We live in a noisy world. There’s plenty of actual noise of course, but the noise of culture can be loud and confusing – especially to kids being raised in a Christian home. Culture has decided that if they yell something loudly enough and frequently enough, it becomes accepted as truth. And unfortunately, many times culture is right.
One need only watch a couple of episodes of programming targeting kids or teens and understand the cultural agenda of the people writing and producing it. Sometimes those messages are helpful for our kids to hear. Often though, they are encouraging young people to ignore God’s truths, commands and principles.
Sometimes this noise is obvious as shows openly mock Christians and Christianity. Other times, it’s a bit more subtle as characters openly applaud the behavior of a character who is making sinful choices. On some shows, one or more characters will actually preach a sermon of sorts to viewers to make sure their point is accepted or to give kids things to say when their parents reject the “truths” the entertainment is promoting.
Recently, I watched a smattering of shows targeted for kids on a variety of platforms. What I saw and heard was appalling. A seven year old character, for example, should not be exploring his sexuality. No child that age is prepared to even think about having sex with another human being.
So how can you help drown out this constant noise from culture that is trying to convince your kids that Satan’s lies are not only true, but laudable? Censoring has been a taboo concept in our culture. People who censored what their kids read or saw were – and often still are – thought of as narrow minded and judgmental.
There actually is a biblical incident recorded of a book burning. In Acts 19, Paul was in Ephesus, where many believed and practiced magic arts. We don’t necessarily know everything that entailed, but we do know that when they became Christians, they burned the scrolls they owned that covered the magic arts.
I’m not suggesting you burn books per se, but I do believe it is important to censor what your kids read and watch. Pluggedin.com can help you decide whether a particular form of entertainment is something your kids should experience. It breaks everything down so you can make extremely informed choices.
One word of caution. It’s critical as your kids reach school age that you explain to your kids why you aren’t allowing them to read or see certain things. Memorize Philippians 4:8 as a family. Explain why God wants us to fill our minds with good things, rather than bad. Talk about how exposure can desensitize even Christians to sin, or confuse truth and lies in their minds. If you just censor without explaining in rational terms why you are protecting them, they will sneak and watch or read the item – perhaps paying even closer attention.
There is also another sort of partial censorship. There may be certain books or shows you believe your kids are too young to process and separate the godly from ungodly principles. In those instances, explain at what age you think they may be ready for it. Help them understand why you believe it is best they wait.
You can’t protect your kids from everything. In fact, over protection can sometimes make them too naive and place them in danger. There are some things, however, that kids need to be sheltered from – at least until they are mature enough to process it without being unduly swayed to disobey God. Parental censorship when done well is not narrow minded or judgmental. It’s good Christian parenting.