Family Friendly Life


I suppose I should start by saying that I don't have kids. So I haven't yet experienced the full complexity of the issue before me. Nevertheless, I'm compelled to speak out against what I'll call "family friendly living."

First of all, I get MPAA ratings. Some people don't appreciate certain levels of content, so it's prudent to advise an audience on what they might be getting themselves into. But Christians seem obsessed with "family friendly" movies.

I often hear, "If you wouldn't want your kids to see it, then you shouldn't be watching it either!" Apparently, these people are ok with leaving their intellect at the level of a 3rd grader's. It's like telling Michelangelo to ignore the culture of his day and sculpt David out of Play-Doh, complete with Ken's smooth area. To this sectarian, cloistered community I see evangelicalism flocking—away from the villainous, indoctrinating influences of the world around them. Because it's imperative that the only indoctrinating going on, be coming from us

photo credit: Mike Babcock via photopin cc
I'm not arguing ethics. Many schools of thought (yes, biblical ones) exist on this, and they would all miss the point. Instead, I'm just arguing common sense: life isn't family friendly. You can hide ya kids and hide ya wife all you want, but you can't escape life.

If you raise a child with rose-colored glasses, they'll never be able to distinguish the many blues and yellows in this world. And one day, those glasses are gonna break. I wonder how that person will react to seeing blues and yellows for the first time? Maybe we should ask all the sheltered kids abandoning Christianity after going to college. Or maybe we should do a better job preparing those kids for the world we know all about.

I understand that parents are concerned about their children's safety and impressionability. Kids mimic; that's how they learn. And it terrifies us when they start flipping each other off. But it terrifies me when we're more concerned that our kids get taught at school what they do at home, than teaching our kids to think for themselves.

I'll say it now and bite my tongue later: I'd rather my future child deny Christ honestly, than affirm him dishonestly. I could very well end up eating my words on that. Or I could end up a horrible father. But I'm not going to tell my kids they can't see an R-rated movie because there's too much foul language, and then let them ride CTA. They will inevitably encounter perspectives that differ from what I'll teach them. And when that happens, I can only hope that one of the things they learned was how to use that lump on the end of their necks.

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