Have you ever had a horrible image stuck in your mind? One you try to shake but as soon as you close your eyes it’s like the image is tattooed on the curtains of your eyelids?
Protecting the Images in Our Minds
My husband and I have tried our best to protect the little eyes of our children. When our first child was born, I allowed her to watch a few cartoons that really were clean, but the TV commercials were not. I was disgusted by the sexualized content shown between the kids’ shows!
For us that was the last straw. We had already considered cutting cable because we could use the money to pay off debt, but we didn’t want to lose the shows we liked to watch. But what shows were we watching? Were they shows we would let our little ones watch? Some yes…some no! So why did we rationalize that it was okay for us to watch shows that weren’t okay for our children? That’s more of a rhetorical question because truly I can rationalize anything if I really want it, BUT should I? Should you?
Yes, there are shows that discuss important matters aimed at more mature viewers. In my opinion, that is different than a show that blatantly encourages something as acceptable, funny, and enticing that God deems as sinful.
Aren’t we supposed to heed Paul’s advice even when it comes to TV shows and movies?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
When a Horrible Image Slips Through
I know I will not be able to shield our children forever. Actually, I recently lost the battle while standing right there with my children!
While we were on vacation, our kids settled in with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for a family movie night. In order for the movie to play, the TV had to be set on either channel 3 or 4. A cartoon was playing on one channel and an adult show on the other. So of course, I chose the cartoon. I turned my back for a few seconds to grab the DVD, and when I turned back the cartoon image before my eyes made me instantly change the channel. I could not believe what I had just exposed my children to. I hoped that since I was standing in front of the TV no one had noticed.
It wasn’t until bedtime when I was putting our boys to sleep, that my oldest son said,
“Mom, I can’t get that bad image out of my head. Every time I close my eyes, it’s all I see.”
My heart immediately sank…so we prayed.
We prayed for God to allow him to replace the image with something good. We asked for him to have a peaceful sleep and for the goodness that comes from God himself to override the bad.
Replacing the Bad Images
After we prayed, God provided me with the best way to clear my son’s head…fish talk. To say our son enjoys fishing would be an understatement. He could eat, sleep, and breathe fishing, if we would cater to that.
Since we were vacationing by the lake, we googled what fish were in this particular lake. I showed him all the pictures of what certain fishes looked like. We talked about the best places on the lake to fish for certain species, what time of day would be optimal, which fish he wanted to catch first, and the length and bagging requirements. Then, when we had finished discussing all the details of this particular lake, we started reading Luke 5.
There is no better chapter for a fishing lover than Luke 5.
By the time we finished reading about how Jesus with a word was able to bring about two boatloads of fish almost instantly when the fisherman had fished all night and had caught absolutely nothing, we realized God can make anything happen. As I finished the chapter, he drifted off into a peaceful sleep and hasn’t mentioned the image again.
The images in our minds are powerful. We need to choose the powerful images of Christ, His Word, and His ways to put in our hearts instead of those that contradict everything Christ died to free us from.
Prayer Over Our Hearts
Thank you, Lord, for the amazing way you work. For bringing about beautiful, amazing situations out of frustrating difficulties. The Bible continually soothes our souls when we choose to apply your living word to our current everyday situations. You promise that your word will not return to you empty and it will bring peace. We thank you for the power of your words. May we always let it be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. May it show us where we need to change our hearts as we seek to mold our children’s hearts. In the One who can overcome any obstacle – Amen!
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I have always said what we put into our minds will always be what comes out
I am 48 and I still get bad images in my head. Thankfully, Jesus comes in and heals the image, either by removing it or taking away the bad feelings associated with it. It is great that you are teaching them so young to mind what they put in their heads. I’m currently a Texan, too, btw.
It has to start with what we are watching, hearing, and reading
so much grace! I love your desire to think clearly and wholly. So beautiful!
I agree that the commercials have gone crazy with what they promote all hours of the day. And, programming geared for kids sometimes leaves me scratching my head.
And very true that you can’t just scrub your brain once you’ve seen something.