Secular Media…Should Christian Teens Take Part?

By Emily Miller

There is a lot of trash out there on TV and the radio these days. I can remember flipping through the channels one time and I came across a show where a teen girl was meeting her friends at a café and boasting to them about how she lost her virginity to her boyfriend. Needless to say, I quickly turned the channel, but that one little scene got me thinking.

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I started to wonder if Christian teens should be taking in any secular media at all.

The Bible says in Philippians 4:8 that,

 “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.”

Satan enjoys taking something that is good and pure and twisting things around for his own evil gain. We have to be careful as Christians to not fall into his trap. Before we start watching or listening to any form of media, we need to dig down deep to make sure that what we expose ourselves to is not something that Satan intends to harm us with.

When it comes to secular media, there are a wide variety of things that we can listen to, watch, or read. Some are appropriate and some are not. They could range from watching your favorite team play baseball all the way down to the other end of the line by exposing ourselves to porn. It is important to keep in mind what your own moral values are,  as well as the moral values of friends. If something crosses the moral line of you or a friend, don’t watch or listen to it!

In 1 Corinthians 10:32, Paul says, “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God.”

The meaning of this verse to me, is that,  if you do something that causes a friend to stumble in their walk with the Lord, then you both have sinned. This means that if you have a friend who is against watching the Hunger Games sequel and you make them go see the movie with you, then you have sinned by making your friend go against her convictions.

I don’t want to be that kind of friend, do you?

In deciding whether it’s ok to watch any form of secular media you need to….

  • Take it to the Lord in prayer and seek His direction and guidance.
  • Make sure it does not go against the wisdom found in Philippians 4:8.
  • Make sure you are not causing a Christian brother or sister to stumble by what you are exposing yourself to.

If you have taken these steps, and your heart is in the right place about it, I personally think it’s ok to have a moderate consumption of secular media. There are also some great TV shows out there that are clean and family friendly like, Duck Dynasty. There are also many bands out there that appeal to the Christian teen audience, like Superchick and Skillet. If you look hard enough and do some research you are bound to find something you like. The website, Plugged In, is a great place for both teens and parents to get Christian reviews on all the latest movies, music, and television shows.

Overall, we all need to be careful of what we see and listen to. Satan can plant the smallest things in our mind through secular media. That little seed can grow and fester into something huge, leaving us powerless to stop it without God’s help. Fortunately, God will help you if you happen to be stuck in the pull of secular media, all you have to do is get on your knees and ask.

Are you easily drawn to inappropriate secular media? What helps you to turn away from things that could be harmful and stay on the path God want you on?

 

All for Him,

Emily

Find Your Why: How to Avoid the Traps of Peer Pressure

By Erin Bishop

 

Join me over at Choose NOW for my post “Find Your Why: How to Avoid the Traps of Peer Pressure”. I’ll share some tips on how to resist peer pressure. Click HERE.

 

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Sticks and Stones Series…Words Will Never Hurt and Other Lies We Teach – Lie One

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By Angie

I came across this video from a friend who is passionate about sharing the love of Jesus to young women everywhere.  When I watched this, I felt such a respect for this woman who had been hurt so badly and also challenged with the fact that my words have serious impact – even when I think I am “just helping” my daughter. I believe  this man thought he was helping.  And to me, that was the saddest part: The realization that harm can come when you are thinking you are helping.

If you have time and some tissues, feel free to watch the video here.

But if you only have a few minutes or your videos don’t work half the time like mine (I wait for that silly buffering all. day. long.), here is the gist:

A man wrote into a television reporter to tell her that she should lose weight and be a better example to people watching her.  The woman came back and responded on television, not with fighting words, but to say,” Don’t you think I know I should lose weight, but the real point here is the fact that you think you can criticize me with no relationship to me whatsoever.  You don’t know my story and you have no connection with me.  How can you think you are really helping when you are only hurting with your words?

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It is like a simple hammer.  It can help build a house or it can tear down a wall.

One side is the face.  The place where the nails are set and it helps build places that are created for people to gather and enjoy community.  And then there is the side that destroys.  The claw that rips apart sacred places with a few hard hits.

Our words are like this hammer.  With a few thoughtful words, we can build someone up and encourage a soul.  And with a few careless words, we can shatter a fragile soul.  Possibly one that looks strong from the outside, but behind those walls there is emptiness and these  few words, even if they are only meant to “help out a bit,” might cause major damage.

This hit home recently. My daughter had been out all afternoon with her cousin riding bikes and going to Jimmy John’s.  What a perfect day for teens, right?  When she got home, I noticed that the shorts she was wearing were a little short.  They were not crazy Daisy Dukes and I did not notice them before, but I just offhandedly said, “Don’t wear those shorts anymore.  They are a little short.”

My daughter dresses very modestly, so she got upset and wondered why I didn’t tell her earlier or why I had to tell her at all, because I think she thought that now it ruined her day that she was wearing inappropriate shorts all day.  She was embarrassed that she wore them that short and my words made her feel bad.  I had not thought for one second before I uttered those words of “help.”  I did not think what she would think or how she would feel after having worn them all day.  I didn’t even think about the fact that she purposely is very careful about what she wears.  I didn’t think about the fact that as she is getting older, she is becoming more aware of her body.  I just spurted out what I thought was a harmless comment.

This video and this interaction once again reminded me how important my words are to my daughter and to myself.  The words I say to her can build her up and build a community between us or they can tear her down and destroy the relationship brick by brick, word by word.

For the Mamas:

Let us all pray for each other as we lead and raise and love these young women and let us pray for words seasoned with grace and love.  May we pray before we speak so that the Spirit may fill our words with His kindness and wisdom.  And may we build into them so that we have a thriving relationship so that when there is a time that we do need to confront, we have created a connection that is so strong and full of love, the words will be listened to out of love and respect.

For the Young Ladies:

May you give us grace when we speak and the right words do not come out.  May you feel so loved by God, you feel beautiful, welcomed, and wanted into the community that is your family – this place where God put you to grow into a Godly woman after His heart. May you use your words to build up rather than tear down those in your circle of friends and family

Perfect Love Casts Out All Fears

By: Kim Chaffin

In the summer of 2010 we took our son to college.  He chose a school in Colorado where he had been asked by to play baseball. I remember thinking, “Are you kidding me God, Colorado?”  That seemed so far away.  I was a mess of tears and “what if’s”. God had to have a little one on one with me. In my heart I knew he was telling me, “I am not asking you to give up your son the way I gave up mine.  I am just asking you to let him go so I can take him to college and begin to grow him into the man I am intending for him to be”.  God needed me to trust in Him and to let go of my son because He loved my boy even more than I could fathom.  Yesterday God reminded me of those words when we said, “goodbye” to our daughter at college.

I wish letting go were really that easy…. It’s 5 am and I am awake.  I want to smash alarm clock because it woke me up from the very small amount of sleep I have just gotten.  I guess I am not the only one who will be tired today.  My husband tells me he woke up about 1 am and slept on and off until the alarm went off.  Once again fear of letting go, fear of something happening, fear of all the “what if’s” this over emotional mom could think of have come creeping in.  I tell my husband I think it is because she is a girl and I am worried that someone can hurt her.   I worry for her safety and I hate not knowing that she is safe in her bed.  I want to call but I am not going to wake her up at 5 am when I know in my head she is fine.  My heart seems to be the problem so I go to The Lord in prayer.  I asked God to protect my girl.  I tell him that I know how much he loves her and that I need to trust Him with her.  As I prayed I began to recognize that this fear is not from God at all.   It is from the enemy and I hear in my heart what God gave me as we neared the college the other day… “PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT ALL FEARS”.   That is from 1 John 4:18 and it is talking about there being no fear in God’s judgment because His genuine love confirms our salvation. God’s word however is living and breathing and in my heart I know He is telling me today that His perfect love can cover my fears.

KimI claimed that truth in my prayer and I told God that I was laying my girl at the foot of the cross and into His mighty hands.  I asked God to take my thoughts captive, to not let fear rule me and to give me peace.  As I prayed I saw a picture of a child reaching for something that was not good and a parent tapping their hand and saying “NO”.  I asked God to do the same for me.  In other words, every time He sees me going to pick up that “fear” again, to please give me a Holy Spirit tap and tell me to drop it like any good parent would.   The song by Chris Tomlin hit me as I prayed and I sang the words quietly to myself… “Whom shall I fear?  I know who goes before me I know who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always by my side”.  If He is by my side than He is by both my children also.  I claimed that and prayed God would send his angel armies in front, behind and to the sides of my Kiddos always.

The sun is up now and I see things in a different light.  I am not going to let fear rule me.  I am letting go and trusting God and I hope you are doing the same with your kids.  Parenting out of fear is not a healthy way to parent and I am thankful God showed me that.    If you are struggling with fear for your children please take it before God and let his perfect love cast out all your fears.  The bible is full of scriptures that will help you over come fear.  Psalm 27:1 (NIV) is perfect for this.  The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?  Dig into God’s word and let his truth take away your fears.

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Whatever is Noble

Grace memorized Phil. 4-8 by writing the "Whatever" letters on her wrist. -JoanneKraft

Whatever is noble? The word “noble” makes me think of royalty, a princess,  a King and a tale. 

Once upon a time in a land not so far away, lived a beautiful young maiden. As all good stories go, this lovely young woman was incredibly beautiful. Sadly, she had a hard time seeing herself as lovely and never ever saw herself as beautiful. As a matter of fact, when she looked in the mirror she saw a hideous creature.

Every morning and every evening, this fair girl would peer into her mirror and hope each time to see what she saw in others, fair hair, a creamy complexion, straight teeth and designer clothes of the newest fashion. Yet, every morning and every evening stringy hair, acne and oily skin, crooked teeth and drab clothes she was ashamed to call her own stared back from the mirror.

Unbeknownst to her, this mirror was under a spell—a spell that had been cast on mirrors of all teenagers in all the land.  Instead of displaying her true beauty, it would reflect her innermost thoughts and feelings.  The most cruel of all mirrors, it would remind her of all she felt was wrong with her and never what was true and right.

I’m so ugly. These pimples are disgusting.  My hair never looks good. My feet are HUGE.  And these teeth? Am I part rabbit? Who would want to be seen with me in these hand me downs? How could anyone ever want to be my friend? (more…)

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