My daughter loves watching films and reading novels and often invites me to watch/read something which is currently popular and it doesn’t take me much time leading into it that I realize that the morality system that is presented leaves a lot to be desired.
I sometimes feel in a quandary because I think there’s a value to staying current with the culture especially to have an influence and to remain relevant to a generation that needs guidance and genuine engagement from our generation… But how do we balance that out with our own spiritual convictions and sensibilities. Thought on this?
This truly is a quandary – wanting to engage in a relevant way while not compromising your convictions. You obviously have a close relationship with your daughter and it is important to you to maintain it. You want to be an influencer who lovingly communicates truth in this very gray world. You couldn’t be more spot on about the need for engagement with the current generation. I’ve just been reminded in reading 2 Kings recently that we are always just one generation away from spiritual extinction. The desire to maintain this closeness with your daughter is crucial. Thank you for taking it seriously.
Personally, we decided a long time ago that we wouldn’t watch R-rated movies unless there was a compelling reason to do so (e.g. Passion of the Christ). We are offended by excessive and unnecessary language (particularly when it includes taking the Lord’s name in vain, or the current obsession with the f* word) and gratuitous sex and violence. Admittedly, we are less than culturally relevant, but I’m not sure that’s the worst thing. Whether they know it or not, I think many drowning people are reaching for a life raft of truth, feeling lost, drifting from what is the latest line of thinking today to what will be popular tomorrow.
A few questions to consider. Is relevancy all that it’s cracked up to be? Does being relevant trump holiness? Is filling your mind with content that you’d never choose on your own good for your own spirit? How is exposing your own soul to images that are hard to forget going to benefit your relationship with your daughter? Are discussions about movies/books the only avenue into her world? Does she respect your feelings about what you do/don’t want to open yourself to?
I think it is important for you to decide what your limits are, and stick to them. I’d research a movie or book before committing to view/read it, and if it is compromising to your values and beliefs at an unacceptable level, don’t do it. The conversation regarding why you cannot in good conscience read/watch might be even more relevant than the book/movie itself.
Praying for you, friend.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
– Philippians 4:8 (NIV)