Teaching Discernment – MBFLP 222

How do you teach discernment to your teens?

How do you teach your kids discernment in a world soaked in media? We may be able to tightly control our youngest children’s exposure and experience of the entertainment world, but that changes with time. We need to train our teens how to recognize both the good things in media and the deceptive things which lie in wait for the unwary! How can we prepare them to see everything, even entertainment, through a Biblical lens? 

Media is a powerful social force

“Media changes culture throughout history. We can look at so many times a book at the right time changed the world. And so, you know, given that, we’ve got to teach our kids how to handle it.

“I heard somebody say, whenever there is a big revolution in media and communications, two things happen. It’s immediately used to communicate the gospel and it’s immediately used to broadcast pornography. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about the printed word or you’re talking about radio or streaming media online. There’s going to be fantastic stuff and there’s going to be stuff that you really want to avoid. Our kids need to understand. You need to teach them enough so that they’re not caught by surprise, they’re not lured into traps, and they don’t stumble into bad neighborhoods but rather to say, “That path goes a place that God doesn’t want me to follow.

The Balance of Art and Message

“Every time we talk about this, I think about Francis Schaefer’s book Art and the Bible. That is such a good resource because he explains this … How do you look at art?

“There are a couple of things here. There’s good art or bad art, and there’s good message or bad message.

“When you’re talking about art, it’s about the skill of the artist … Are they able to write? Can they write a coherent sentence? Can they tell a story? Can they handle the camera? But then the message is, what are they communicating?

“We recognize good art with a good message – Rembrandt, for example. Or bad art, bad message – that’s trash. Sometimes we tolerate things done badly because they’ve got a good message. But the really dangerous part is good art with a bad message, where you have a story which doesn’t glorify God, which contradicts Scripture, which teaches immoral ideas, ‘but the music is so good and the special effects are just incredible!’”

“One of my teachers in high school, a very conservative, older lady, she said she remembered one of the scandalous books during her younger years. She was at library one day when this prim elderly lady came walking in and very quietly slid that book across the circulation counter to return it. The librarian said, “Why, Miss Jones! I never would have thought you’d be reading this!” And the older lady blushed and said, “Well … it was so beautifully written!”

Kids – Don’t be like Miss Jones!

Parents – let’s teach them how to avoid that trap … tune in to the whole podcast below!

BONUS – The second half of the episode, we talk through a recent movie the way we discuss it with our teens. Listen in and see what that sounds like!

Are your teens watching media with Biblical discernment?


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