Teaching Kids to Give an Answer


bethanyIt’s one of those times when long-awaited movies have been coming out right and left and as I  scrape my budget for ticket money and my schedule for matinee times and friends who are able to go at the same time as I am, I find myself thinking about worldview a lot.

Worldview is one of those things like the price of milk or gas. We don’t seem to notice a problem with it unless there’s a really drastic change all of a sudden.

If things change just a few cents, or a few degrees in ideology, no one realizes the difference until a long way down the road. And that’s why I think alertness during movie watching is so important. Because one movie makes thousands of truth claims about the world, rapid-fire, in alluring visual images and smoothly delivered lines that somehow creep into our hearts, and those of our children. And they’re often pretty close to what we believe. But not quite on target.

For example, the fairy-tales I had access to as a kid and their "follow your heart" claims are a big part of why I and others in my generation struggle with handing control to God and letting Him steer, especially during tough times. Modern media are also a part of an identity crisis for young women in regards to their body image. I’m sure you can think of more examples.

So am I saying to keep yourself and your kids out of theaters and away from your TV?

Actually, no. Just the opposite.

I think it can be really important to watch age-appropriate media with our kids, even when they don’t match up with the truth from the Bible.

There are just a couple of things we cannot forget to do.

The first thing is to learn ourselves, and to teach our kids, what Peter tells us we need in the second part of our 2014 theme verse.

“Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” 1 Peter 3:15b

How can we know something is a lie unless we know the truth about what we believe?

That’s why I’m so excited about this year’s VBS theme! It’s so important because it will help us equip kids to know the truth about God and the world and to identify lies.

Secondly, we need to take the time to talk to kids about what they’re seeing. Rather than avoiding lies, which is virtually impossible in today’s culture, what if we sat down after each movie and TV show and talked about what is and isn’t true and good in that particular story?

Imagine a generation of kids taught at home to be experts in distinguishing between the truth about the world and lies. Imagine what they can do!

So take the time to engage culture with your kids. But don't forget to help them be ready to give an answer first! Happy movie-going in 2014!

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