The other day, my husband turned on a Batman cartoon for my older son.  "It's rated G," he said.  I watched it for a couple of minutes was astounded by the violence.  I couldn't believe it was rated G and turned it off.  Granted, my son has been watching Disney Junior up to this point (sigh), but I realized that parents who are willing to actively censor have an uphill journey ahead of them. 

I found myself reflecting upon my childhood.  Remember the eighties and early nineties, friends?  I remember the neon tee-shirts, high bangs, the spectacular movie The Goonies, and the introduction of MTV.  I still recall those early music videos. 

I had a thing for MC Hammer music for a while there.  Before you laugh, who wasn't swept up in the magic of MC Hammer or even Vanilla Ice?  You might roll your eyes now, but I bet you were busting a move back then.  You can't touch this.

All the while that I was discovering, my Mom was censoring.  She admittedly enjoyed some of Hammer's hits, but there was a particular song on a hit album that she forbade me to play in the house.  I didn't get it then, but I see the song's inappropriateness now.  She told me that she would take the album away if she caught me playing it.

I marvel at the importance of following through when you tell your child that you are going to do something.  It is important when we promise things that they look forward to, and it is important in our discipline so that they take us seriously.  I wonder if my Mom ever thought she was going to have to follow through with her claim.

The forbidden MC Hammer song played in my room one day.  I was not in my room to monitor, but the music was up loudly.  My Mom came into my room, took the tape, and (I kid you not) smashed the tape on our porch with a hammer in a fit of frustration.  The irony.  Hammertime.

At the time, I thought her actions were harsh.  But looking back, I appreciate the fact that she cared so much about what I was listening to and was willing to follow through.  I think about the importance of censorship today for our children, and to be honest, it's overwhelming.  The radio, smartphones, the web - there are just so many avenues to master and monitor as parents. 

I hear cursing and lewd lyrics when I simply turn on a hit radio station.  The television isn't any better with its espoused values and desensitization to violence of any kind.  Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy media, but I find that I have to be increasingly selective as an adult, let alone bringing children into the equation.

It is important to consider what we are doing to monitor our media exposure.  If we want our children to evade the trappings and lies of our broken culture, we need to be aware of how they are seeping into its fabric.  We need to be conscious of the fact that what we feed grows.

Are we the kind of mom who can take a stand despite our kids' anger at censorship?  Are we willing to make decisions that distinguishes us from other parents in an effort to foster healthy values in our children?  My kids are still small, so I cannot claim to have successfully maneuvered this challenge.  But my hope is that I will have the support and conviction to do so, for I want my children to steer clear of avoidable pitfalls and celebrate the good in the world - eighties bad hair and all.

Jesus taught, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.  You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:13-16, NIV).

Prayer:  Dear God, Thank you for calling us apart and the blessings that you promise to bestow therein.  Help us to protect our children from what culture would have them believe.  May we preserve our saltiness and reflect upon your ways.  May your ways be ours.  In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. Really great thoughts, Noelle! I'm right there with ya on all points and...GOONIES NEVER DIE!

  2. Love it. It's as simple as that! Thanks for reading and posting, Krista.


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