When I was a teenager, there was a commercial that said “It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your children are?”
The point of this commercial was to encourage parents to be involved in their kids’ lives, know where they were, and have a curfew for them in order to ensure their safety and keep them out of danger. It was a good message for parents to hear.
Now, 20 years later, I can’t help but wonder if kids really are safer at home. Not that their parents don’t protect them. I am referring to the amount of dangerous stuff kids are being exposed to through the TV, Internet and movies. Daily, our enemy is trying to trap our younger generation and get them in his clutches and away from God. He uses subtle ways in TV programming and other media venues, and it is influencing our kids. Let me give you an example.
The other day, I was sitting in my living room with my sister. She was watching some chick show on TV, I forget what it was, but I had zero interest in it. So, I decided to do some busy work on my laptop. As I worked, her show went to a commercial. Now you have to understand something about me and my sister. We rarely watch commercials. We switch channels and watch something else until the commercial is over.
As she switched around, she stopped on the Disney channel, which was showing a clip of “Mater’s Tall Tales”. I love Mater, he cracks me up, so she stopped and we watched it. As we watched the show, I was stunned by what I saw. The cartoon very innocently presented reincarnation, time-travel, and eastern religious philosophy, all wrapped up nicely in a funny cartoon for kids to see.
This is not the first time I have noticed such a subtle message in television geared for kids. Current popular kids TV shows have eastern philosophy, witchcraft, genies, warlocks, wizards and other demonic and occultist themes throughout as well as messages promoting homosexuality and other social issues. Yet, they do it subtly and in a funny setting, and kids love it.
You know who else loves it? Satan. Satan loves being able to trap our children. He loves influencing them with false religion and demonic activity under the guise of entertainment. It is not just TV shows and movies.
The No. 1 book for kids is the Harry Potter series, yet it is full of wizardry and witchcraft. Video games are full of magic and witchcraft along with wizards and many demonic looking characters. Many of these games are rated E since they don’t have violence. They are characterized as fantasy roleplay, and many of them are free online. So, your kids don’t even have to ask you to pay for it.
The question I have for all the dads out there is similar to the question in the commercial I asked earlier. “It is the end times; do you know what your kids are watching and what is influencing them?” You may be saying, “Jamie, don’t you think you’re being a bit harsh? Aren’t these simply entertainment? Is it really that big of a deal if my kids watch this? I take them to church every week, and they know it isn’t real, so where’s the harm?”
My answer to this is simple. No, I am not being too hard. No, it is not just entertainment. It is a huge deal, because it is influencing your children’s mind, their thinking, their conscience, their ability to discern right from wrong and their moral structure. A few hours at church a week simply cannot counter the 20-40 hours of infiltration they receive through entertainment. Your job as a father is to protect your children, and this involves guarding what they watch.
Maybe your thinking, “I really had no idea that my kids were being influenced like this. I didn’t realize how the enemy has infiltrated our children’s entertainment. Now that I know, what do I do?
The first thing you need to do is take an active role in your kid’s entertainment life. Watch what they are watching. Discern if it is a good influence. Discover if it is teaching any hidden messages. What are the morals the show is teaching your kids. What is it teaching your daughters about what it means to be a woman? What does it teach her about what her image needs to be or how she needs to act or dress?
What about your son? What does it tell him a real man is? Does it show men as weak and stupid? Does it portray men as womanizers? Does it set a good example of what it means to be a husband or father?
If a show is questionable or over the line, remove it from your kid’s lives. Do the same with books, Internet content and video games. Don’t be afraid to say no to your kids. You are the parent, and it is your job to train your children in the way they should go.
Second, find alternative entertainment. Have something ready to replace the old stuff with. Have safe video games and appropriate TV and books available for your kids. If you don’t do this, they won’t stop watching the bad stuff.
Finally, invest your time in your kids. Replace the questionable entertainment with the thing they need more than anything else ... you. Spend time with your kids. Do things with them. Teach them to do work around the house. Play with them. Read them stories. Play a board game with them. Play appropriate video games with them. I guarantee you that all kids will gladly trade the entertainment you don’t want them to watch if the substitute is time with Dad.
It is time fathers step up and ask themselves the question I asked earlier ... “It is the end times, the enemy is after my kids; do I know what they are doing?” It is a life and death decision, and the life is the eternal life of your precious children.
I hope you take this article series and address this issue. Do it today!
Jamie Holden is the facilitator of and teacher at Harrisburg 1st AG Berean Study Center in Harrisburg, Pa. He is the leader of Jamie J. Holden Ministries.