When my oldest son was a child, I made the mistake of letting him watch one of my all-time favorite movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry battling vampires…what could be so wrong with that? He was so frightened he started sleeping with a blanket wrapped around his neck.
With son number two, I tried to be smarter. When he wanted to see his first scary movie, I decided to let him only on the condition that he covered his head with a blanket during the scary parts. He was under that blanket so long that he finally fell asleep and missed the entire movie.
Yes, I made some dumb young-mother mistakes. But at some point in their lives, both my boys reached an age where we collectively decided they were old enough to watch such movies without worries. After all, if it didn’t frighten them then it must be okay, right?
As good parents, we try to monitor what our children see. We want to protect their little minds from the violence and sex and inappropriate behaviors that permeate our culture. Yet at some point in our own lives we too made the decision that we were old enough to see and handle such things. Censoring ourselves seemed unnecessary and childish. But lately God has been convicting me about the images and influence I allow into my life, and as I studied Eve, one of the things that jumped out at me was that her fall into sin began with what she saw.
Genesis 3:6 says “when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” She saw the fruit. Seeing led to desiring and desiring led to sinning.
One of my favorite shows now is Doctor Who. I enjoy watching the Doctor and his companions travel through time and space finding trouble and adventures, and while I can’t see any overtly inappropriate things wrong with the show, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t have an effect on me. At first, I wasn’t even aware of it, but when I found myself overusing the word “proper”—which they use on the show surprisingly often—I could no longer deny it. I had been influenced by this show without even realizing it. And if a fairly tame production like Doctor Who can have such an influence over me then how can I ever rationalize that other, more graphic shows with all their sex, violence and language have none?
So I challenge you this week to meditate on what you see. Do the shows you watch sway you towards sin of any kind? Envy? Lust? Discontent? Do you shun the culture or do you embrace it? Or do you leave the door cracked just enough to let the world seep in all in the name of entertainment? Guarding what we see and hear should not end when we reach a certain age. It should never end. Because we live in a world and culture that strives to pull us away from God, we must constantly be on alert and aware of the influences we allow into our lives. Guard what you see. To do otherwise is opening the door for the pull of the culture to drag us away from the Lord.