Sunday, October 26, 2008

Do We Worship Walt?

Well, if you have a daughter or live on the planet earth, you probably know that High School Musical 3 came out in theaters this weekend. We own the first two videos. I don't think they are the worst movies and I agree that they are fun. I haven't seen the new one yet, but Jenna saw it with a friend today. The girls really have not been excited about seeing the movie. They haven't watched or talked about it for months. I think part of the reason is they haven't been watching TV enough to see the previews and ads for it.

I am starting to wonder how much we should allow our kids to be exposed to the media. Can we really raise kids that are lovers of Jesus and the things of him if they are constantly bombarded with the images of this world?

Saturday morning cartoons are filled with commercials for all the latest Christmas toys. The Disney Channel is basically one big advertisement for Disney products. It glorifies dating and physical contact between kids. As Christians is that what we want our kids filling their minds and hearts with? Is it feeding their need for God or their need for self?

I keep thinking of Philippians 4:8 which says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

There are few things that fit into that category that I've seen in a movie theater or a TV Show.
There's a Christian organization that gives the new High School Musical movie a very good rating because it's wholesome. I was pretty surprised by the positive review. One of my sister's friends that is nowhere near a Christian said she didn't think she needed to take her girls to see all that kissy face stuff! Hearing her say that challenges me all the more to think through what we watch and not just go because they want to or everyone else is. Because clearly everyone else is not!

I don't think the answer is to forbid my kids from ever watching another movie or TV show. I want it to be clear to my kids that we are God-worshippers not Walt-Worshippers! It seems the less they are exposed to it the better. They are already naturally selfish and materialistic anyway. I've noticed as our family has watched less and less TV and movies that our kids' (and my) contentment has grown. They don't have the desire to get things as much. They haven't begged to go get a new Happy Meal Toy for a while (well, a week anyway!)

My friend Jenn commented on my last entry and mentioned that during a High School musical song her husband hit pause and talked to the kids about how we don't make our dreams come true by looking inside ourselves, but we look to Jesus for answers. I think that is the best way to handle it. If we are engaged with what they are watching, listening to and reading we can use it to teach our own values and discuss issues with them.

On top of being engaged and informed is keeping limits on their media exposure. Maybe it's kind of like their exposure to pop and candy. It's not too harmful in limited quantities. But with junk food and media I'm finding less and less is definitely best.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.


Joel and Jenn said...

Once again Michelle I feel compelled to comment! :) Joel and I had to switch our internet provider because our other one was not dependable so in the process we were able to save money if we signed up for one month of basic cable (long story on how that saves money:). Anyway, for the last couple of weeks I've watched lots of HGTV. Talk about discontentment! Now I feel like I need to remodel and update everything in my home! How can I ever live like this :) Joel and I have decided that the cable company definitely knows what they are doing when they market their cable. It will be hard to go back to our usual five channels in a few weeks, but less is better!

One show that is on TLC that I find to be quite interesting in called 17 Kids and Counting. They basically follow around a conservative family that has 17 biological kids and one on the way. They are Christians and VERY conservative. They homeschool. It is so cool to see them living differently from the world. Their oldest just got engaged and they are waiting for their first kiss for their wedding. Everywhere they go they have a chaperone with them. Anyway after one episode Joel and I got to talking about the hard balance that all christian families face. How to be in the world but not of it. We wondered if this family on the show had any non christian contacts. They seemed so happy and content in their own little sheltered bubble. Part of me wants that protected world for my kids, but then I think, "Who will be the light in the public schools if every Christian did that?" It is so hard to know what to let your kids do and see.

I think that in the end I agree with your comment on having to work hard to be a part of what our kids are seeing, reading, and listening to.

Keep up the great thoughts!

Deb Hansen said...

AMEN! to everything you have shared here! I have been feeling the same way and now that Hannah is 17 I wonder if we were right in letting her be so exposed to media, but I can't go back. The only thing I know is that she Loves Jesus and wants to pursue Him with passion in her life! HSM will fade, but Jesus won't!~