July 18

The Media Monster (Part Two)

Whatever is true, . . . whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, . . . dwell on these things. PHILIPPIANS 4:8

Yesterday I talked about the way the media monster can damage your marriage. Here are some thoughts about how to master the media instead of being manipulated by the messages:

Know what you believe. How will you be able to distinguish the truth from lies in media if you don't know the truth of the Scriptures on a variety of issues?

Knowing what the Scriptures teach about guarding my heart has empowered me many times to turn off a television show or TV movie.

Be aggressive—not passive—about the media. A media monster will seep into our eyes, ears, minds, hearts and families if you allow it. Set some standards!

Guard your mind and heart. If you allow yourself to create fantasy lovers through media sources, you stand in the courtyard of the house of adultery.

This includes advertising as much as programming.

Don't depend on the movie rating system and on movie reviews. Find out about movies from friends who share your values. Consult reviewers with a similar Christian worldview.

Control Internet access. Subscribe to a provider that screens out offensive material. Place computers in very public places in your home, such as the kitchen or family room. Speak to your kids about Internet challenges and help them monitor both the type of usage and the amount of time they're online. If necessary, consider using software designed for parents that helps you monitor your children's traffic and use.

Consider cutting back on or even fasting from media use. Have you ever tried going a whole day or week without watching television? What might happen in your marriage if you did? You miss out on many enjoyable activities when you are lazy about unhooking your media umbilical cord.

Why not consider joining us for our "Turn Off the TV Fast" in the month of August? I promise that you'll benefit from this 31-day fast from television.

DISCUSS

Talk about the changes you need to make personally or as a family in media use. Consider pulling your children into this one, listing ideas. Pick one.

PRAY

Ask God to begin making you more sensitive as a couple to how media impacts your marriage and family. Pray for courage to do what you need to do.

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