What is happening to our society? I am watching the news and two young girls are fighting in their back yard but instead of stopping them, the parents are edging them on! One of the adults is actually taking a video of this horrible act and posts it on YouTube. I guess having 15 minutes of fame on YouTube is more important than what they could teach their daughters.
Young women of privilege, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, are back in the news. Paris with using drugs (again) and Lindsey with failing two drug tests. Both girls have already been in jail for breaking the law. Do they not understand they might end up there again? Where are their parents? Who are they modeling their life after? What type of direction do they even contemplate for their future?
I am sitting with my daughter on a lazy, Labor Day vacation skipping through channels on the TV when we come across the show, “Jersey Shore” (Jersey Shore is a reality television series on MTV that follows eight housemates spending their summers together). I had never seen it, just heard of the antics this reality show’s members do. We watched it for only 10 seconds and the language and actions were so horrible we turned off the TV! And I started to think, “Are these the type of people our young children are going to model their lives after?”
I am sitting at a Chick-fil-A on a week day and I see a dad and I think, “How nice! A stay at home dad or one who wants to be with his children.” He is looking intently on his Blackberry but soon, his daughter comes running up from the play area, jumps on the seat next to him and starts to share her fun with him. But the dad never even looks up from his screen and you can tell from her face that she feels dismissed and certainly, not very important to her dad.
I am standing in line at a fair and a precious mom and two sons are in front of me. Yet, the whole time we are in line, she never once stops talking on her phone. Is this the type of quality time we are now giving our children?
I am in church on Sunday and my pastor reads from the book of Mark. The story is about a young, sensuous girl who dances for her step-father, a king, and he is so aroused that he pledges to give her anything she wants, up to half his kingdom! She could be set for life but instead, goes to her role model, her mother, and asks her what she should get. The answer will make you cringe: “The head of John the Baptist.”
This mom is teaching her daughter the power of lust, the sin of murder, the evil of revenge. And yet, among her peers, she probably is thought of as a great mother! Her daughter has everything that money can buy, which is what the world thinks is the most important element in raising children.
But what makes this story even worse is the daughter took her mother’s request and added a more evil condition. She asked the King, “I want you to give me right away the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” (italics added for emphasis).
Our children will take what they see and will make it either worse or better, depending on what is in their life giving them their moral compass. What we do in moderation, our children will do to excess.
Ladies, who are our role models? If we are spending most of time watching questionable shows, movies, or magazines our children are going to do it also. And they will end up following after the people they see rather than those you probably would rather they follow: their parents, grandparents, adults helping them in sports or music or school, pastors, and youth leaders.
We all need to check ourselves each day to see what it is our children, our grandchildren and our nieces and nephews are watching us do.
Someone has to step up and start showing and teaching this young generation the ways of the Lord!
“But as for you, speak up for the right living that goes along with true Christianity. Teach the older men to be serious and unruffled: they must be sensible, knowing and believing the truth and doing everything with love and patience.
“Teach the older women to be quiet and respectful in everything they do. They must not go around speaking evil of others and must not be heavy drinkers, but they should be teachers of goodness. These older women must train the younger women to live quietly, to love their husbands and their children, and to be sensible and clean minded, spending their time in their own homes, being kind and obedient to their husbands, so that the Christian faith can’t be spoken against by those who know them.
“In the same way, urge the young men to behave carefully, taking life seriously. And here you yourself must be an example to them of good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect your love of the truth and the fact that you are in dead earnest about it.” Titus 2:1-7, The Living Bible
Living in the world today can easily give us a feeling of anxiety. Anxiety is a feeling of gnawing uneasiness, a fear of the future, a brooding cloud of restlessness that seems to hang over you in good times and bad. With the news available 24/7, I hear adults talk about how horrible our nation is, with ranting and complaining, but I don’t hear them continue on with prayers to the Lord.
Yes, I catch myself feeling anxious when I see things that I mentioned above. But anxiety is a thief, stealing precious moments of joy and robbing us of the peace of God. It can be a stronghold in our lives, developing into a permanent lifestyle.
I believe that’s why Paul, in the book of Philippians, urges us to be “anxious for nothing” and to learn to be “content in whatever the circumstances.”
This week, see how often you have anxiety. And when you do, go to the Lord in prayer, thanking Him for being God enough to take care of any situation you may find yourself, or the world, in.
TV: Bad for Baby’s Development?
The Seattle Children’s Institute released a two year study examining the effects of television watching on infants. According to the results, babies that watched television appeared to know fewer words than those who did not. Even educational television was distracting for them in the same way it distracts our own conversations and thinking patterns. One major problem is that it decreases the verbal interaction between parents and their babies. Also, across the board no programming stimulated the babies the way personal interaction does.
Yes, even babies need their parents as role models!
I pray that as you go about your day to day activities, you reflect on what your children are watching you do as well as others in their lives. Hopefully, they will be watching the good in people much more than the bad that is all around us.