This weeks meditation:  “IT MATTERS!”
Read: Matthew 15:1-20
I usually don’t like it when people use all caps like I did in the title for this weeks meditation.  I did it because it seemed to fit the subject for this week.  Caps seem to shout a message at us and that is exactly what our media culture today is doing; shouting worldviews, values, morals, and many other things into our lives.
In Matthew 15 Jesus talks about the clean and the unclean.  He mentions that our heart is worth protecting because it is out of our heart which comes our life.  In verse 18 he says, “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart.”  So how do we protect our heart and keep it clean?
I recently read in Charisma magazine that the average 17 year old in the United States has watched and listened to 63,835 hours of movies, videos, T.V. programs, video games, and music in their lifetime.  Compare those numbers to this; Those same 17 year olds have only spent 11,000 hours in school, 2,000 hours with their parents, and 900 hours in church (if they are actively attending).
As Christians we need to realize that what we put into our minds through movies, T.V., video games and music does matter, it does affect our heart in more ways than we realize.  As Jesus says, our heart will be the conduit for what our life looks like.
Parents need to not only pay attention to thier own intake of these various forms of media but we also need to be concerned about these 63,835 hours that our children will consume.  Even if our children are not the average they are still impacted by this in many ways.
While parents cannot make all the decisions for their children (and shouldn’t try to) we can teach them what is good for the heart and bad for the heart by our words, actions, and what we allow into our homes.  It is up to Christian parents to protect the hearts of their family.
Chuck Colson recently said, “The fact is we can’t trust our institutions to teach our kids to live according to moral principles. That job has to fall to us. I cannot say this often enough. The first and most important school of instruction is the family. If we want our children to know how to behave prudently, how to delay gratification for a higher goal, how to look to the needs of others before pandering to their own passions, then we’ll have to teach them in the context of family.”
YES!  It does matter and it’s never too late to start.
Make it personal:  No matter what the situation is in your family it is always possible to set out on a new course.  You may have to ease into it but at least start by discussing the reasons why some things in the media are not good for us to consume.  Open your Bible and find passages like Matthew 15 and others that will communicate that this is God’s desire for us and that is why it matters.
Blessings in your week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life
Arthur Mennonite Church