One of life’s greatest blessings for me has been the honour to be a father to my two amazing boys! They are Carter, who is 3 and a half years of age, and Louis (pronounced Loo-wee) who is 9 months old. One of life’s curses in this season of Fatherhood has to be –hands down– the genre of entertainment that rings through my hallways, living room and iOS devices. That’s right, you guessed it– KIDS ENTERTAINMENT.
From the kids’ section on Netflix to the kids’ version of Youtube, to the various appropriated channels on paid and free television… From the toys and gadgets that have pre-recorded children songs and lullabies to the music streaming apps on my phone that somehow always seem to be playing hi-five or the Wiggles… My life as I know it has been inundated with entertainment that has been designed and marketed specifically to grab the attention of my children.
But, here’s the clincher – after the 15th time you’ve watched Big Hero 6 and the 8th time you’ve seen Sharks Tale, it all becomes, well… part of your life. I hate to say it, but there have been moments when I have been sitting with my eldest son (Carter) and have actually begun to enjoy the very thing that I had hated the most about fatherhood! It’s CRAZY!
One thing that I am certain of, no matter what side of the fence you sit on when it comes to the enjoyability of great kids entertainment classics like Lion King or the phenomena that we know to be FROZEN — Every Christian parent has to face the questions that I now face most days… What do I let my kids watch? What do I let them listen to? And how much is too much?
Frozen is a prime example of a movie that is filled (from my perspective) with what my theologian friends like to call “biblical parallels”. For instance, Ana’s future is in danger because she has let her heart grow cold – all because of a freak accident and the distancing between herself and her sister… The parallel being that letting your heart grow cold can affect your future, even take your life away from you. INTENSE, I know, but I rather liked the themes. Its main message is to be yourself, own your uniqueness and never let anyone take away your ability to love.
The truth is that the Bible states in Matthew 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.” Whatever WE consume [not just our children] will determine the spiritual climate of our whole being… So as Christian parents and even just as Christians we must ask ourselves “What can we watch?” “What can we listen to?” and “How much is too much?”….