TV Parenting

by | Jan 23, 2023 | Family Life, Parenting, Questions, Society

Society loves to tell us how to parent our children. But its definition of “love” couldn’t be further from what scripture teaches us.

What is love?

One Saturday morning when I put on Nickelodeon for my kids, I saw a commercial that could be summed up as “Choose to love. Let our kids grow up in a better world, a less divided world, and a world where everyone gets along. Let’s tackle the real issues.” This was followed by a quick scene showing kids holding up signs that showed an LGBTQ+ flag, “women’s rights” (more a code for abortion than anything else), the BLM fist, and several others.

Afterwards, my wife took over my kid-watching duties while I went to the gym. In the parking lot, I saw a car with a long bumper sticker that basically read “When you die, God won’t ask you about the two men down the street who got married. He won’t ask you about the atheist who lives on the corner. He won’t ask you about the woman who feels more comfortable as a man.”

My first thought was, yes, He absolutely will ask about those things. More on that in a bit.

Maybe this is common sense to a lot of people, but it occurred to me that when people try to solve the deep divisiveness in our culture by saying “It’s so simple. Just love, that’s all,” they aren’t addressing the root of the problem. That morning, I realized that we don’t even have the same concept of what love is or how it should be manifested.

The kids on the Nickelodeon commercial would say that to heal this division in our culture, one must simply agree about every topic they deem worth addressing. To disagree is considered hate. In other words, they will talk about peace, love, and harmony, so long as you go along with whatever they say. Any opposition will immediately brand you as a hater and disturber of the peace. Contrary to their claims, this attitude does not promote “unity” and “healing.” It’s pseudo-peace through censorship.

Let’s extend these false ideas of peace and love into the context of parenthood. If we were to parent the way Nickelodeon wants us to, we would have to believe that loving our children quite simply means letting them do whatever they want. We should not attempt to correct their erroneous ways of thinking. We should allow them to express themselves in any way possible, even if it means going against everything God commands of us. That is what the bumper sticker implies. Love means to let everyone do whatever they want and shut up if you don’t like it.

Here’s an alternate view. In the scriptures, God knows better than man. In life, parents know better than their children, not the other way around. Love, then, means seeking to rectify immoral, dishonest, and sinful ways of thinking in our children, because otherwise they become destructive behaviors later in life. Love does not mean letting everyone have their way because “they deserve to be happy.” Oftentimes, people themselves don’t even know what makes them happy. The only definitive and conclusive path to happiness is found in scripture. Love means helping those who are lost, even if the task is incredibly difficult. Even if that person is a family member.

So will God ask about those people when you die? Absolutely. Why? Because love means keeping God’s laws and helping others do the same. Not living selfishly, impulsively, and passively.

Don’t let TV tell you how to parent.

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Patrick Hernandez

Patrick is married to his wife Allison and together they have one boy named Luke. He has a Masters degree in Finance as well as a second Masters in Information Technology, both from Colorado Technical University. He has worked for Agape Catholic Ministries since early 2017. In his spare time, Patrick enjoys hiking, fishing, and cheering on both the Denver Broncos and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

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