Have you ever noticed how noisy our lives are? Just sitting in my house this morning with no TV or radio on, I've heard train whistles, cars passing outside, the dog snoring and the refrigerator running. In a lot of households the TV or radio is on constantly, sometimes several at once. All this background noise in our lives may not seem like a big deal, but it's something to which we need to pay attention.
Are you someone who has to have the TV or radio on whenever you are home. Does it matter if anyone is watching it? Do you think about what is on the radio when you are driving the car? Are you aware of what is being said by others when your children are around?
My youngest daughter is an auditory learner. If she hears something once, she can repeat it almost word for word. The things that are said around her will be remembered. The TV commercials and shows, the talk radio programs and the song lyrics are all being processed by her 7-year-old brain. Like all kids, she's a sponge. She soaks up whatever it is that surrounds her.
That sponge quality means that we need to be aware of the things our children are hearing. I always notice that the longer the school year goes on, the more my kids' speech begins to resemble that of their classmates. What goes in the ears, comes out the mouth.
Today, I want to challenge you to be aware of what is going into your children's ears. Think about what is on the TV or the radio before you turn it on. Monitor what comes out of your own mouth when you speak. Use Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- think about such things," as a guide for deciding whether something is appropriate for both you and your children to hear. If it's not true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, it's probably not suitable for anyone who calls themselves a Christ follower.
Engage your kids in helping to clean up the airwaves around your house:
- Sing or play a few well-known commercial jingles for your kids. See who can name the product the ad represents the fastest. Talk about how the things we hear are powerful and how they can stick with us for years. Read Philippians 4:8 to your kids and talk about what it means. Ask your kids to come up with ways that they can determine if the things they are listening to meet the standards of Philippians 4:8.
- If your kids have iPods or CD players, sit down with them and look at their music choices. Go through the lyrics of some of the songs with them. Talk about whether those songs meet the standards of Philippians 4:8. Don't demand that your kids get rid of their songs, but encourage them to choose to raise their standards to God's standards.
- Make your own listening choices wisely. Tune to your local Christian radio station when you're all in the car or play books on CD that the whole family can enjoy. Some of the best conversations that we have had in the car have begun with a song on KLOVE.
As you begin the process of clearing the air in your lives, you might find that without all the background noise to distract you, you can hear the voice of God more clearly.