“It’s bad but it’s so good.”
I hear it serval times a week.
Most students talk about what they watch, what they listen to openly and without conviction or guilt.
When I ask about Netflix they get giddy, they get excited, they can’t wait to tell me what they watch, the whole storyline, and it always begins or ends with “It’s bad but it’s so good.”
When I think about students spending all their time on Netflix and I think about the shows on Netflix, it makes me cringe. There aren’t many good shows on Netflix and if you look enough, you’ll find very bad, very inappropriate movies and shows.
What parents don’t always think about is that it starts with the innocent. I recently heard someone advise an entire room of moms and girls ministers to watch racy movies with their daughters and girls to use it to talk about the situations in the movies. I was shocked. We cannot unsee things. The more children and students are exposed to the more they will crave it and the more that craving will grow. No matter what it is. That’s the seriousness of this. It can’t be taken away after it’s seen.
Yes, you should be talking to your children about the appropriate things depending on their age. But do you really want their exposure to sex, relationships and love to be depicted by Hollywood, Nicholas Sparks, or made up scripts.
More girls and women today are addicted to porn than ever before. It starts with the emotions- the movies, the tv shows, the stories. Stories written online with very sexual references and heavily geared towards girls looking for more. This is why “Fifty Shades of Gray” was such a big hit. To be honest, most movies and tv shows basically have porn built into them. Emotions is how the world has hooked the females. The internet and satan have figured that out and it is working.
And I very heavily believe that in our teenagers it starts on Netflix and unfortunately today, it can very easily stay on Netflix. More times than not when I talk to moms and tell them what is on Netflix, they are shocked. They did not know. You have to look for it, but once you watch one, Netflix smart matches and brings up all of them.
Here are some examples:
Nymph()maniac Volume I– She’s learned to separate love and sex. The act isn’t about emotion — or even pleasure anymore.
Gaspar Noe Love– Marriage is his present. Intense sex with another women is his past. Today, the past prevails.
A Teacher– A high school teacher having an affair with her student gets pulled deeper into their mutual fantasy world, even as the danger of discovery looms.
Things like this is what lures them in.. In Your Eyes– Boy meets girl– but not like you think. When your hearts and souls are this connected, who needs dating?
I’m not saying all girls watch these, I have never heard anyone talk about these movies. But, they are there. Available, free, no accountability, all temptation. And those are just a few of them. I would say 9/10 girls stay up most nights into early morning hours watching Netflix. Recently I was in a room of middle schoolers when they were asked how many of them fell asleep that week watching Netflix, almost all of them raised their hands, giggling, and immediately talking amongst themselves giddy about what they watch.
These are examples of what I hear girls watching- (reviews from Plugged In)
One Tree Hill – Teen dramas come and go, but angst and sexual tension never go out of style. WB’s newest entry in the genre, One Tree Hill is equal parts Dawson’s Creek and Smallville (produced by the same team), with an infusion of The Young and the Restless. It’s easy on the eyes, capably executed and occasionally poignant. But its primary mission is to entertain young audiences with hard-core partying, public displays of affection, nudity, nasty double entendres, high-friction relationships and sexual dalliances.
Unrestrained hormones control much of what gets said and done around Tree Hill, N.C. The love triangles get complicated fast. Lucas falls for Nathan’s girl, Peyton (MTV VJ Hilarie Burton). Nathan falls for Lucas’ best friend, Haley. Peyton’s friend, Brooke, falls for Lucas. Etcetera. Haley has professed to being a virgin (she stops Nathan from taking off her blouse during a make-out session), but everybody else seems eager for action. When it doesn’t happen, smoldering disappointment results. “I do not want to live in a world where fine and willing girls like ourselves can have such a lame Friday night,” Brooke moans after sexual plans fall through. “I’ve gotta change my karma.”
Another branch of One Tree Hill that needs pruning is glamorized substance abuse. Even when Peyton is victimized by a Roofie-wielding, would-be rapist at a beer party, her friends don’t seem to get the point. In the very next episode, Brooke (often seen drunk or high) cooks up fake IDs so she and Lucas can go drinking, and Nathan starts popping performance-enhancing amphetamines (thankfully, we see significant downsides to his abuse).
With drugs, sex and sibling rivalry at the fore, there are plenty of heavy issues for the characters to deal with. Emotional epiphanies result. But since sensible, nurturing parents are an anomaly in Tree Hill, teens are left groping blindly for answers. And the romanticized thrill of their escapades trumps any lessons learned.
Gossip Girl – What happens when you have a trust fund at 17 and millionaire parents whose self-absorption rivals any preening adolescent? Teens are tuning in to Gossip Girl to find out. Based on the racy young-adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, CW’s Gossip Girl began by chronicling the exploits of über-privileged Manhattan adolescents—though the television show has long exhausted its original playbook. While the novels ended with the principal Upper East Siders heading off to college, the series followed them there, documenting their (ahem) growing maturity.
Sometimes we do see signs of growth from the girls: Serena van der Woodsen, once a boozy, drug-addled adolescent queen bee, is now struggling to reform her wayward ways.
Soapy, syrupy, silly and sappy, Gossip Girl has tried its hardest to be one of network television’s raciest programs—punctuating 2009 with an episode featuring a sexual threesome and scads of unduly provocative advertising. (One full-page ad bragged that The Boston Herald called the show “every parent’s nightmare.”)
Grey’s Anatomy– They seem young, smart and really driven—despite their sophomoric spats, occasional heavy drinking and manifold sexual exploits.
Grey’s Anatomy’s cast is broad, varied and worthy of a soap opera (which, of course, is exactly what Grey’s is). Dr. Owen Hunt, a trauma specialist and Iraq War vet, is Cristina’s ex-husband and still sometime lover. Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins are orthopedic surgeons and lesbians who recently married.
Between rounds, this motley yet highly telegenic group grapples with friendships, romance, dysfunctional families and conundrums about their own competence. (In fact, they often struggle with these things during their rounds.) And when they’re not agonizing, they find time to swap innuendo-laden banter, engage in quick couplings with one another (and sometimes patients), and mull the muddy meaning of life and love. In other words, the word Grey in the show’s title could easily refer to its characters’ morals as well.
Sarah Drew, who plays the Christian doctor April Kepler, also took a starring turn in the 2014 Christian comedy Moms’ Night Out. In both roles, Drew—a Christian herself—says that she’s done her best to portray Jesus-followers as real, genuine people, not preconceived notions of what sitcom fans might expect or sometimes see on the news.
“I know in our mainstream culture, the loudest voices and the most shocking voices are the ones that get the noise,” she told Fox News. “But the problem is, people think that’s how all Christians behave if they don’t know any Christians.” As nuanced as she might try to make her character, though, the shock she talks about also rules on her own show. Sex, gore and bad behavior are everyday occurrences in the workaday world of Grey Sloan Memorial. And that’s far from a healing environment.
90210– 90210 is a small-screen zip where purity rings are worn only ironically and “chastity” is just a cute girl’s name. The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us there is nothing new under the sun. And this retread of Fox’s tawdry trendsetter Beverly Hills, 90210(which aired from 1990-2000) unintentionally reveals the tediousness of programs based on money, sex and angst.
With that sort of mentorship at work, the high schoolers here are left to raise themselves. And the results aren’t pretty. Most of the Ten Commandments get broken by fifth period. Teens steal, lie, sleep around, cheat in every sense of the word, curse, fight, destroy property, drink, buy drugs, sell drugs, use drugs, visit porn sets, “act” in porn movies and stab each other in the back. They struggle with addictions, grapple with homosexuality and talk about sex, sex, sex, sex, sex.
The good news, if there is any, is that the characters have grown more complex as the salacious episodes have come and gone. They often try, in their own imperfect, rudderless way, to do what’s right. But in 90210, “what’s right” often equates to, “We should wait to have sex until we really feel like it,” or, “You shouldn’t drive after you’ve just smoked marijuana,” or, “I may need to confront my father about casting underage girls in porn movies.”
So what do we do?
Tell them they can’t watch it? Take away Netflix? Punish them for even watching these?
I don’t believe so. I believe it takes time, and maybe that’s why it doesn’t happen. Satan is beating us. He is keeping us busy, keeping us away from the dinner table, getting home late when it’s time for bed, homework and studying take up time, afternoons and nights are spent on the court or on the field, phones are used in the silent moments, music is turned up, earbuds are used and words are drowned out.
Why would anyone resist temptations when they have no reason not to do it? “I know it’s bad but nobody told me not to do it.” Obviously we know most children raised in church have some knowledge of why these things are wrong.. but when everyone around them is watching these shows, when everyone around them is talking about it, it seems to be “How can it be so wrong if everyone else is doing it?” “All my friends go to church, have good parents, and they all watch it, so how can it be so wrong?”
Talk to your children. Tell them why watching these shows is wrong. The consequences- in our minds, in our hearts, our thoughts and our futures.
“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
Think about those shows you just read about, are they are of these things? Tell your children and students to think about this verse when deciding what to watch.. Is it true? Is it noble? Is it right? Is it pure? Lovely? Admirable? Excellent? Praiseworthy?
I can tell you, it’s not.
I cannot tell you enough.. talk to your children. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9
When we learn to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and strength, I believe our entire world will change. But we don’t. Our hearts are craving affection, watching it fills the void. Our souls are craving joy, contentment, watching it gives us the false and temporary feeling. Our strength is craving acceptance, watching it gives us the satisfaction of fitting in, knowing whatever everyone else is talking about, feeling, experiencing. If we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and strength, our hear, soul and strength will be satisfied in the Lord, we won’t need anything else.
Teach your children to love the Lord. Please the Lord. Live for the Lord.
Having an open dialogue of why we don’t watch these things, what we can watch instead and what to do when others are talking about it.
We don’t watch these things because God tells us- “Guard our hearts for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8 “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” Colossians 3:5
What can we watch instead? Obviously it doesn’t mean we have to watch all Christian movies, all Little House on the Prairie, but in your heart what glorifies God? “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17 What to do when others are taking about it? “A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4 Talk about something else or walk away. It’s hard but it’s worth it and others will see Christ in you and they’ll want to know what’s different.
Instead of spending all your time and energy with Netflix, read your Bible, spend time with your family, talking to your friends, being intentional, making memories and relationships. It’ll make you more joyful, more content, more full and feeling lighter.
Have questions or comments? Do not hesitate to comment below.