Some of my Facebook friends (and friends of friends) and I had/are having a great discussion on TV/movies and where to draw lines for our children/families. It has provoked me to think about how we make decisions for our family.
As far as movies go, we tend to take it on a movie/by/movie basis. I’d rather our oldest watch some R rated movies about WW2 than a “sexy” PG movie. I’d rather them watch some PG-13 movie than a Shrek-type movie because they pick up all that potty mouth humor that I hate… and boy does it stick. We watched “The Conspirator” the other day as a family (it is historical movie about the assassination of Lincoln) It had a hangin’ and some violence and “mild” cursing. We watched “King’s Speech” as a family (we FFed through the scenes with the “f” word). GREAT movie. I’d rather that than a tacky, potty mouth filled “cartoon.” I also have what I call “one time watches”… movies/shows i don’t mind them watching once but not over and over and over.
Here is another thought of mine. Do I trust the WORLD to determine (the rating system) what my kids will watch? Similar thought to my above thought. As I see Disney TV… there are some boyfriend/girlfriend type stuff that is just inappropriate to me. The “I Love You Like A Love Song” video (that plays virtually non-stop) by Selena Gomez is very sensual. I actually think it’s more dangerous because it’s so “innocent” and such. Another thought- what about Hercules… it’s G (I believe) but all that Hades/demon type stuff is questionable at best… it’s in the guise of “cute & funny” and there is NOTHING cute/funny about Satan or his demons. We do let ours watch “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars.” For us, the distinguishing factor is that evil is clearly evil… good is clearly good. So for us, Harry Potter (evil and good blurred with the “good” guys being into witchcraft -IMO) is not a good option. Greg and I have determined (not officially – but practically) that rating systems aren’t our decision making tools… although they DO help. So, while we’re very conservative… I try to look at what makes a movie receive a certain rating. Sex and “sexy” stuff- is out whether it’s pg, or pg 13. If there is some cursing or some violence that is “required” to be historically accurate, I’m more flexible. Even then, we have to be careful.
What about causing our children to rebel. It’s a REAL thing. There are often those who think their children are picture perfect because they “obey” in front of parents/adults… it’s not always the same away from parents. We all knew these kids growing up. I certainly had that tendency! I knew one kid whose parents allowed NO candy/sweets. Well, when that kid got “out”… he/she ate enough sweets to choke a horse. Those parents (well intended) “caused” (yes, i know he makes the choices) the child to rebel in this area because he/she was treated unrealistically (my opinion). This is one reason I have chosen not to be “Dugger-ish” about swimsuits for my girls… modest and cautions but not freaky. I don’t want her to feel so “out of the loop” that she feels she needs to prove something to me/the world and wear floss. We have let our boys play organized sports. I felt the need to let Boy1 know about a really bad word the other day… I said something like, “I just want you to know this is a terrible, bad, horrible word.” He let me know that he knew it was terrible because he had heard playing soccer. Ugh. I feel that they need to know how to participate in team sports but this is definitely a downside. It’s a delicate balance. We are to be set apart… but we have to function in this world the Lord gave us. Otherwise, we will be a group of people who exclude and shun others to a fault… then who will love the unsaved, wild ones?
It’s just plain difficult. So many point out that we must let our kids out into the real world… “experience” real life… especially our homeschooled. So, what areas do we let them “out” into the “real” world… where to we “shelter” them? WHEN does all this happen? That is why we as parents have to know our children (and all are different) and pray for wisdom. Each set of parents tend to have different convictions based on our past and the experiences thereof. At the end of the day, we have to make the best decisions we know to make based on God’s word and the insight He gives us as parents. Greg and I have chosen to keep our TV (albeit antique, hah) and seek to be cautious. Do we make mistakes? YES. And if I know me… I’ll make a few more before it’s said and done. We try to point out the wrong and encourage the good. We try to admit to our children and one another when we’re wrong. We try to shape their decisions as they walk this journey. Rules for legalism sake will benefit no one. All our rules and regulations must be based in truth and must come from a heart of love. It is a daily battle! It changes and morphs as they grow and change… the world becomes more evil… but Jesus is the same… so that has to be our steady. Pray and ask the Lord to show you where to draw the likes for your children… He is faithful and will give us insight.