By Sarah Evans

As our children grow up, it is important that we show them how to remain under God’s mighty hand of protection. They will not know how to do this by themselves, and that is why God has placed our children in our care: to teach, model and to show them the way. As a parent, one of our primary responsibilities is to shelter our children from harmful influences that seek to lead them away from God’s truth.

‘Be sober-minded; be watchful. For our adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour’(1 Peter 5:8 ESV).

The enemy’s primary objective is to lure our children away from the plan that God has for their lives, and one way that he can be successful in doing this is through the medium of television, movies, internet, and video games, especially if we do not stay alert.

Our children today are inundated with messages that come through these various forms of entertainment, and often our children are exposed to content that they are not yet mature enough to handle and/or inappropriate content that runs contrary to God’s truth, all of which leaves an impression on their young minds that cannot easily be erased.

1. Let us be watchful and use wisdom:

What our children watch on television has a direct impact on how they perceive the society around them and is instrumental in shaping their values. The values that our children adopt will influence how they think, and will motivate their actions: how they treat others as well as themselves. If we are to help our children adopt Godly values and walk in accordance with God’s will for their lives, we must minimise their exposure to harmful influences that run contrary to God’s truth. If not, our children will be receiving mixed and confusing messages.

We may think that what our children are watching on television is seemingly harmless but let us take a second look. Let us ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Do the values reflected in this television program/movie/computer game reflect God’s truth?
  • Is there anything that runs contrary to God’s word?
  • Is my child mature enough to handle this subject matter?

If the answer is a clear ‘no’ to any of these questions, we need to switch off the television program and/or computer game. In fact, let us air on the side of caution, and pre-screen what they about to watch and/or play.

2. Let us keep the eyes of our children focused on things that are good:

‘The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness’ (Matthew 6:22)

We cannot expect our children to know what is potentially harmful in nature. It is our job to know what our children are watching on television and what games they are playing on the computer.

We cannot trust the standards of this world when deciding what our children watch on the television, as a lot of television programs/movies that are on offer are not appropriate for our children. The ratings for the movies are an important thing to take into consideration. A child of eleven should not be watching 15+ rated movies, and a child of twelve should not be watching an 18+ rated movie. But even when looking at these ratings, often they are chosen by individuals who are not watching from a heavenly perspective.

No matter how harmless we may think something is for our children, its influence will either draw our children closer to God or entice them further away.

3. Let us seek God for His perspective:

God’s hand of protection over our children is dependent on their remaining close to Him, under His wings, and away from the influences of evil. And so until they are able to use discernment and make wise choices for themselves, we must take responsibility for what they are exposed to. We must protect their age of innocence for as long as possible.

It is for this reason that we must not lean on our own limited understanding but instead we must ask for discernment so that we can make wise choices for them. The true source of wisdom comes from God, and so it is by Him and through Him only that we can truly know how to guide our children onto the right path. He is always ready and willing to share His wisdom with us. Let us lean on Him.

With God’s help, let us protect our children as much as we can, and for as long as we can.

O be careful little eyes what you see,
O be careful little eyes what you see,
For the Father up above, is looking down in love,
O be careful little eyes what you see.

O be careful little ears what you hear,
O be careful little ears what you hear,
For the Father up above, is looking down in love,
O be careful little ears what you hear.

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