Don't let the TV disciple your children
A couple days ago, one of my oldest son's approached me. He shared with me that he had overheard his sister use a specific phrasing that he knew was not right. Side note: my kids will often look out for their siblings. Some families may not appreciate this habit, and call it "tattling", but I always try to look at the heart of the child who is sharing. Is he truly looking out for the well being of his sibling, or is he approaching it from a heart of anger or mal- intent? I encourage my children to share with me in all things, and I try to reinforce in them the proper heart of love to approach their siblings well being moving forward, if incorrect.
Back to the story: My son shared with me that he had heard his sister on a recent outing say something that he felt would hurt her. He said "My sister said that when she is stressed, she eats a lot". My son said she then proceeded to stuff her face with snacks she had in front of her, so much so that she actually complained about a stomach ache when she was done. Immediately, I asked my son, "Where did you guys hear something like that from?" And my son called out two movies where that was not only shared, but modeled in the movie. I was seriously upset. A statement like that may not feel like a big deal to some, but it's a big deal to Jesus. He doesn't want my daughter to now BELIEVE what she saw was true, and then actually live it out herself. Jesus doesn't want my daughter to believe any lie, period.
Lies have a yucky habit of growing into more lies, and then try to create webs in our lives that are destructive. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death ( Romans 6:23 ). As a parent, I know that any lying road will only lead my daughter in that direction. But truth leads to life, and an abundant one at that. When I got home I pulled my daughter aside and shared with her what her brother had told me. She confirmed that she had said this. I proceeded to share with her the reason why believing any lie is dangerous. I shared with her that when we feel stressed, anxious, worried, or afraid, the world will model to "help" get rid of the stress, but it only masks the feelings. For example, "Eat some food and all will be better!" But I told her that in the kingdom of God, we have the great privilege of going to God every single time. That He is our Savior, our Rescuer, our Father, and the only One with a true solution to how we are feeling. In fact, being with Him IS the solution to how we are feeling. It doesn't have to be destructive, or even end with a tummy ache. He actually takes our mourning and turns it into dancing, our sorrow into Joy ( Psalms 30:11).
I left the conversation with a renewed thought to really monitor the things my children intake. Both movies that my son had mentioned were not in and of themselves terrible movies. Since our kids were young we have been pretty restrictive on what they watch. But even a seemingly harmless movie, in just one small moment, can convey a message to my kids that ultimately is not ok. It's time as parents that we step up and know what our kids are intaking within our own homes. It's time as parents that we become zealous for holiness in all areas, including what we allow our children to watch. It's easy to think that we don't have to be that strict. But it's not about strictness. It's about holiness. It's about raising a generation that values truth more than they tolerate lies. It's about raising a generation who knows that the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). A generation that longs to bring Jesus the reward of a pure and spotless Bride (Ephesians 5:27).
Do not kid yourselves, parents. We are at war for the lives of our children, and the lives of their entire generation. Let's step up and fight. Let's raise our children to be madly in love with the Person of Truth, Jesus Christ!