Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.1 Peter 5:8-9a NLT
Our daughter shared with us a conversation that she had with a friend in school. Her friend reeled out a long list of movies, and my daughter said she was not allowed to watch them. In response, her friend says, “Wow, your mom is overprotective.” I am glad that a ten year old could spot the difference between unprotected, protected, and overprotective. It means that her brain was able to perform an instant scan of the movies, sort through the content, and decide what was good, bad, and ugly. The ten year old’s comment was an innocent one, but it sparked a conversation in our home….
So the overprotective parent that I am decided to fortify my flock literally because it is not enough to say don’t watch, our children deserve to know why not, they deserve the reassurance that they are not alone, they deserve to know that it is ok to be different even if every one else finds you strange. Our children deserve to know that they are not missing out on too much by skipping a television show, a trend, or lifestyle option. We grownups, have the benefit of hindsight, and we can lovingly steer them along the best pathway for their lives.
We had a talk that night after devotion, the entire family, because we felt it was that important, and sleeptime could be postponed for a few more minutes on this one night. Never let sleeping dogs lie; if something deserves time, find time and have that conversation. Don’t allow a seed planted to take root in the minds of your children, no matter how seemingly innocent it may feel. When you prioritise their concerns, you demonstrate to your children that you care about their feelings and are willing to spend time clarifying their doubts.
The storyteller in me decided to use an analogy. I love to cook, I spend quality time preparing the delicious meals that our family and friends have come to enjoy. Food is good; we need it for nourishing our physical bodies, and we need to eat to stay alive. But good food also takes time to prepare. Interestingly, no matter how tired I am, I still have to make food for the family. So I asked the children, ‘if I spend so much time and effort preparing food that takes care of our physical body that will die anyways, what do they think I should do about the food that feeds our spirit that lives forever?’ Our spirit man deserves some more TLC because heaven and hell are real. The children voted in favour of Overprotect….
One of the things that we all agree on as a family is the concept that the things we read or watch are like seed, our heart is the soil, and our behaviour is the fruit. Whatever you plant will affect your behaviour and your relationship with God and the people around you. Movies may be fun to watch; some are clean and safe to watch, but most are not right for us because of the subtle and overt messages that are contrary to what we stand for. The ‘people with the agenda‘ are so dogged that even spaces where children should be safe are no longer safe. In some of the tv shows that we have watched, we have wondered why some scenes made the storyline or even the movie director’s cut when they were totally irrelevant to the storyline. Don’t be without an agenda for your home; if not, someone else’s agenda will run your home. If you are alert and observant, you will agree with me that they have no mercy because the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. So fortify your home! On this count, we voted in favour of Overprotect.
The last point is not so spiritual, or maybe it is. We told the kids that TV is not that serious, so they are not missing much. Mom and Dad do not have all the time in the world to screen all the shows that they want to watch, so they may have to miss out on some tv shows, and it is OK. We then took turns reminding ourselves of all the other fun things we do as a family that just maybe others don’t get to do. We decided by that action what was important to us. We also decided to be grateful for the many things we get to do as a family instead of focusing on the few things we don’t get to do. We owe it to our children to teach them that it is OK to be left out. Christians are supposed to be firm and immovable and only moved in the direction that the Spirit of God leads. Because TV is overrated, we voted in favour of Overprotect.
Everyone felt better, and we called it a night.
When you make a decision for Christ, you will be labelled rightly or wrongly. You need to dig into your why. The Bible says, ‘God made us one so that we can produce a Godly seed’. Ha! Big responsibility – which means God is counting on us to put up or tear down walls, build, or burn bridges to lead these children away from the world and into his arms. Are you leaving it to chance or taking active steps daily to point them upwards?
This message is not just for parenting; even as adults, our minds are constantly bombarded with trash, and we think we can take it. It builds up and reconfigures our mainframe until one day, we manifest something that does not align with anything we say we are. We act surprised, but in self reflection, you know that the monster was once a seed that was watered until one day it budded. Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. I Corinthians 10:12 NKJV
A few days later, we revisited the overprotective story. This time around, my son declassified me to ‘Protective’. In his words, “At least, you let me watch Transformers and Tobot.”
I have no plans of being declassified any further than that because in the battleground of our life and home, we have made a decision to be on guard, and so should you.
As always, we would love to hear from you, so leave a comment, subscribe to our blog to read more stories, and share this post with a friend.