Distracted Maturity: Collateral Damage
Updated: Apr 14, 2018
Charming, a bit odd, bordering rude, and increasingly outright irreverent. Children's entertainment has held varying degrees of moral boundaries throughout the last century. In another sprint of technology, we have moved from children gathering in anticipation around a radio in the evening, to a seemingly endless barrage of increasingly bizarre, high definition characters. It all may have started out innocent enough. Perhaps seeking to add some relief to a generation that was undergoing immense cycles of stress which two world wars and a severe economic depression brought. Whatever the initial intentions, however, entertainment today (music, video, or literature) has begun to wage a silent coupe of influence. A myriad of anti-biblical and political viewpoints are either being displayed outright, or slipped in through more duplicitous ways. It is true, that with diligent care, these nefarious attempts to commandeer the minds of our children could be thwarted, yet herein lies the lack of maturity in our generation. We, ourselves, have been victims of this high-jacking, and have lost sight of our God-given responsibility to teach and guide our children in a Godly, Biblical world view.
In Deuteronomy chapter six, God begins to line out one of the most controversial lists in history. The Ten Commandments. While introducing these commandments God lays out His plan for their perpetual communication:
"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."
- Deuteronomy 6:7-9
Just before God gives these demonstrative commandments, He emphasizes the great need for parents to disciple their children in the truths and commands of His Word. Notice the great care that this implies. We are to teach them, "diligently". Carefully honing the mind and conscience like the edge of a blade. To take great care to use every opportunity to notice any potential weakness, or dullness, in their character as we walk with our children throughout their time in our stewardship. Yet, how can we? After all, many of us are, ourselves, entrapped early on with a consuming cycle of sleep, work, eat, be entertained, and sleep some more. Children temporarily interrupt this inveterate life cycle, often entering in with long sappy posts of love and grandeur. Soon, however the sparkle of newness wears off, and they are treated in their youth as an inconvenience. All of the energy, curious questions, and desires for personal attention (which exist to provide us opportunity to mold and sharpen), grate and grind on our already distracted minds, causing many to shut out those that God has entrusted us to educate and exhort in His ways.
In the book of Proverbs God gives us a look at what the damage caused from this selfish neglect looks like.
"There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation, O how lofty are their eyes! and their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men." - Proverbs 30:11-14
We see all of these attributes of generational rebellion becoming more and more apparent in the lives of our children today. Truly, we are each personally responsible for our own decisions, and our children are no exception to this. However, it has become increasingly apparent that our negligence of this great privilege we have been given by God, has accomplished what God warned us of in Ephesians chapter six:
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." - Ephesians 6:4
When you see the word provoke, picture in your mind a child, fists balled, heart broken, and discouraged from attempting any longer to fight for your affections and time. Then, ask yourself this. Is it really God's desire that we give our children, His heritage to us, a sliver of a percent of our personal time? Should we rather cram out the clamor of indoctrinating entertainment and leisure, in a sincere effort to focus first on the Lord, and then on discipleing those that reside under our watch care? If we are going to make a substantive impact on the next generation, maybe it starts with unplugging from the shiny objects, and starting to invest in the eternal souls sitting near us.
Colossians 3:1-25 KJV
 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:  For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;  And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.  And above all these things [put on] charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.  Husbands, love [your] wives, and be not bitter against them.  Children, obey [your] parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.  Fathers, provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged.  Servants, obey in all things [your] masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:  And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.