Setting Guidlines #2

Last time we discussed the need for you to set entertainment guidelines for
your family. I was encouraged by the positive response we received, but many
stated that they didn’t know where to start. Many wanted me to make specific
guidelines for their family, as well.
I can’t–or should I say I won’t–do
that. It is up to the parents to set the specific family guidelines, not
some old guy like me who doesn’t know your family. What I can do, however,
is offer some suggestions that proved to be successful for my family as my
daughters were growing up. I want to remind you, God didn’t die and leave me in charge! These are
simply ideas that may help you “prime the pump” to come up with your own
family guidelines.
Have no more than one television in the house. If you have more than one TV,
you are tempting your family to be more fragmented than they already are. A
second TV will make it easier for your children to isolate themselves from
the rest of the family by choosing to watch the other television. This is
especially of concern if the second television is in your child’s bedroom.
In many families sending a child to his room isn’t punishment, it’s like
being sent to his own personal amusement park.
Turn off the television when you are eating dinner. If the television is on
while the family is eating dinner, you are implying that it is more
important than they are. Also, dinnertime should be for the family to
debrief from the day and discuss their interests. This is called
communication. Television on during this vital time will crush any
communication.
Never use the television as a babysitter. We always had to have an adult in
the room when the television was on to help counterbalance any negative
teaching that may slip in that is against our family’s values.
If the music, movie, or television show was openly against biblical values,
it wasn’t allowed in our home.
Why be so dogmatic? Would you allow strangers
into your home to perform sex acts on your living room floor in front of
your family? No? Then why would you allow someone to do that through
television? Would you allow someone into your home more than once who used
vulgar language belittling your God and values? Then why would you allow
someone do that to your family through some means of “entertainment”?
I believe children need “their space” and we only went into their bedrooms
when invited. My daughters had freedom to listen to secular music in their
room if it wasn’t openly against biblical values. If the music was loud
enough to be heard in the rest of the house, however, then they were
invading our space, and my wife and I decided what we would listen to in our
space.
Before nine in the morning and after nine at night, any music had to be
Christian music. I wanted our family to be thinking about “things above, not
things of this earth” (Col.3:1 & 2) first thing in the morning and the last
thing at night.
These are just a few of the things we did when our children lived at home.
We didn’t use them as a club to beat our children into spiritual submission.
They were a simple guideline to help our daughters learn how to think
biblically and to make wise choices. Hopefully, you will take them for what
they are. They are not divine. Nor are they written in stone. They are
simply suggestions to encourage you to set entertainment guidelines for you
and your family.
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