at home, odds are we will have a simple supper and sit down in our living room to watch a movie. It’s been a tradition now for 4 or 5 years, and we love it.
We also enjoy going to movies sometimes. While it is expensive, we enjoy making it a special outing. We don’t go see every “kids’ movie” that is produced, because we want a trip to the movies to be special.
Though we watch quite a few movies, have a couple of favorite TV shows on DVD, and enjoy listening to the radio at times, we are very selective in what we let our kids see and hear through the entertainment media.
If they take the Lord’s name in vain? We don’t watch it.
If there is cursing..at all? We don’t watch it.
If there is homosexuality? We don’t watch it.
If there is immodesty? We don’t watch it.
And, yes, there is more on our “don’t watch” list, but I figured you didn’t want to read every possible thing we will not watch.
I sometimes hear parents talk about choosing movies and TV shows and they have very low standards for their children (sometimes, even small children). One reason they often give is this: “I don’t want my kids to be sheltered as to what is really out there.”
Really? That’s our logic?
Now, let me say this: I fully understand that we cannot keep our kids as “kids” forever. Virtually every day I am struck by how quickly they are growing. In fact, as I write this, my “little” boy will be 10 in just a few days, so both of my children will be in double-digits for their ages. They will not be kids forever.
And I want them to know that sin is real and it is out there in the world. We are not trying to hide the fact that people do bad and sinful things. We are not trying to make them think that everyone on the planet goes to church and always speaks properly and always dresses in modest apparel (a trip to a shopping center or high school football game will teach them that that’s not the case).
Two Reasons Why I Feel This Way
But, when it comes to entertainment? Yes, I want to shelter my children. Yes, I like it that way. And here are two reasons why.
First, I want to teach them that just because it is produced for entertainment does not mean that we have to consume it. It is remarkable how many children in Christian homes are experts on virtually every entertainment option that is produced. They have seen all the movies. They watch a constant stream of TV shows. They can name music artists and songs…
…just like people in the world can.
We are not required to be entertained in order to survive! I want to teach them discernment in their entertainment. (By the way, that means I must model that in my own entertainment choices, as well.) Instead of just vegging out in front of whatever is on, I want them to see that there is more to life than just mindlessly consuming whatever is put out there in the world of entertainment.
Second, I want to shelter them because I do not want Hollywood opening the eyes of my children. It is not up to Hollywood to educate my kids. It’s not up to record producers, radio stations, iTunes, DirecTV, or Google, either. It’s up to me!
Christian parents, we have got to quit just giving lip service to saying our children need to be morally pure. We cannot say that and then let the entertainment industry teach them their version of morality. Hollywood’s morals are going to slide further downward over time. We know this.
But since we know that, how can we just let them feed our children more and more rude, crude, vile, and immodest material? Our children, literally, are not ready for what Hollywood feeds them, yet we let them have the minds of our children.
Not this parent! I want to show them what sin is from the Bible, and show them how to stay away from it. I want to be the one to help them begin to think through how to face temptation, not let them see Hollywood’s “just do what feels good” message.
So, yes, they are sheltered when it comes to entertainment. And, yes, I like it that way.
Because it is one way in which I, as a parent, am refusing to abdicate my responsibility to parent.
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. (Psalm 101:3)
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn