In our Wednesday children’s class, my wife is teaching the boys and girls the Ten Commandments. In addition to memorizing the commandment and a complementary Scripture verse, she helps them discerningly apply the commandment to their life.
Last week, they learned the third commandment: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.” Among other things, Lynn taught them that they should be discerning about what they watch on T.V. In order to demonstrate how prevalent this has become, she gave them an assignment to keep a record of how many times they heard the phrase “Oh, my God (or gosh)!” in their favorite programs.
In class last evening, several had followed through. One 9 year-old in particular had kept up carefully. In one day of watching, (about 3 1/2 hours) she heard the Lord’s name used vainly well over 100 times. In one 30 minute program, she recorded over thirty infractions. None of this was from prime-time programming. It was all from afternoon programs aimed at elementary aged children.
I’m not advocating a TV boycott, nor am I suggesting that there is an “entertainment conspiracy” to teach children to break the third commandment. I do believe that our entertainment both reflects AND affects our culture. I do believe that this reflects the general lack of honor for God in our society. I also believe we must teach our children to have and use spiritual discernment in every area of their life. Most of all we must teach them to have a proper respect and reverence for God.