• Wednesday, March 12, 2008
  • In a recent article from the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation newsletter, Faculty Member Winston Smith was interviewed by Michele Howe of New Growth Press about practical ways that parents can equip their family to think accurately in response to media's powerful messages. Here are some insights from the article:

    On helping your child discern media and the lack of negative consequences:

    “ The foundation for helping our youngsters develop their media antenna is to hone their understanding of the human heart. The Bible says we're all self-deceived. As people live out their belief systems in front of others, our kids need to understand that they're being exposed to someone's worldview, which is frequently inaccurate or skewed when lined up against the Bible. Parents should try not to be reactionary. Rather, they should seek to gently challenge their kids to see what God's Word has to say about such messages”

    On teaching your child about sexual purity:

    “The world presents sex as the hidden animal side of people and as a secret sin. The Bible teaches just the opposite. Sex between a married man and woman is specially designed to communicate love between them. But when sex is used outside God's parameters, we communicate something hurtful. Parents have the responsibility to give their kids a positive vision of sexuality"

    Helping our children understand the culture:

    “We want our kids to know that the culture is always telling them something. As salt and light, we must first hear what the particular message is and then respond. We do not want to be separatists; that is not how Jesus intended us to live. As Christians, we hear, digest, and consider; then we can send back a message that is positive and redemptive."

    On the pop culture of music and Hollywood:

    “Listen to what the lyrics in the music are saying. Ask them to tell what they observe in a person's style of clothing. I'm trying to challenge them to be keen observers of the message conveyed by the choices people make. As they answer, we talk about it. Song lyrics and people's dress can often fly under the radar and convey subtle, yet powerful messages if we don't train our kids to see it. On the topic of body piercings and tattoos, parents must ask their kids what having these adornments means to them. Why do they want it? Remember, an object's value is always tied to the heart motive."

    On rules and discerning wisdom in the home:

    “Parenting is a path of individual wisdom; there isn't necessarily a black and white set of rules. Parents need know their own kids and assess where each child is strong and weak. Moms and dads must ask themselves what their parenting goals are. As a father, my goal is to grow my kids into God-honoring persons of faith. I realize that as they move into adulthood, they cannot simply be rule followers any longer. Rather, they need to be wise decision makers. Parents have to understand their own transition from the rule enforcer to the wise counselor as their children get older. Our roles shift. Of course, how quickly this occurs depends on what each child can handle.”

    To read the complete article follow this link to “Make It Real: Media and the Home Front


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