Folks, summer is upon us. Naturally, the Kanakuk team is thankful when we get to spend the summer pouring into your kids! We promise to give our hearts to develop them into courageous Christian leaders.
First, be aware of what’s in so many movies and programs these days. Even movies rated PG may contain multiple profanities, instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, strong violence, and sexual innuendo which is often explicit. And, movies rated PG-13 tend to be at least twice as violent, profane and explicit. Yet, these are the films that are marketed directly to our children! And little, if any, of that gets edited out when they later air them on TV.
So, before you decide to attend a movie or watch a show, or to let your children do so with their friends, check it out carefully on a website like pluggedin.com. A review service like this one from Focus on the Family will provide the detailed analysis you need to determine if a film or TV program is right for you and your family.
Second, realize how the things they see and hear are affecting your kids. Physiologists tell us that a child’s brain has 1 trillion nerve cells and 1,000 times that many neuron connectors that enable it to absorb 100 million messages every second. This means that every sight, every sound, every touch, every taste, and every experience is recorded and stored for use (good or bad) either immediately or at a later time.
The Bible tells us, “For as [a person] thinks within himself, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7). In other words, we become what we think about. That’s why the apostle Paul instructed us, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
As the computer experts would say, garbage in, garbage out. But fortunately, as the apostle Paul would add, true and honorable stuff in, true and honorable stuff out.
Third, don’t be afraid to say no. Kids can be incredibly persistent when they want to do something. They can wear you down. As I explained in my April newsletter, though, while we parents would like to be a friend to our children, it’s our job as their mom or dad to help them stay pure and to live with no regrets.
This means that if our kids ask to see something that we’ve determined is not good for their spiritual health, we have to be willing to say no. If they trot out the line about “everyone is going to see it,” we have to be willing to say, “not quite everyone.” And, if they persist in asking, we have to persist in sticking to our convictions.
Mind you, I’m not saying this is easy. But when was “easy” ever used to describe good parenting anyway?
Finally, consider asking your family to take the challenge my own family took and enjoyed a few years back. I had become so outraged at one point by what was showing in theaters and on the TV that I offered my kids a fat (for our lifestyle) monthly allowance if they would agree to watch TV just one time per week. Of course, Mom and Dad would abide by the same restriction.
All four children gladly accepted the challenge. We all kept it up—including matinee-loving Mom and sports-loving Dad—for more than a year. We actually found ourselves playing games again in the living room at night, discussing the day’s activities quietly after dinner, and yes, watching the occasional parent-approved movie on video.
What’s more, with the added allowance, the kids learned to better manage, save, and give away their money! It was an all-around great experience for the whole family.
So this summer, moms and dads, let’s be media wise. Let’s make the small effort necessary to understand the things our children want to feed into their minds and hearts. Let’s say no when it’s called for. And, if you’re up for it, try the same media diet the White family enjoyed a few years ago.
We look forward to blessing your kids at Kanakuk and helping them enjoy the time of their lives!