I became overwhelmed last night. Through a series of conversations, news reports, memes on Facebook and online articles, I came to a realization. We are bombarded, overwhelmed, assaulted, strafed with the world's message. Can we, as parents, as the Church, even keep up?
When I was a child, my parents could trust me to go to any other family's house. For the most part, we all had the same belief system. What we heard at home, we heard at our friend's house. What we heard at home, we heard at school. We spent 90% of our time outside of school...outside. The only children's programming on TV appeared on Saturday mornings. Plus, our houses were hot---most of the time it was cooler outside. And our friends were outside! Television went off around 10 o'clock at night. Programming was over for the day. Of course, it didn't matter in most homes because we didn't have it on that much anyway. It was frustrating to watch television back then--someone would have to constantly adjust the TV antenna outside to get a decent picture.
And now? We're inundated by media. We have television, computers, Facebook, Twitter, movies, cell phones. Anything and everything is consistently available to us and we're accessing it constantly. CONSTANTLY!!! We're hearing the message of the world 24/7.
This past week, I've been unplugging...not totally, but for hours at a time. I'm learning just how addicted I am. I'm used to the noise. But I'm also beginning to see how battered we are as a nation because of the attack on our minds. How in the world do we, as parents and the Church, compete for that kind of time? We used to only be concerned for the amount of time our kids spent at school vs. home and whose teaching they were getting. Now we should be concerned for the amount of teaching our kids are getting not just at school, but from the media. And if they're getting teaching at home, is it getting lost in the midst of the barrage of media?
I'm concerned. I'm afraid our kids are getting comfortable with "wrong." Blow by blow, the world is hacking away at "right." The world is offended by God's standards. They don't want someone else telling them that what they're doing is sin...so they make sin acceptable. And it's a message our kids are hearing over and over and over. And not just our kids...we may be buying into it as adults, too.
The solution, as I see it, is we need to unplug from the world. I'm encouraging you as families to unplug as much as possible this summer. And then plug into God. Obviously, you need to be teaching your children God's Word and His principles at home. But then you need to put your kids in places where they're going to be confronted with the same message---VBS, camps, youth groups, other families who live the same way. Pray with your kids. You can't just live for God and hope the message of your life rubs off! You've got to be actively teaching them. Not cramming it down their throats, but using every teachable moment that presents itself. We can't afford to lose this battle!