The Video Store
Joey & Carla Link
Our adult daughter Amy came to visit us for a week last fall. After several days of long and hard work around this old house of ours, we all wanted to relax one night. So we went to our local video store to pick out a movie. We walked in and saw the posters of the newest releases and I asked her if anything looked good to her. Personally I was a little surprised at the poor quality of new releases. Out of thirty some movies, only two were of any interest to either of us. So we walked the perimeter of the store looking at all the new release trying to find something to watch. We finally found one and took it home.
Did you pick up the most important point of my experience? How did my adult daughter have the same values as I have? How do parents pass their values on to their kids so that when they become adults you have the same or at least similar values to be able to enjoy hanging out together?
It goes back to what God gave Moses to teach Israel how to pass their faith on to their kids long before they had a Bible to refer to. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says parents are supposed to impress on their kids’ hearts what they believe like the impression left on a t-shirt. You are to talk to your kids about this mark when you are hanging out at home, when you drive them around in the car and when you are giving them baths and putting them to bed. You are to talk to your kids whenever you are around them.
That is exactly what we used to do when our kids were teens and we walked around the video store looking for a good movie. I knew they would be looking at movies in the future and I wanted to be sure they had the standard of what made a movie good or bad from my point of view. Before I launched them into the world where they would ultimately be responsible to God for the choices they made, I knew it was my responsibility to be sure my kids knew God’s standards of right and wrong including moral choices of what kinds of movies to watch.
When I (Joey) took our teens to the video store, I would ask them about the different movies we saw on the shelves. I asked questions to see what they really believed about what they saw. I drew one of my daughter’s attention to the cover of a DVD that had a scantily clad girl on it and asked her what she thought about that and what that said about the movie. Asking questions about the movies gave them a way to talk about what they were seeing and reading about the movies in a non-threatening way. While there is not a verse in the Bible that tells us what kinds of moves to watch, there are plenty of verses that point out how we are to act and one especially on what we should think. Philippians 4:8 says:
“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.”
Once when we were looking for a movie to rent, I saw a boy around 13 years going for a movie on the shelf to show his mother what he wanted to watch. He grabbed it and took it to her and the look on that mom’s face was of disgust and displeasure. The boy put the movie back. What did this boy learn from his mother’s looks? That it was not a movie she wanted him to see, but not why it was wrong. For our kids to learn from us, parents MUST transfer the WHY to their kids so they not only have the standard, but WHY we believe that standard is right for us to live by.
How well are you looking for opportunities to actively teach your kids what you believe and why you believe it in your daily lives? You can get more understanding on how to get your kids to think on what is right and wrong from our book “Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think”. It will help you learn how to ask questions of your kids to get them to think why you have the standards you have and why they should live by those standards too.