"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8
This should be the verse that everything we, as Christian, do is measured by. Some things are easy to decide on. Others not so much.
Here lately God has really been working on my heart concerning my life and the raising of the gifts that He has given me. It's led to many talks with my husband who has slowly been changed, too.
Our kids watch a lot of TV. Sometimes, too much TV. Most of the time the TV is on for a little bit in the morning, while everybody wakes up and then again in the evening or at bedtime. Often, they are allowed to watch TV in their rooms during quiet time. We only have satellite in one room, the living room, the kids only have a DVD player and TV in theirs. I know, some of you just fainted over how much my kids watch, but... they are typically very active, busy kids during the rest of the day. Honestly, that's an area that I want to change and look forward to our TV/Media Fast in a week or so.
The thing is though, we've switched how we view modesty. We've switched our idea of appropriate clothes. We've grown to understand that it's more of a heart issue and not just a clothing issue. We've realized that our desire isn't to wear (or not wear) certain items, but it's to be closer to God. When we set ourselves aside, our desires, our thoughts, and simply focused on God and what He wants life falls into line.
But how does that measure up with the television?
We're really particular about language. I don't want my kids hearing any cussing. Unfortunately, the levels have been lowered and slips of a bad word come out just about anywhere!
I dislike commercials with a passion!
I dislike the Disney channel almost as much, if not more! I especially don't like the singing commercials on the Disney channel. Why is it okay for kids to sing about being in love, boyfriends, girlfriends, and dancing like they do???
I don't care for children disrespecting their parents- or other grown up.
I'm not going to list shows/movies that we do allow, because it doesn't matter. It's like modesty, what might be modest for you might not be modest for me. What I might deem okay for my kids, might not be okay for your kids.
Do you check the rating for the show or movie you or your kids want to watch?
Do you read reviews for the movie before you watch it? I really like checking with Dove, we don't always agree, but they are good about listing things like curse words, cleavage shown, etc...
Recently, we went through our own movie stack- getting ready for a yard sale- and weeded through them. Here's what we did.
Step #1: Divided the movies based upon ratings. The G rated movies went in one stack, the PG rated movies went in another.
Step #2: Since we were weeding for a yard sale, I asked the kids about each movie and if it skipped or they didn't want it anymore (they had outgrown some movies!) it was put in a separate pile.
Step #3: I went through the movies and pulled out any movies that were ok, except for a few more crude parts. Maybe there was a character in a bath towel and while they were COMPLETELY decent, my kids laughed and giggled every single time it was shown. Or perhaps some of their habits were less than desirable- burping? A little too much of stupidity? I put those movies in a separate pile, where we can still watch them, but not an all the time thing. Are my kids the only kids that will watch the same thing over and over?
Step #4: Daddy went through them. This was crucial. My kids sometimes think that I'm in charge because I'm the one home with them most of the time. They don't know how much I just follow Daddy's plans, so by them seeing him active in this process it showed them how big of a role he does play. And how, ultimately, he is in charge! Daddy pulled questionable movies and we, as a family, discussed them. Some were placed back in the okay stack while others went to the garage sale pile. I have to say, I'm so proud of my family. We made decisions based upon how modest the characters were, did they have young love stories, was there magic and if there was magic- how was it done?
Like I said, I won't list our ok movies or not ok movies. What's important though is are we following God's direction for us in every area of our life? Are we watching movies just because? Are we careful about what scenes our children watch?
I'll be honest. Some of the movies we got rid of were movies I had previously thought were okay. It wasn't anything real bad. Maybe it was kind of cute. Now, however, I'm rethinking even that!
It isn't a change just for parents. Most of the recent TV series that are on have scantily clad men and women (Survivor?), language and rudeness (Celebrity Apprentice?), homosexuals (Grey's Anatomy?), story lines on abortion, gender identity disorder (Private Practice?), and I'm sure you can name some shows too.
I don't have all the answers, I really don't. God does though. Don't become too stuck on what you've previously thought that you miss when God changes your heart. Just something to think about this weekend.
How do you handle choosing what to watch on television? Do you have a TV or are you a movies-only family? Are you a little lenient when it comes to language and certain TV scenes or are you "extreme"?
I am sheltering my kids, but I am okay with that! They will be introduced into worldly ways soon enough. I don't plan on keeping them from it forever, but it is my job to guard them now.