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Protecting Our Children From The "Entertainment Bug"

By Tom Bushnell

Doesn't all work and no play make Jack a dull boy?

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "entertain" as, "to hold the attention of."

As Christians, do we allow the world's idea of "fun" to hold our attention? Are we allowing entertainment to rob us of spiritual growth?

If our home is saturated with Hollywood-style "fun" we may find that simple, wholesome, old- fashioned family "fun" is not good enough. Our children can become "bored" with pure, clean family entertainment, preferring the lure of hyper-excitement.

We live in a culture that has an obsession with amusement.  We all know that addiction to cigarettes, alcohol, pornography, snow skiing, or even baseball is wrong.  An addiction to the world's taste for entertainment is also wrong for families striving for Godliness.

The first principle in directing our children's entertainment is to train them to use "moderation in all things." If we, as parents, have a penchant for entertainment, it will be virtually impossible for our children not to develop one as well.

Ephesians 5: 3,4 and 6-11. "But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks…

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them."

As parents striving to have young adults that prefer to be around the family for enjoyment, it is important not to jade our children's taste while they are young.

Men, being a Godly leader in our home requires us not to set moral trash in front of us, our wife or our children.

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." (Galatians 6:7)

A quick assessment of what our family does for enjoyment will give us a clue to our families' spiritual health. If we find our homes lacking in good, clean, fun, perhaps it is time for a re-evaluation of what our goal for each child is.

Does the entertainment we are providing add to or subtract from our goals?

By entertainment, let's look at: books, games, videos, T.V., music, friends, school materials, and yes, even the Bible story videos and tapes produced today. As husband and wife, it is important to write out criteria for what you feel is edifying. Looking at Ephesians 5: 9-10 again, we see a listing of goodness, righteousness, truth and what pleases the Lord.

Some ideas of what to look for might be:

  •  Accurate Bible stories

  • Modest pictures (even cartoon)

  • Respect for father and mother

  • Encouraging family togetherness instead of independent attitudes    

  • Eliminating these additional areas help in keeping our children's hearts pure:

  •         • glorifying sports or sport figures

            • fantasy, fairy tales, monsters

            • characters portraying an evil spiritual force and characters

                portraying "good" magic

    Is this too much of a burden to bear? Can we purge our home of things that are not God-honoring? Is the price of a pure heart in children too expensive?

    To have meaningful family togetherness, we must be willing to quash the entertainment bug.