Children absorb information and influences from their environments. In this electronic, information-rich age, we should, more than ever before, be discriminating about what our children learn and where they learn it.
As a parent, it is up to you. You must decide, as far as it is in your power, what you want your children to hear, see and experience.
Watch what your children view on television. Many “children’s” programs today feature ghosts, sorcery, witchcraft, violence or obscenity in some form or another. Yet for some children, the television has become a babysitter!
We can teach our children all we want when we are there with them, but if we put the television in front of them to make things easier for us, then we will undo all the good we have done. Professional communicators in the electronic media gear their programming to capture and hold our attention.
Satan skillfully uses the secular media in his diabolical plan to catch our children and involve them in things outside God’s kingdom. He uses the mesmerizing power of television and other media to teach them a perspective and attitude about life that is different from the pure perspective of the Word.
When children watch gory, horrific scenes on television (or on other visual media), they lose their inner knowledge that the weird, the monstrous and the evil are inherently wrong. When we let our children feast on godless TV and video offerings, they will develop a taste for this new “food.” They will lose the ability to discern the distasteful, the ugly, the disharmonious and the obscene, and they will lose the desire to avoid these things.
An early result of this ungodly diet of entertainment is that our children want to experience everything in a heightened sort of way. The music must be loud, the colors must be bright, and the action must move quickly. Everything must be experienced in an extreme way because this is what the media has fed into their lives.
Today we are reaping in our nations what we have sown in the past—violence, lewdness, drug abuse, pornography, profanity and vulgarity. Jeremiah 10:2 warns us, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Learn not the way of the heathen’” (KJV).
Forming Godly Character
We must not let ungodly teaching mold the minds of our seed. Our children are too impressionable, too vulnerable and too precious for us to subject them to the influence of the world’s humanistic and ruthless media.
Our children are being subtly and carefully schooled in humanist philosophy. Its doctrines include the teaching that parental guidance and rules hold only a secondary place. They teach the rights of the child to oppose adult scrutiny of his or her behavior.
The result is that the children acquire twisted, self-centered conceptions of “equal rights” (children can decide their destinies and paths just as freely as adults—or parents) and of the supremacy of individual choice and decision-making.
I have found that ungodly teachers are themselves unable to guide our children. Or they reject the opportunities to guide students by offering them a “choice” at crucial times in their academic, moral or vocational development.
Colossians 2:8 speaks directly to this type of subtle teaching, which can steal the minds and hearts of an entire generation: “Beware lest any man spoil you [and the next generation] through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments [principles] of the world, and not after Christ.”
The word “spoil” may be translated “to steal away the best that you have.” Vain philosophies and humanistic ideologies will captivate and destroy the best that we have—our children.
Psalm 1 offers concerned parents some good advice about controlling what their children listen to, the company they keep, whose advice they seek and how they spend their leisure time. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (vv. 1-2, NKJV). These Scriptures provide a sweeping summary of negative, self-indulgent activities, as opposed to meditation, delight and total absorption in what pleases God.
Romans 16:19 says, “I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.” The word “simple” in this verse means “ignorant of, inexperienced in, or unsullied by” what is evil. It is a naive parent who believes the myth that a child needs to be exposed to evil in order to choose the good.
Our constant prayer, as parents, must be: “Father, help us to be wise in the formal and informal education of our righteous seed. Help us to carefully guard our children’s minds and to screen out, whenever possible, those influences that do not give life to our children.”
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