Those Good Ole Movies or Are They?
Heart to Heart

Those Good Ole Movies or Are They?
by Candy Summers

 Several months ago Jon talked with me about his grave concerns over how those seemingly harmless, good ole John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart … movies were affecting our children. God, too, had been moving in my heart, but I must admit I was reluctant to give up all our viewing as he suggested. After all, it’s nice to be entertained once in awhile, but I, too, had to agree that I was greatly concerned about what these movies were imparting to our children on the subject of love and marriage.
 Although the plots varied, inevitably the whole premise of each movie revolved around falling in love. Often the heroines were independent and even brazen. Kissing occurs almost immediately after meeting. And amazingly, the only time parents are involved in the plot, which is practically nonexistent, they are portrayed as being mean, controlling busybodies whose meddling attempts to keep their child from the only happiness he or she will ever know.
 It’s a well-known fact that we retain far more of what we see than what we hear, and we all know that there’s nothing like a movie for leaving lasting impressions. So even if we continually teach God’s plan and perfect design for marriage, can it overcome all the images our children see that paint a far different picture in their minds? Moreover, if our children watch just four hours of movies a week, do we spend that much time reiterating God’s message for a God-ordained marriage?
 Just think for a minute. If you wanted to destroy the propagation of God’s kingdom, how would you do it? What institution furthers God’s kingdom more than any other? The family! So how would you go about undermining the family as quickly as you could? What do most families do together night after night?
 In less than two generations our enemy has successfully brainwashed the mass populace’s minds and deadened their spirits as well, all in the guise of good ole entertainment. His message: Everyone has the right to make his own decisions apart from God or anyone else; parents should not interfere in their children’s lives; people fall in love; and the fulfillment of lust is the ultimate pleasure. Consequently, foolish parents have allowed their foolish children, without any guidance or direction, to make foolish choices, and now we face the consequences of soaring divorces with the very fabric of our society on the brink of disaster.
 Time and time again we counsel with homeschooling parents who are struggling because they are not equally yoked. Consequently, they wear each other out trying to pull in different directions. We certainly went through that in the first few years of our marriage. What a waste of precious time! Don’t we desire better for our children, yet we continue to feed them from the same menu of the enemy’s propaganda that we feasted on when we were kids. Look at what it did to us and how we have had to struggle to alter our direction so that it is in alignment with God’s.
 As homeschooling parents we make far better choices in our viewing selections than most people, but we fall far short of God’s standard. For if we compare our selections to today’s productions, they seem perfectly harmless, but if we truly evaluate them in the light of God’s Word, they are deadly.
 We shudder to think how we have taken our children to the world’s buffet of humanism and allowed them to dine heartily on all those ungodly messages. And although we mostly read and play games at night, with only once or twice a week feasting, our children have had a bellyful.
 Long ago, maybe fifteen years or so, we eliminated television viewing because of the evil it was bringing into our home. How disheartening that it has taken us this long to eliminate the oldies, too. Old habits are hard to break!
 For example, one day my son and I were riding in our van listening to our Nat King Cole tape. We don’t listen to rock or country, or even the oldies, because of the messages they impart. Yet here I was listening to Nat’s rich, calming voice in the back of my mind while the front was consumed with all I had to do. Suddenly Jedidiah’s voice pops out with, “That guy sure has a great voice, but the words to his songs sure are crummy.”
 Words? What words? I could not think of the words to any of his songs because I’m always listening to him in the background while I’m thinking in the foreground about all I need to do. On the other hand, Jedidiah could recite every song on that tape because his young, uncluttered mind absorbs everything like a sponge. My immediate thought was, “Oh Lord, what have I done to this child’s mind?” My immediate response was to ask Jedidiah to forgive me for my negligence in protecting him. And then I proceeded to ask God to forgive me and make my husband and I even more aware of the worldly influences we need to eliminate from our lives.
 So today I sat down with the children and asked them if they thought that they would be able to follow God’s design for betrothal and marriage if they continued to watch movies. Would they be able to honor their earthly father? Would they be able to follow God’s Word in light of all the contrary messages they were receiving? Could they think of any movies that imparted a godly message? How about just an honorable movie?
 They, too, agreed that even as little as we watched and as careful as we are, we needed to stop trying to find the elusive great movie, stick with our own collection, and begin reviewing each of those in light of God’s standard to determine which ones to keep and which ones to throw away. Will it be easy? No. Breaking off old habits and breaking new ground is always hard at first, but God is faithful to empower us to do what is right.
 I talked with Jon and asked him if we could examine each of our movies instead of getting rid of all of them, and he agreed. So as we carefully examine our videos, we’re going to ask ourselves if it honors God. Will it make us wiser and more godly? Will it fortify our faith, strengthen our righteous stand, help us emulate excellence, or encourage virtuous conduct? For God says, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things” (Phil. 4:8).