Blog, Family

“Part 2: Filtering Through Good and Bad Media”

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Negative Language:

When it comes to language, I always think of the words like the “F” Bomb for example; stuff we hear the most on people, with a so called “trucker’s mouth.” However, negative and foul language can be different for every culture, in every part of the world, and negative language is not limited to just a handful of words. So, without focusing on the certain group of words so much, lets look at scripture; 

  1. Ephesians 4:29 ESV –  “Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
  2. Philippians 4:8 ESV –  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
  3. Colossians 4:6 ESV – “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

We all know that there are things that people say to hurt the other, and we hear this everywhere! Not just on media, but also in our own lives. Maybe we were one of those people at a certain point in time. Again, take the good, and throw out the bad when you find negative/foul language in your personal media sources. There is scripture that says we should not make friends with angry people, I would say the same goes for watching or listening to angry people too. We need to be careful what and who we surround ourselves with and this goes for media, as well. 

Proverbs 22:24-25 ESV “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV – “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Proverbs 13:20 ESV – “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

For some, a person’s biggest relationship is social media, or any media sources for that matter. Currently in this society, we create relationship through media apps, or only have our friendships via online. It is still necessary to filter out our online media, just as much as our in-person media.

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Violence:

Reading through the bible, there is many instances mentioned of justice happening in ways we might not like, of wars, and of deaths. When it comes to violence in what we watch or listen to, we need to think carefully on a few things;

1. Why is this violence happening?

  • What is the purpose of it? 
  • Is this something we can pick good out of, and throw away the bad?
  • If you can read reviews on this media source, and take into account the main “scenes” mentioned, is it something to be watching/listening to it at all?
  • Is it worth your time, and why?

2. We know the Lord has righteous anger, we know he has permitted wars, even executions and helped people in wars fought, throughout scripture.

  • What does he say when it comes to anger in the flesh/anger of man?
  • What does he say about murder?
  • What does he say about justice, in regards to wrongdoers?

When I think of violence I think angry people, probably trying to kill each other. In action movies for example, there is usually a bad guy and good guy. The bad guy is seeking to destroy something and the good guy is seeking justice, and/or trying to stop him.

We need to go deeper though.

  1. Is this portraying an anger of the flesh?
  2. Is this Justice that the said media portrays, true Justice?
  • Is there any good you can take out from this?
  • Does the said justice, go in line with true, biblical justice? or does it go along with fleshly desires?
  • Identify what the justice is, that is being portrayed in the media you are viewing.

Hebrews 10:30 ESV – “For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”

Genesis 9:6 ESV – “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”

Romans 13:3-4 ESV – “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

Proverbs 3:31-32 ESV – “Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, for the devious person is an abomination to the Lord, but the upright are in his confidence.”

Psalm 11:5 ESV – “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”

Romans 12:9 ESV – “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.”

Maybe this specific thing has a lot of gore and it’s very graphic, and maybe that doesn’t bother you at all emotionally, or physically. However, Is that a good reason to continue watching or listening to it? I could give you my answer on that, but just think of it this way;

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With that reasoning, if something doesn’t bother you emotionally or physically, to allow into your mind, does this make whatever it is, right? No, it doesn’t. Why is that? 

I used to love crime shows, but the more I watched, the more graphic the scenes became. Did that bother me? After a while, no. But that was not a good reason to continue, and I had no good to pick out of them; at least not anymore. I don’t know what good would have come out of it, and I can only imagine where that would have ultimately led me to. Thankfully, I eventually stopped watching certain shows, altogether. I do still enjoy mystery shows, once I have filtered through them. Unfortunately, some things in the media have no good to pick out

When it comes to media that is solely about senseless, evil acts of violence or killing, I would argue that you cannot pick any good out of media like that. It can be difficult to pick through the ones we don’t need in our minds, especially when there is so many media sources and unfortunately, such easy access to everything. Not all crime, action, or justice seeking media is bad, and not all movies that state “violence” in the rating are bad either. What we are trying to do, is weed out the kinds of media that is, not throw away all our media entirely.

Things We Can Do To Help Filter Out Some Media From Any of Our Sources:

  1. We can use Parent Guides to review media before watching or listening, such as;
  • Common Sense Media, link here.
  • IMBD Parent’s Guide link here. Any movie we watch, we can look up it’s title and view the Parental reviews for it and it helps us narrow down if it’s a movie we can just look away during certain scenes, or if we should even be watching it at all. There are other review sites, however, these are just a couple we have used in the past.

2. Taking the good and throwing out the bad in the media we do allow in, we can;

  • We can simply turn away, mute the sound, or even just skip a scene!
  • We can send kids out of the room, or have them turn around so they don’t see a scene.

3. When it comes to social medias apps; Carefully look through all the apps, and which ones you will have and will allow your children to have, and go from there!

  • Any social media requires us to pick out the good from the bad
  • Options for this could be, create a private account, limit screen time, and as always, have honest communication between parent and child!
  • Also, we need to be able to help our children identify what’s true and what’s not.

With every category mentioned, although I’ve previously said it already— take the good and throw out the bad. Majority of our media has a lot of both, so we need to be diligent in being able to identify the bad parts! We also need to help our children be able to identify the bad parts on their own, as we cannot always do it for them. They need to be able to learn what the truth is, and how to spot what’s not true. John 14:6 ESV – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Lastly, I encourage you to not stop at the scripture I added, but read more and do more searching on your own! If you find that you have to weed out some of your media, great! Weed it out and use this as a teaching moment for your children, if possible. If you have found you don’t need to do much weeding right now, that’s great too! Ultimately, we just need to be watchful of what we put in our minds.

“Part 1: Filtering Through Good and Bad Media” linked here

Blog, Family

“Part 1: Filtering Through Good and Bad Media”

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

When it comes to movies, shows, social media, or anything of that sort, we as parents, get worried! We ask ourselves, if this show is too much language, violence, sexual content— what is truly safe or okay for our minds, and our children’s minds? My hope is that you don’t shy away from all media entirely after reading this, but that this can help guide you with what media you do take in!

First, Lets Examine Ourselves:

As parents, we know our children learn and copy things, from us. Whether they are 1 years old copying our head nods and dance moves, or 15 years old copying our attitudes, they do! I can say from experience, that I have copied my parents at times during my childhood and teen years by handling things the way I thought they would have, and I can also say from experience, my own 1 year old daughter copies me! 

Obviously, there will be things that we do as adults our kids will not be able to do until they are older, or adults even. However, with communication and time, they should eventually understand those reasons. But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about our reasoning as parents, for guidelines on what’s considered safe for their minds and why. As a parent, who is in the beginning of weeding out things for my daughter to watch or listen to, my husband and I have started it with a few questions;

  1. What have I been watching and allowing myself to see?
  2. Is there anything that is not glorifying to God for me to let into my mind whatsoever, in my movies, media, books, etc?
  3. If there is something, why am I continuing to watch/listen to it?
  • is it because it doesn’t bother me physically/emotionally, so I don’t see any reason to stop?
  • is it because it is fun, thrilling, or is enjoyable for me to watch/listen to?

4. What does the Lord say in scripture, about some of the main factors we see in media;

  • Such as sexual content (any sex scenes, insinuative sexual innuendo, intimate couple scenes, nudity, etc), violence (any gruesome, graphic, gore, etc), and negative language (cursing, putting people down— any foul, negative, degrading talk).

We should first pinpoint what it is we have allowed to overstep into our own minds, before we oversee what will overstep in our children’s minds. There will of course, be plenty of media, that we just have to take the good from and throw out the bad; majority of it is like that, but there are also just certain things in the media that has no logical, nor biblical reasons to view or listen to, at all. 

Sexual Content:

One of the things that helps me personally, and that I tend to think of first when it comes to sexual content in any kind of media I will be watching or listening to is; 

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If a couple were doing this in the mall or parking lot, would I just stand and watch them, or would I try not to look, and walk away? Think of it like that, a real scenario where you are actually witnessing 2 people like that, on a random day. Let’s break it down to what we know is true.

When it comes to sexual intimacy in our lives: 

The Lord made sex/sexual intimacy to be a special, beautiful, union between husband and wife, only.

  • Genesis 1:28 ESV “And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
  • Mark 10:6-9 ESV “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

God made sexual intimacy, for us to enjoy in marriage to the fullest!

  • 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 ESV “ The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
  • Any of Song of Solomons is also good example of the blessing of that union in marriage as well, I encourage you to read through that too!

We are not to act in sexual immorality.

  • Matthew 5:27-28 ESV “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
  • I also encourage you to read through Romans 1:18-32
  • 1 Corinthians 6:18-19 ESV ” Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom who have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Looking at scripture, we can confirm that any intimacy/sex is meant for a husband and wife to enjoy to the fullest, and that we are not to act in sexual immorality of any sorts. We can agree (I hope) that Pornography is bad, but then we go and watch sexual content and/or sex scenes in “regular” movies, or other media, why is that?

Another way to think of it as, is why would we bring in a third party, or become the third party to someone else’s intimacy, by watching it on a screen, or listening to it?

Does it truly matter, whether a certain sexual scene or scenario bothers us emotionally, or physically? What we should focus on instead, is whether we should be viewing it at all.

I encourage you:

  • To read scripture on what the Lord intends intimacy/sex for, and what is true and not true about it.
  • Then evaluate the media you are allowing into your own mind.
  • Next, evaluate what media you will be allowing your children to view.

When it comes to our kids watching or listening to things, we need to be able to explain to them why we allow certain things and not others, and why we are watching things that we previously gave them a no, on. They need to understand the biblical reasoning behind those decisions, on filtering this, or that and why only certain things need to wait until they get older. Not just for sexual content, but for other things like language and violence as well, which is what we will be discussing next!

To Be Continued…