Put on your helmet, because you’re about to enter a battle-zone. I’m not referring to the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria, but to a battle which is being waged over the minds of your children.

The enemy is subtle and dangerous. First he visits your house as a stranger. Then he becomes a regular guest. Finally, he installs himself as a permanent resident, vying for the top spot in your household. As he entertains your children, the stranger often makes light of the sanctity of marriage and the name of God. You are disturbed as he describes situations which make you blush, occasionally even using inappropriate, four-letter words in your children’s presence. In case you were wondering, his name is TV.

I cannot think of any parents who are unconcerned about what their children put in their mouths; but few exercise discernment concerning what their kids put in their minds. How do we keep television from harming our kids and distracting them from spiritual things? One way is by limiting their exposure to “the tube.” You may also try substituting other fun things in its place: Take the kids on a walk. Go on bike rides together. Maybe even begin a reading program with rewards for your children’s progress. Teach them to apply God’s Word to their life experiences. Being a good parent involves a balance of withholding dangerous influences from your kids and providing positive influences as channels for their energy.

As parents, our job is to train our children in the way they should go. This is God’s way. If training them in God’s way means setting limits on the content they view on television, or on the time they spend watching it, then so be it — we have an obligation to obey God’s Word. We are not training our children for today or tomorrow, or even next week, but for the adults they will become years from now. I hope you will never take this responsibility lightly.

Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you would not have in your home. — David Frost

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.