4. Explain your limits to your children -- At the end of the 30 days of prayer and discussing guidelines with your spouse, explain to your kids what you have decided. Put it in writing.

5. Challenge your children to think Biblically -- Colossians 2:8 says in the Living Bible, "Don't let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong shallow answers built on men's thoughts and ideas instead of on what Christ has said." With that pivotal verse in mind ask your children questions such as these:

• How's your faith in Jesus?

• Do you wonder if there is a God?

• Is the Bible true?

• You say that your faith is strong? Good! How is your joy?

• Why doesn't your life radiate the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control?

Maybe you have been letting the entertainment media undermine your Christian faith and joy with their empty philosophies.

6. Talk about current entertainment choices -- A lot of parents don't want to know what is going on with today's entertainment. They say, "I just tell them to turn it off and don't let them go to R-rated movies." Remember that to have real communication there must be some common ground. Why not let your knowledge of their entertainment become the common ground? Our website (http://www.almenconi.com) can help.

7. Use the teeter-totter principle -- Think of Colossians 2:8 as the fulcrum of a teeter-totter. One end represents the principle from the Satanic Bible: "Live for yourself; deny Jesus." The other end represents the Biblical principle to "Deny yourself; live for Jesus." Now put the philosophies of your entertainment on the imaginary see-saw and see if it "teeters" or "totters." Just like the teeter-totter you used to play on as a child, the side with the most weight will sink to the bottom.

8. Answer their excuses -- Most young people have an innate ability to deny the obvious. They claim: "It doesn't affect me." Be ready with a response that makes them prove that claim. Ask, "How do you know?" and wait for their response. Then remind them that although the Bible doesn't say that you will become a Satanist if you listen to satanic music or that you will kill someone if you play video games; it does say that if you entertain yourself with the empty philosophies of this world instead of what Christ said, you will struggle with your faith and your joy in Jesus.

9. Explain and demonstrate the value of Christian music -- How can you tell your children they should be listening to godly music, if you don't listen to godly music? While you are in prayer for 30 days for your children, find at least one song that illustrates your faith in Jesus -- a song that moves your soul every time you hear it.

When you find your song, ask your family for five minutes so you can share with them why you love Jesus. Tell them you would like to use a song to share your testimony. Take one minute to explain why you chose the song, and the remainder of the time listening to the song while they read the lyrics with you. It is important to have everyone read the lyrics while the song is being played to focus their attention. After you listen to it together, ask them if they understand why you love Jesus.

10. Go on a Christian music diet -- My final challenge to you is to eliminate all your entertainment that is on the negative side of your teeter-totter and only listen to Christian music for the next 30 days. Try this for 30 days and see if it helps you as you attempt to set biblical guidelines. These suggestions aren't magic. They won't lead to some extra-biblical experience. They won't even make you more spiritual. They're simply godly common sense.


Al Menconi
is founder of Al Menconi Ministries, an evangelical, non-denominational ministry. The 22-year-old ministry seeks to offer a balanced, responsible, Biblical approach that teaches Christians how to think, rather than just what to think, particularly in the area of entertainment.

© 2004 Agape Press. All rights reserved. Used with permission.