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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Discern (08/12/10)

TITLE: Consistent Parenting


“Please, can we go see the newest movie Mom!” pleaded the brother and sister.

Susie was bound and determined not to be persuaded by her ten and twelve year old children as she had been so many times before. “This movie is not for young children,” sighed Susie, feeling like a skipping compact disc. “You may see it when you are older and understand right from wrong a little better,” the concerned mother reminded.

“But Mom, we won’t even want to see it then,” they whined in unison.

“I’ve read reviews, watched trailers, and browsed through the original book,” Mom informed them, but they interrupted.

“And besides, we know right from wrong now, Mom!” they continued begging.

“You know the basics of some do’s and don’ts, but you don’t know how to rightly separate what is harmful for you and what is good for you,” lectured Susie. “Now, please do your homework, then you may watch a little television or play some video games before bed,” said the mother.

Joey and Sarah rushed through their homework and decided to watch a little television. Before the program was over they were fighting, shooting at each other, and really brawling. Mother came into the room just before Joey was going to hit Sarah over the head with his fist. “Joey!” Susie yelled. “Stop hurting your sister,” she warned sternly.

“But SHE started it!” Joey argued with his mom.

“Okay, okay. Go to your room.” Susie ordered. Irritated, she said, “It’s time for bed anyway.”

After their baths and a few more antics the siblings finally settled down and asked their mom again for permission to go to the movies. Susie decided it was time for a frank discussion.

The three of them sat on the bedroom floor and the caring mother took a deep breath. Silently she prayed, “Lord, give me wisdom.”

“What do you know about sin?” Susie began. Sarah had an answer right away.

“Sin is failing to conform to or transgressing the law of God.” she answered haughtily.

“Yes, that’s the definition you have memorized, but what does it mean?” her mother asked patiently.

Joey perked up, “Well, sin is all the bad things we do, and sometimes even the things we don’t do.” Sensing that he was on the right track he added, “And these sins grieve God.”

“That’s right,” his mom smiled.

Mom continued, “Someday soon you may be smarter than me, but it will be a long time before you are wiser than me. You are to look at those wiser than you to help you make good decisions. The Bible says that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors.”

The above scenario is a snapshot into many households today, though perhaps a milder situation than with what many parents grapple. We need to dissect it a little and ask a couple of questions. With what did the mom have a problem? And, was she consistent with her children?

Susie’s concern was that her children could not handle the content of the movie. This plays out after they watch a little TV and can barely control themselves from what they had just seen. At their ages, anything they see as fun or appealing, whether harmful or not, will influence their thinking. A book called, “The Impact of Television,” edited by Tannis MacBeth Williams, sums up the effects of television as, “…made kids more aggressive and harmed their reading skills...” I would argue that any mode of media could be replaced with television, such as movie or computer game. But it’s not just the medium. It’s the attitude and thought toward the thing.

The Bible tells us that, “The love of money is the root of all evil,” not money itself. It’s the same with TV, or computer games, or movies. They can all be useful tools in a wise hand, but possibly evil if used in an unwise manner.

Susie was not consistent in the sense that she allowed a violent television program to be watched that did influence her children negatively. However, she did make an informed decision on the movie. Notice that she did not tell Joey and Sarah they could never watch it. They could view it when they were older and possessed more discernment.

Susie is a wise parent who will grow and become more consistent at teaching her children how to recognize the good influences from the bad.

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Member Comments
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/20/10
I enjoyed the story. The children's dialog didn't sound exactly right. But the wisdom of the mother prevailed. There's a good lesson in this for both parents and children alike.
Mildred Sheldon08/20/10
I enjoyed your story. Parents today must stay on top of what children watch on TV, the internet and the like. Good job and God bless.
Brenda Shipman 08/21/10
I like how you started with a story (great attention-getter), then used the story as a springboard for presenting truth. I also like how you used the "love of money..." verse as an example of the "things" themselves not necessarily being evil, but the use of them in our lives. I can see a young mom being encouraged by this article. Nicely done.
Cheryl Harrison08/23/10
Good lesson in this one. I enjoyed your writing. I stumbled a little bit when the point of view changed. When Suzie began asking the kids questions, the POV of your story seemed to change from Suzie's POV to a third person POV. None-the-less, very good writing. Thanks.