Message from our Chaplain

There are some decent, even values-oriented things on television for children these days. But, as you know very well, there’s a lot of garbage, too. In between those two extremes, some shows are mostly good but have some words scattered in them that little ears shouldn’t be hearing – or prominent ears, for that matter. Along comes a service called TV Guardian – which automatically replaces a naughty word with a “peep” or another “nice” word, thus removing what could be bad for your child. Occasionally, the replacements are actually a little amusing. Like the word “sex,” for example. The replacement word is “hugs.” Which gets a little interesting when someone asks, “So what will be the hugs of your baby?” But I do think TV Guardian is a pretty good idea. Something like TV Guardian was invented for parents who realise a crucial assignment that they have; to protect their children from anything that could harm them. Of course, a parent is going to protect their son or daughter from physical harm – like getting too close to the edge of a cliff. But parents have no less a responsibility for protecting their children from things that can hurt their soul. There’s a lot of soul poison out there. There is a ten-word challenge that underscores where the front lines of the battle are for any life – including that of your children.

Proverbs 4: 23 begins with these attention-getting words, “Above all else…” Then these ten words – “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

In other words, be careful about what gets into your heart – or into your child’s heart – because it is the reservoir from which everything else flows. There is a saying, “garbage in, garbage out!” Yes, one front in the battle for a child’s pure heart is related to what they listen to and watch. It’s amazing how we will allow someone to portray right into our living room, on TV, DVD, or Netflix, things we would never, ever allow to be done in our living room – sexually, for example. We allow comedy into our home and into our hearts that trivialises sin that ruins lives; not realising that our kids are learning to laugh about things that are eternally serious. No matter what the parental peer pressure of what other parents are allowing and what the culture says is “must see” stuff, we’ve got to stand our ground on not allowing our kids to mentally eat out of the garbage can. But guarding their heart is so much bigger than TV or movies or music. It’s about the poison that comes from us. The bitterness they’re learning by listening to us, the anger, the self-centeredness, the putdowns of other people, the names they hear us call people, the prejudice they hear in the way we talk about others, the disrespect they hear us expressing toward people at work, at church – or even toward their mother or father. That’s more deadly poison than anything the media can pump out. Our precious children need “Parent Guardian” – to protect them from the poison that they see modelled in living colour by parents. The DVD in your son’s or daughter’s heart is always recording. It’s always capturing what it hears, and the impressions are shaping who they’re becoming. You are the guardian, assigned to your child by God, to protect that young heart from poison and infection – even if (especially if) it’s coming from you.

Blessings – Rev Willie