BILLY GRAHAM

Entertainment can profoundly influence children’s moral views

Updated: 2014-01-06T00:55:34Z

By BILLY GRAHAM

Tribune Media Services

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Over the holidays, we had a very hard time renting family-friendly videos that we felt comfortable having our children watch. Even some with a family rating had too much violence or bad language. Are we being too protective? — K.H.

DEAR K.H.: No, I don’t think you’re being too protective. Our children are influenced by everything they see and hear, including things that former generations never had available to them.

After all, how do children decide what’s right or wrong? They decide by what they observe — both in our lives and the lives of others. If they grow up thinking there’s nothing wrong with violence, sexual immorality, greed or anything else they see in the media, why are we surprised if they adopt those ways of living? The media can be a powerful influence on young people, for good or for ill. The Bible says, “Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path” (Proverbs 23:19).

What can you do? First, help your children understand why you disapprove of certain types of entertainment, even if their friends are permitted to experience them. You can’t shield them from the realities of the world (nor should you), but you can help them understand that God’s way is best. Newspaper or Internet reviews can help you decide in advance what videos are appropriate for your children.

The most important thing you can do, however, is to make Christ the center and foundation of your family’s life. God has given your children to you, and you have the privilege of helping them discover God’s plan for them. The Bible’s command applies to our children, as well as us: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

© Tribune Media Services 1/6

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