Dear Grace Women,
As most of you know, I have five beautiful grandchildren and now we have one more on the way! With the world seeming to be going "sin-crazy", I am so concerned about the future spiritual well-being of these precious ones, as I also am of all of your children.
Because of this, I think it is good for us to explore the subject of television and movies once again. Maybe this will open up a discussion of the subject. I believe it is one of those subjects that is not spoken of often enough here or anywhere. In this evil world we live in, it is just not "politically correct"!
MOVIES, TELEVISION, AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN
Television and movies and their blatant immorality and godlessness, probably cause one of the biggest struggles among families today, especially those who claim to be Christian. Parents are unsure of what their children should be allowed to watch or what they should not. There are so few shows that will not be harmful to children in one way or another. Christian parents do not wish to be prudish, yet want their children to grow up to be God-fearing adults. This presents a difficult struggle.
As far as television and movies go, most of us will admit that there are very few shows that even saved, God-fearing adults should watch. Whether we like to admit it or not, as adults, these shows DO affect our judgment and morals. They DO affect our thinking.
Years ago, I heard a godly grace preacher teach that our minds are like huge computers. They store up everything we put in them and then at any given time they bring it back up to our consciousness. You never really get rid of anything you have put in there. It is always there for a lifetime. This is why we must guard our minds. When a steady stream of immorality is put in them, how can we keep it from affecting our thinking and judgment?
For example, in our public schools today, children are taught a steady stream of indoctrination that homosexuality is right and normal. This "re-education" starts in kindergarten. What will happen to the minds of these children when they become adults, especially when this is reinforced on television shows the children are allowed to watch? They will believe it is right and normal, something a person can't help, and will doubt the Word of God, if they ever hear what the Bible says about it. This doubt about the correctness of the scriptures on this one issue, will cause them to doubt all of God's Word. This is Satan's first and greatest tool, that of causing people to doubt what God has said. He said to Eve in the garden of Eden, "Yea, hath God said...?", casting doubt on what God had told them.
Concerning the television issue, even one glimpse of immorality and blatant sinful acts will stay in one's mind for a lifetime. Several years ago, I was in a hotel, flipping channels on a television that received more channels than we have at home. I was not prepared for the surprise that caught my eye. There, on the screen was the most abhorrent scene of immorality I have ever witnessed. To top it off, instead of immediately changing the channels, I watched it for a few seconds longer. I guess I was stunned that such things would be shown on television and I guess my flesh and sinful nature just wanted a "little" peek at a little more, before pushing the button on the remote. I regret those moments to this day. Without warning, and for no reason at all, these scenes reenter my mind, over and over, popping up when I do not want them to. I wish that I could erase them from my "computer" mind, but I can't. I can't push a delete button! I know that I am reaping what I have sown, for what goes in will come out!
Galatians 6:7 tells us,
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
A. PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN
I struggled as a young mother of children, years ago, in trying to protect my children from the things I felt would not be good for their young and impressionable minds. And things were not nearly as bad then, as they are now! I believe that the producers today of television shows and movies try to "push the envelope", a little more every season. What used to be rated "R" and "X" in the theaters is now on daytime and nighttime television.
What grieves me more than what can be seen on television and the movies, is the lack of conviction that "grace believers" have about these things, (that is, those who believe salvation is by grace through faith). As an example, several years ago I was appalled by the response of many Christians to the movie, "Titanic". 25 years ago, "Titanic" would have been "X" rated and Christian parents would not have allowed their children to be seen anywhere near such a movie. Today, many children and teenagers have been allowed to, and sometimes even encouraged to see this movie, in spite of what should be considered "X" rated scenes. Many claim to do this because it is considered "educational".
Actually most people know that there have been several great documentaries made about the Titanic that are truly educational, without the sinful scenes. Why not allow children to only see the documentaries?
In condoning movies such as this, I am afraid that parents do not realize the statement they are making to their children. They do not realize how much their children's minds are affected by such a movie. The "Titanic" is blatantly immoral, and the statement to the child from this movie (or adults, for that matter) is that premarital sex or adulterous sex is acceptable and actually good and right, especially if you think you "love" a person. Do we want our children to "copy-cat" this immoral behavior? Do we want them to have illicit sex with whomever they think they are "in love with" as teens or as adults?
From the movie, the statement is also made to children and to the world that nudity displayed and glorified is okay and sometimes good. In spite of what we teach our children from the scriptures, or by our words and actions, Hollywood and its statements will probably have more of an impact than we do upon our children. Basically from such movies, children are being taught that what the Bible says about these things is not right after all.
Another thing about allowing your children to see such movies, is that the immoral scenes will be forever imprinted in their minds. Because anything that arouses the senses leaves a lasting impression, these scenes will pop back up in their minds for the rest of their lives.
B. A WOMAN MUST HAVE HER OWN CONVICTIONS
Parents, what you teach your children by your words is far less effective than what you teach them from your own actions and attitudes. Our attitudes about what we and our children watch will teach them far more than what we actually say to them. We must model Christlike behavior in front of our children. We must model to them our own convictions and show personal restraint in order to teach them to do the same. We must not allow ourselves to do anything, nor to watch anything, that we would not want them to do also. If we do not want our teaching to be "cast away" by our children, then we must bring our own bodies into subjection. Paul states this when he says, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."
Let it never be said of us, who claim salvation by grace and who claim to believe the Bible means what it says, that we call evil good, and good evil! The Lord warns us so much about this. The following verses are just a sampling of verses that speak of these things.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
4 He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
C. WHAT MUST A WOMAN DO?
A woman must abhor evil, as the above verses say! Her convictions about television and movies must be deep, deep enough for it to grieve her when she or her children watch things that are openly sinful. We, as women, and mothers, should search the scriptures, to see what the Lord says about these things, and allow the scriptures to convict us.
While raising my children years ago, I found Psalms 101 and it helped to form my own convictions. The first phrase jumped out at me then as it still does today. In the rest of the passage the psalmist also speaks of his convictions about what he will allow his eyes to see, and his ears to hear. The passage says:
3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.
5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.
7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
Notice verse seven above. May I suggest that "Titanic" and many, many other movies, as well as many television shows that can be seen at any time, are works of deceit? They deceive those who watch them, adults as well as children. Verse seven says, "He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight." Hollywood is lying to us! Hollywood is deceiving us! And we allow these lies and deceit into our homes, and we willingly watch them! We allow them to "tarry" in our sight!
When your own convictions are deep, it will grieve you to see and hear things that are not pleasing to the Lord. I believe in today's world, that parents have allowed their own consciences to be seared so much that they don't even recognize evil when they see it.
We see in the scriptures that our consciences can be seared. Paul makes mention of this in I Timothy 4 where he says:
1 Timothy 4:2:
...Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron...
The Lord admonishes us to keep our thoughts pure and clean. We are admonished to do this in Philippians 4:8, as well as in other passages.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Do we really believe the above verses, and that we must think and dwell only on good things and things that are acceptable to the Lord?
We are also told to "grieve not the holy Spirit" in Ephesians 4:30. I imagine we have no comprehension of how these sinful things, that we or others watch and take into our minds, grieve our precious Lord! We are admonished not to grieve Him in Ephesians 4:30.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
D. SIN GROWS!
When our consciences are seared we begin to allow more and more evil to influence us and our families. As almost everyone probably knows, sin GROWS! It has a snowball effect!
Instead, we must choose those things that are good for us spiritually, to grow within our minds! We must discern things and choose those things that are excellent to influence our lives! Paul said in Philippians,
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
E. A MOTHER IS HER CHILD'S "KEEPER"
Our duty and calling, as mothers (and grandmothers), is to use this knowledge and judgment to guard the minds of our children. A woman is told in Titus, to be a "keeper at home".
Titus 2:4-5 tells us:
4 ...teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
A study of the word "keeper" throughout the scriptures gives us the meaning of a mother being a "guard". This guard is to guard the minds of those under her charge, much as a shepherd, who "keeps" his sheep, guards his sheep. If he is not with his sheep, he cannot guard them. Therefore, a mother must be WITH her children, ever guarding them from the harmful deceit of Satan.
We are told that Satan, "as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour". Much as David, (as we are told in I Samuel), when he was a shepherd, protected his sheep from a lion that would have devoured them, so mothers have the job of being "keepers" of their own children, "at home"! They must guard and protect these children, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, "at home" as the scriptures plainly say.
F. HANDLING THE PROBLEMS OF A DIVIDED HOME
What can a wife do when her husband does not share her convictions? Because a woman is told to be in submission to her husband, we know it is not the Lord's will for her to try to "usurp authority" over him. First of all, a wife should probably try to talk to her husband, especially if he is saved. This should be done in a way as to not show insubordination, but merely an expression of how she feels about what is best for their children. If her husband does not agree, or rebels from her expressions of her own convictions, she might consider doing something else with her children in order to protect them.
There are several things a wife can do, but it may depend upon her circumstances. In some cases she might just take the children out of the room and do other things with them, if her husband is watching something she does not approve of. If a wife and mother has the deep convictions we spoke of earlier, her very actions will be convicting to her husband, in most cases, without her saying a word.
I Peter 3 tells us that a woman can "win" her husband without "preaching" to him. The verses say:
1 Peter 3:1-2:
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
Also, the Lord may be able to use a wife's convictions by allowing her husband to overhear her telling their children why she, as well as they, will not be watching a particular program. This could have a positive influence on him, if his wife is not trying to force her opinions on him, but merely teaching their children.
There are a few cases, as in the case of saved husbands who do not have convictions about such matters, where it might be beneficial to say something like, (very sweetly, not begrudgingly), "I don't think the kids and I should be watching this, so we are going to go do _______". And then go do something else in another room. At first, as with most wives, you will probably get no reaction, but eventually, the conviction you are practicing may be convicting to his heart also.
If you tell your husband what he should do, or criticize him, or in any way are not in submission, then your actions may produce an opposite reaction. Because of his natural God-given desire to be the head of your home, your husband may rebel and do more that displeases you, just to prove you are not going to run his life.
A wife can, without doubt, stand up for her convictions, without trying to usurp authority over her husband. Her "meek and quiet spirit", while standing up for her own convictions, convicts more than most women realize. The passage in I Peter also says:
1 Peter 3:2-4
2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
The scriptures prove that it is more of what you do, rather than what you say to your husbands that makes the difference, for a wife is to be in subjection to her husband. It is something he "beholds"! Wives, we must all ask ourselves, "What does my husband behold in my life?"
I Corinthians 9:27, shows that we must first do what we know is right. We must first bring our own bodies into subjection to the Lord's will.
1 Cor. 9:27:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
A wife must bring her own body into subjection in order to have any influence over her children and her husband. It should never be "You cannot watch this", to her children, but rather, "We are not going to watch this!" Otherwise the children will think it is not a matter of convictions but of the age of an individual. When they think they are an adult and can then do as they please (and this is usually around the age of 13!), they, as teenagers, will have no convictions about any of these things, and the parents will end up having very little control over them!
G. A WOMAN'S INFLUENCE
Moms, take heart! You have more influence than you may believe over your husband and children! The scriptures say in I Corinthians that the unsaved husband and children are sanctified by the wife.
1 Corinthians 7:14-16 says:
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
I believe this passage means a woman's influence in the home will teach her family or in some way influence her family and point them toward the Lord's Word and His will. It is her godly influence that the Lord uses. The Word "sanctified" merely means to be set apart for a holy use. They are not saved by the wife, but are merely put into a position where the Lord and the scriptures can have more influence on their lives.
Many find their role in their homes to be difficult and they choose to detach, or "cop out" just when the battle gets tough! The Lord wants to use you, dear wives! Who else can he use who is so closely involved in your loved ones' lives? Wives and mothers, I pray you don't let go of this influence, by "copping out" or "detaching" from your role and neglecting to do what the Lord would have you do in your home, just when you are needed the most! Be consistent in your service to and for the Lord! Do it for Christ's sake, as well as for all of those whom you love!
Fear the Lord and depart from evil today! To fear the Lord is to depart from evil!!
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
Wives, we should seek only the praise that comes from the Lord!
I am praying for all those who read this!
For His sake,
Grace Bible Church