I am not a TV watcher. I very rarely watch anything on TV, much preferring to curl up with a good book instead. On rare occasion, however, usually when my husband is out of town on business and the kids are finally tucked up in bed, I will turn it on and flip through a few channels trying to find something worthy of my time. More often than not, after about five minutes of this, the TV is once again turned off and I return to my book. Every time I do watch TV, I am quickly reminded why we chose years ago to never allow cable TV into our home. There is plenty of mind-numbing, soul-polluting fare on the regular channels…why would I pay money to bring more of it into my home?
Tonight was one of those rare occasions when I turned on the set to check for weather updates after church was interrupted with a tornado warning. The devastating tornado that struck our little town a couple of months ago has made us a little more apt to take those warnings seriously, so I wanted to make sure it was safe to put the kids to bed upstairs and not in the basement. No weather reports were available, but the first few minutes of a show entitled “The Baby Borrowers” caught my attention. Apparently, several teen couples were given children of various ages to borrow and “parent” for a period of time, so they could see what parenting is really all about, in hopes of discouraging teen pregnancy. My first thought was, “You’ve got to be kidding…who in their right minds would allow their children to be used in such an experiment?!” This was evidently the final episode, with a panel of “experts” (and I use the term loosely!) evaluating the merits of this experiment and debating society’s issues with teen pregnancy. I found myself quickly moving from interest to disbelief to intense frustration as I listened to the debate.
While I am sure that parenting children full-time was a great deterrent for these particular teenagers, I couldn’t help but feel the adults were entirely missing the point. The debate ranged from whether the new teen flick “Juno” is affecting girls’ views of being mothers at a young age as a positive thing to whether or not Hollywood (a la Jamie Lynn Spears) is influencing teen girls to want to be pregnant and to view it as glamorous. While I have not seen the movie, nor do I follow the life of the Spears family, I definitely disagree with the conclusions of the “experts”. They applauded “Juno” as a positive example of a girl who handles an unexpected pregnancy with maturity and stated that teens were mature enough to know the difference between fiction and real life. Again, I believe they are missing the entire point. While offering effective birth control was discussed, the value of purity was glaringly absent. Nowhere was it discussed that this would not even be an issue if our children were taught to follow God’s plan for sex to be a beautiful expression of married love. So here we have a television show with unmarried teen couples placed in a living situation with children, and from several scenes, apparently sharing a bedroom. Hello?!! Am I the only one that sees the irony here?
I believe our downward spiral into the morally decadent society we have today has definitely been influenced by Hollywood and what our children are exposed to every day. But is it completely Hollywood’s fault that so many babies are born to unwed parents or aborted every year? You might be surprised by my answer here, but…no. Who is responsible for letting our children watch these television shows or movies that depict teen sexual activity as normal? Who is responsible for buying the clothes that outfit our little girls as tramps? Who is responsible for accepting the world’s message that our children should be oversexed, irresponsible and unable to control their impulses? I can only answer that we, as parents, are the gatekeepers of our children’s hearts. If we have allowed the world to come into our homes, whether it is via television or movies or music or advertising and done nothing to teach our children to discern right from wrong, then we are the ones responsible. I beg you as mothers and fathers, stand up and refuse to be sucked into the moral cesspool our world has created. Don’t buy those outfits for your six-year-old whose intent is to make her look “sexy”. Don’t accept the pre-teen “role models” that pervade our society and masquerade as wholesome when they are anything but wholesome. The problem of teen pregnancy starts way before the teen years. Walk into any department store and survey the clothes offered in the children’s section. Read the books being offered to them as good literature at school. Open your eyes before it’s too late…and don’t be afraid to be unpopular and say that dreaded word…“No”. Have the wisdom to set your own standards and the courage to abide by them instead of blindly accepting what society says is “normal”. Hollywood only dishes out what sells…are you buying? In our house, we choose to let God set the standards, not some group of people who only want one thing…your money.
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