Friday, June 13, 2014

With David I Will Strive "To Set No Wicked Thing Before Mine Eyes" (or the eyes of my children)

When I think about our fifteen years on this journey of parenting and the different ideals and convictions we've committed ourselves to,  the one conviction that I am the most thankful for is that we have never had a television set in our home and that we've agreed that we would not waste any of our time using the "screen" for recreation or simply as a past time. That includes gaming, movies, DVDs, sports, Facebook.....for any of us. Here's why.
When I was a young mom with just little Isabelle to care for, I read everything I could get my hands on about parenting. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended then and still does,  that children under the age of two not be exposed to electronic media at all and kids two and over be limited to no more than two hours of screen time daily. Hearing, eye sight and brain function are all adversely effected by having little ones in front of the screen. 
But those are just small things compared with the adverse spiritual consequences. I read that when a child is passively watching a screen only part of his brain is being used, making it very different than reading a book, which engages both sides of the brain. The part of the brain that is inactive is the part that rationalizes and reasons things out. Yikes! That means that everything he is seeing is passively being accepted by his brain and emotions and unless he talks and thinks about it later, and sorts through it as good or bad, there it will remain forever, untouched by reason or moral compass. 
My boys have noticed and told me many times how there is a difference between playmates who watch TV and those who don't. The boys that they know who are exposed to media have certain similarities. My boys are only ten and eight and on their own they have figured this out. Everything that our children's minds, emotions and spirits are exposed to become fibers of what makes them who they are. 
I must tell you that it alarms and grieves my heart when I hear little boys from church going families talking about "zombies who eat people's brains" and vampires and other demonic things. It alarms and grieves my heart when I go into church going families homes and see video game cases laying around with titles like Killing Zone or some other such thing. I don't want to sound judgmental or preachy but shouldn't a Christian home be a hallowed place of God's peace? How then could there be place for anything like that? I am sure that once these wicked and violent things are in a child's mind there is no way to filter them back out.
I have reminded my boys many times that Jesus is "meek and mild" and that God destroyed the old world because it "was filled with violence". Gen. 6:11. We have talked about the Romans and how they became cruel and blood thirsty. We wonder at their brutality that found pleasure in gladiator fights and watching Christian men, women and children being devoured by beasts. But is our culture much different? I don't think so. 
Of course, a TV in itself cannot be a sin but if we take pleasure in watching others break the commandments of God then I believe we are guilty before Him. It boggles my mind to see the culture around us wringing their hands and calling for stricter gun control laws in light of the recent school shootings, wondering what has gone wrong.Calling it a mental health crisis. Hello! Many of these kids have been fed a steady diet of violence since early childhood. What goes in comes back out. It's no mystery here. Go ahead make more gun control laws, heaven knows we need them because half the people now a days are crazy. I wonder why? 
I am proud to say that by God's grace I will continue to shelter not only my kid's minds but mine as well. Yup, for the most part we live in a little bubble and it is very peaceful and pleasant. We homeschool and we WANT to shelter and shepherd our children's hearts and minds. Last I knew that was a parents job. I'm glad that my 14 year old has to ask me what a vampire is anyway. I can't think of any spiritual, emotional or intellectual damage that's been done by her not knowing until now, can you? 
 The Bible says "to train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it." I wonder if the opposite could be said as well, bring up a child in the way he should NOT go and when he is old, there he will be. As parents we will stand before God one day to give an account for what we have allowed these little hearts and minds to be exposed to. How are we caring for the heritage of the Lord? 
I was reading recently that up until about 60 years ago it was a given that Christian fathers across all church denominations gathered their families around them and read the scriptures- daily! Where are the men of God who care enough to do this? I pray that God will raise them up, by the hundreds, by the thousands! To redeem the time for the days are evil. 
I cannot raise a flag for my family at all. We are still young but if I could give one piece of advice to my fellow mamas and daddies it would be this, don't let your kids go online unsupervised- ever. Even on their phones. I know everyone's doing it but God has called us to be "a peculiar people set apart from the world" and souls are at stake. If you need some motivation look up some statistics on childhood exposure to pornography and violence. It should shock and scare into drastic action any sane parent. And get rid of your TV. Limit media to documentaries and educational programs. I truly do not think you or your kids will ever regret it.
                       "Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds (no mental health crisis here) through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, HONEST, JUST, PURE, LOVELY, of GOOD report, VIRTUOUS,  PRAISEWORTHY, think on these things!" Philippians 4:6-8


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  2. A peculiar people unto God... A verse that sticks out always in my mind. I know what it means to walk alone as a peculiarity, at times only knowing my Lord as friend. And it is enough, forever teaching me to trust more fully in His grace. I know, my friend!