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“Marketing only works if a person is inclined to believe it.”

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Jeremy Pierre posts at TGC about the sins that ensnare and biblical protections for your children.

Children watching television

Parents need to both protect their children from exposure to those things that stir their desires as well as train them to stand against them when they come. We are doing primarily the former in their early years. As they grow, we can do more of the latter. I can think of a few ways these two principles may be applied, none of which I received as some midnight revelation from God:

Avoid exposure to things that stir desire. Negatively, it’s best to avoid commercials altogether.off screen I have found my children are far more content when not barraged with why they shouldn’t be. We must also think carefully about the value systems being presented in the shows they watch. What promises of joy or fulfillment are implied in that narrative worldview? Sitting kids indiscriminately in front of a TV or computer might be the best way to undermine discernment. Also consider avoiding certain stores or departments that more nakedly appeal to kids’ impulses. Positively, we want them to experience the truer forms of satisfaction that marketing cannot deliver: the sense of accomplishment from hard work, the reward of serving others, and the joy of engaging relationally. These are better pointers to the satisfaction of knowing God.

Expose them enough to train them to examine things biblically. As our children grow, we want to expose them to enough of the virus that their bodies might develop resistance. The key here is that parents accompany them in these exposures. Simply loosening up standards as they get older is not teaching discernment. Instead, they’ll need to be instructed in real time through well-placed questions and careful consideration of Scripture within the complex situations of life. Wise parents will manage the complexity of those situations as much as possible for the sake of the child not being thrown into the deep end too quickly. This takes time, effort, and no small amount of courage in the face of resistance. But most of all, it requires parents themselves to be pursuing the ability to discern what is pleasing to God through the knowledge of his Word.television family

We want our children to have a cynical eye to the messages they’re hearing about what is valuable. Marketing only works if a person is inclined to believe it. If our daughters, and our sons, are inclined to believe it generally, then we should not be surprised that they’d fall for it in the specific things we find most crude.

Again, only genuine love for God will spare them from the love of the world (1 John 2:15-17). But parents are called both to shield them from and also train them to resist the world’s strongest beckonings. And God often uses this labor to make children into truly bright young things that “shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:15).

Underwear, Discernment and Truly Bright Young Things

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Written by mrsdkmiller

March 30, 2013 at 10:29 am

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