Posted by: firstfruitsfarmne | April 6, 2010

How much brain space do we have, anyway?

OK, some of you might think this is over the top.

I have been fervently praying  that God would give me wisdom in training my children.

Seriously, I need, like, much assistance.

I can be so short-sighted, so pathetically stupid sometimes that I simply do NOT trust myself or my own judgments when it comes to raising them.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him has become my lifeline.

I am incompetent.

But He is not.  And His Spirit is not.  And His Spirit now lives in me.

Whew!

So what do you do when these “crazy” notions start popping into your head and you can’t get them out of your mind and you start seeing examples of it everywhere in everything?   Do you say ” Oh, thank you, Father for showing me that!”  Or are you like me and scratch your head and say, “Wow, Lord,  are you really talking to me?

To add to the uncertainty of it all, what if He’s telling you something that’s just out there?  Strange.  Worst of all, hard.

Ok, so you want to know what it is?

I’m reevaluating our entertainment.

(You thought it was going to be something really bad, didn’t you?  I was trying to think of something really weird to throw you for a loop and then I realized that we actually do every “weird” thing I could think of! 😮 )

More specifically, I’m being convicted about what I let into my childrens’ minds.  Don’t get me wrong, we are very strict about movies they watch, books they read, and other various forms of media they might encounter, but there’s something even deeper.

What becomes of all the fluff?  The cartoon, innocent foolishness?  The profits-them-absolutely-nothing time that is spent in being zoned out of the real world while the lust of their flesh is being saturated with entertainment?

Told you you’d think I’m over the top.

No, really.  What else could they be doing?  What could they be filling their minds with instead?

Take myself, for instance.  To my shame, I know every verse to every country song ever recorded in the nineties.  They haunt me to this day!  They pop up at the weirdest times.  THEY NEVER REALLY GO AWAY!!!!!!  What if I took that same volume of memorization and traded it in for scripture, or even something else useful like history dates, speeches, or PROFITABLE music?

I’d be a lot different, don’t you think?

And what of the need for entertainment I’ve developed over the years?  Who wants to sit around and talk with other human beings, or learn how to sew, or color with your little girl when you can pop a movie in, or read your favorite blog?  Do  I really want my children to develop an addiction for constant mental stimulation?

I know, I know.  Children should get to be children and have fun.  Yes, I agree.  But children in our modern culture have a unique disadvantage compared to other children throughout human history:  they have other people play for them.  Why actually do it yourself?  Why not click a button and sit back and enjoy someone else’s life!  The fantasy worlds other people get to be a part of sure are a lot more interesting than real life!  And you don’t even have to deal with real people!  What a deal!— And Mama gets a free baby sitter, to boot!

As a family, we decided long ago to limit movies to Friday night and Saturday night.  I thought this would be more than prudent, until they started discussing and acting out those movies all.week.long.  Ughhh!

I also started cutting back on fiction books that were available to read during the week, because I began to notice a discontent with the real world in some of my children.  (How does picking beans or playing with your baby brother compare to Narnia?)

Hear me clearly:  I am not saying that clean entertainment is somehow sinful.  I am not saying that you should never let your children watch things just for fun.  What I am saying is that I believe the vast, vast majority of us, myself included, are addicted to entertainment that will never profit us spiritually.  We settle for filling our mind with nothingness when we could fill it with so much more.

We’re often so full that we can’t hear His voice.

We hear the televisions and the cell phones and the radios, but we don’t hear a still, small voice.

So……

Our family is working on this.  We’re trying to quiet things down so we can listen more carefully.

We’re on a sort of fast.

With His help, we want to avoid entertaining movies for a long while.  Maybe even for the rest of this year.  Then we will reevaluate what’s worth it and what’s not.  But right now we need a cleanse, a detox.  We also want to put away fantasy-type fiction for a while.  I’d like my children to see the wonder in the world the way God made it for a good, long while.  I want them to get excited about their lives.

And since it’s never wise to take something away from your children without bringing in something even more fun, we’ve decided that movie nights should become music nights.  Josh and I are always lamenting the fact that there never seems to be enough time to teach them to play instruments—- well, looky here, we found some!  We’re even teaching them to sing in harmony!  It’s so fun!

Our ambitions are not to raise normal, ordinary kids.  We desire for them to be conformed to the image of Christ, and let me tell you, that is going to take some serious prayer and consideration.  Our parenting must be purposefully planned out.  We only get one shot at this.  Even if it hurts.  Even if people think we’re nuts.  Our children are not ours.  They belong to Him.  Every issue needs to be laid before Him.

We would very much appreciate your prayers as we shepherd our little flock!

If you would like to read a great article on this subject, I would highly recommend this one.  Click Here.

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Responses

  1. WOW! OK, so I was thinking something along similar lines within a half an hour of seeing this post. Yikes! Maybe God is talking to me, too???

  2. God never moves without purpose of plan
    When trying His servant or molding a man
    Give thanks to the Lord,
    Though your testing seems long
    In darkness(no light from TV)He giveth a song(Music nite)

    R Hamilton

  3. We’re praying for your family Kim!

    I’ve found that with each change we have made in our family in efforts to glorify the King, I struggle more with it then the children do. The children adapt easily, and we are witnessing their love for the Lord grow more and more. Praise be to His Name!!!

    Dane recently put this scripture on our wall:

    “I plead to you, therefore, my brothers, by the mercies of Elohim, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, Set Apart and acceptable to Elohim by a rationale service. And be not conformed to this world; be you transformed by the renovation of your minds: and discern you what is the good and acceptable and perfect pleasure of Elohim. And, by the grace given to me, I say to you all: Do not carry thoughts beyond what you should think; but think with modesty, as Elohim has distributed to each one his measure of faith. (taken from Paul’s letter to the Romans)

  4. This is an amazing post! I admire you and your family for doing this. My prayers are with you. God bless.

  5. Great post. We agree with you. Spring is a GREAT season to give the movies a boot. The great outdoors offers more excitement than a child can take. Bless you in the endeavor.

  6. He has set us free for freedoms sake, and I believe that whatever decision details you make, making them ON PURPOSE is honoring to the Lord!

  7. An inspiring post! Thank you for being so honest and sharing… We limit what we watch here too, but I know we need to cut back and do other things as a family. Music night sounds fun and we love going on walks too. I have been thinking along these lines, but wasn’t sure exactly what I was thinking, I know now.

    Blessings to you, today!

  8. […] I read this post from First Fruits Farm NE, and I’m thinking I need to go return some DVD’s to the […]

  9. wonderful! i remember reading that the word “amusing” (often used to describe much of our entertainment!) actually means “without thinking, without thought”…

  10. Well said! I have often compared my time with money: if I feel like I “don’t have time” for something worthwhile, it is likely already being spent elsewhere and needs to be re-directed to where it ought to go.

    However, I will say that I think it is quite healthy for children to have strong imaginations (fueled in part by wholesome stories like Narnia), as long as their use of them is not interfering with reality (neglecting duties, refusing to engage in reality, etc.).

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  11. I really needed this- for myself as much as for my children.

    Thank you.


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