Monday, November 7, 2016

Entertained not Enslaved: Resources for Dealing with Media

On a Facebook group I am a part of, I saw a very intriguing post go by.  A minister's wife  was gathering resources to teach a lesson on how to deal with the media coming into your home.  I was intrigued.  I contacted her to ask to share the completed list and convinced her to guest post for us instead.  Joanne Desmartin is a stay-at-home mom, a minister's wife, a Bible class teacher and an altogether Godly lady.  You can find her and her congregation online. You might find her traveling, enjoying art, or getting ready for the holidays!

While preparing for a recent ladies’ devotional, from Nancy Eichman’s Seasoning Your Words:  God’s Recipe for Controlling Your Tongue, on offensive words, I had the opportunity to compile a list of valuable censorship resources.  The chapter I was covering from Nancy’s book talked about how we have gradually allowed vulgar language to creep into our society and our individual homes.  She encouraged us to avoid this sneaking advance by evading even a hint of foul, vulgar language.
One part of her study that really caught my attention was when she stated, “You can turn off the television, refuse to attend a movie, or not buy a tape or CD.”  This led me to ask myself and the study group, if we actually do this.  While Ephesians 5:4 reminds us to stay away from filthiness, foolish talk, and crude joking, sometimes it seems we let our television sets get away with saying things we’d never say nor allow our children to say.
We all know that bad company ruins good morals (I Corinthians 15:33) but perhaps we don’t often consider that the TV in the room can be that bad company.  Do we make a habit of turning it off when it is offensive to our ears or eyes?  And are we too frugal to walk away from a movie we’ve paid $12 to see or too embarrassed to ask for our money back and say why?  If someone could look up our movie history or view the “my list” section of our Netflix accounts, would we be comfortable or ashamed?  How do we live out our Christianity in the area of media and entertainment?
In this era of digital media in which one can privately order any movie one wants with no middle-man, this matter of conscience often arises.  We should remember that God is watching.  Do we consider what our Lord thinks of what we’re seeing and hearing?  Do we show our children, our spouses, ourselves, and our God what we truly value by our actions or do our actions tell a different story from what we say out loud?  Considering that what we do and say in secret will one day be brought to light (Luke 12:2-3), we should give careful attention to what we expose ourselves to, even in secret.
As I prepared to discuss these questions, I thought it might be a good idea to offer some ways to help us filter what we view. This led me to begin researching some voluntary censorship ideas.  I also asked several ladies that I am in an on-line Facebook group with if they had any trustworthy sources they go to in order to research various movies and television shows to help them decide ahead of time what they may want to watch and what they may want to avoid.

The following is the summary list that we collaborated on, which actually went beyond movie and TV reviews:

Reviews – ‘Plugged in’ reviews movies, books, TV shows, music, and games. – ‘Common Sense Media’ has reviews, blogs, top picks, and more. - ‘Movie Mom’ has reviews, picks of the week, grades for different movies, and more. – ‘IMDB’ has a parental guide/family entertainment guide section. is an app for
iPhones called “Kids in Mind” that costs $1.99 and rates/reviews movies and their content.


There is a neat movie filter site called “vidangel” – - that lets you set filters to block what you don’t want to see/hear (graphic violence, nudity, f-word) and they only charge you $1 to see new movies on your TV/phone/computer. 

There are other TV filters on the market for your home TV set that filter out vulgar language like the “TV Guardian” which costs anywhere from $60 - $130 depending on the site/sale.  You can find one on sale now at – - for about $80 ($60 if you get it refurbished).


Finally, you can file a consumer complaint via the Federal Communications Commission at their web-site if you see/hear something that is offensive to you on TV – – or you can go through another watchdog group that will also get in touch with the FCC for you such as – - the American Family Association or – - Focus on the Family.

I pray that we are all able to focus more upon giving thanks (Ephesians 5:4) as well as those things in life that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).  Perhaps some of these resources will help us to accomplish this task.  Perhaps they will also assist us with abstaining from every form of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22) and allow us to be the best ambassadors for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20) that we can possibly be.  In the end though, don’t be afraid to turn the TV off or just walk away from a movie.  We should all remember that these things are here for our entertainment, not our enslavement.


  1. This is great information and handy to have it all in one place! We LOVE We have been using their reviews for years now. Our children know not to even ask about a movie until we have checked the site. We've even gotten good at seeing if we can guess where the numbers will fall just from the first trailer we have seen! It means a lot of movies go unwatched by us and our children. The best thing is that hubby and I didn't have to go watch it to find out this, that or the other was in it! We absolutely have to take control of what is being allowed into our minds and hearts. Satan works hard to deceive us just like he did with Eve - you won't ACTUALLY die if you see... or listen to ... We fall for it because the harm may not be evident today. We must make use of as many tools as possible to keep our eye out for the lion we KNOW is tracking us.

  2. This is such a helpful list! Our oldest child is just 2, so we don't view much with her. I'm sure this will change as she and her sister get older. I'll be sure to check out these resources.

  3. These are great resources for believers in this day of "anything goes". We have certainly become desensitized to what used to alarm and embarrass us. We are called to be holy as He is holy. Thanks for your voice! Visiting today from #FaithFilledFriday.