We all need rest and relaxation. Our days are spent waking up early, making breakfast, getting the kids ready and off to school, battling traffic to and from work, battling challenges on the job, making dinner, cleaning up, helping with homework, going to bed late and the next day the cycle starts again. It’s exhausting!
Stay-at-home parents have their own challenges to face. I truly admire the parents who home school their children. This takes an unbelievable amount of patience (that I’m still personally working on developing!)
This makes it difficult to not only set and follow a spiritual schedule but also fitting in wholesome recreation in our lives. How exactly do we go about choosing proper entertainment for ourselves and our family?
If you’ve asked yourself this question, don’t worry. I have some helpful principles from the bible that can help you make excellent choices when it comes to wholesome entertainment.
1. Be Careful When Choosing Entertainment (Psalms 11:5,7)
Why do we need to be careful when we choose what we do for fun? In a previous post I go into detail about How Our Choice in Recreation Affects Our Relationship and Worship of God.
When we think about it, movies, TV shows, music, games and other forms of entertainment today are filled with immorality. If you find yourself cringing when watching a movie with your young child or your grandparents, this is how you should feel if Jesus was in the living room with you. That uncomfortable feeling you get is a factor that you should change the channel or get rid of that DVD.
Psalms 11 verses 5 and 7 give us another factor we can use when choosing something to look at or listen to. Those verses read,
5 The Lord examines the righteous, but he hates the wicked and those who love violence. 7 For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds. The upright will see his face. (Christian Standard Bible)
Those verses clearly tell us that God hates wickedness and people that love violence. One exercise you may want to consider doing as a family is going through your movie, game and music collection and removing the items that fit in this category.
Once again, if you’re not sure which ones feature violence and wickedness, ask yourself if you would be comfortable watching or listening to that song or movie with Jesus sitting next to you.
Our choices should be based on righteous activities and deeds since we know that these are what our Lord loves. When our entertainment is good and doesn’t bother our conscience, we feel refreshed and closer to God.
But how can we avoid entertainment that God hates and choose good entertainment?
2. Avoid Entertainment That God Hates (Psalms 34:14)
There are so many distractions today that do not meet God’s holy standards. We know that God hates wickedness but Psalms 34 verse 14 goes a step further. In that scripture, God urges us to,
Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it. (Christian Standard Bible)
How can we apply this in our lives? If we are on the internet and there’s a violent or pornographic popup, if we are to apply this scripture, we would immediately click out of it, going as far as turning off the computer if we need to.
Social media has many benefits but can also be a source of allowing depravity in our minds and hearts. In another post, I share The Disadvantages of Using Social Media along with steps to avoid its pitfalls. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be entertained by things God says is unacceptable.
Turning away from an offensive popup may seem like such a small action but I want to share with you a short fable about the boiling frog. There is debate over the science of it but essentially the fable states that if a frog is put into hot water, it will jump out.
However, if it is placed in warm water and then slowly brought to a boil, it will not notice the danger and be boiled to death.
What is the lesson for us? Most people are unable or unwilling to respond to dangers that gradually arise. In some cases, they may be unaware of the negative effects of these “minor” threats. The more we are entertained by seemingly small things God hates, the more willing we are to accept them as being “normal.”
As imperfect humans, the consequences of our bad choices can escalate quickly. We may deceive ourselves into thinking that we won’t be affected by the immorality we are reading, listening to or watching.
The more we engage in sampling what is wrong, the easier it is to fully engage in committing immoral or violent acts. When we choose leisure activities that God approves, we are showing our love for Him.
3. Our Choice of Entertainment Shows That We Love God (Ephesians 5:17)
Our love for God will help us to make the best decisions in life, even when it is difficult to do so.
The bible doesn’t give us a checklist with every book, magazine, song or movie that we should or should not entertain. God created us with free will and gave us bible principles to use as a guide. But first we need to,
understand what the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5:17, Christian Standard Bible)
Once we understand what makes God happy and make the necessary sacrifices for Him, we are proving our love for Him. To illustrate, your young child may be spending an afternoon with a relative or friend.
After lunch, your child may be offered a sweet treat such as cake or ice-cream or even both. However, your child knows that you only allow them to eat sweets after dinner. What would they decide to do?
They may reason that an adult is giving it to them so it’s ok. Or they may think to themselves that you will never find out about it and they won’t “lie” to you about it.
They simply won’t mention it. But they know that their choice to accept that treatment won’t be approved by you, so they decline the offer. As a child, this is a HUGE sacrifice for them. Speaking as an adult, I’ve cheated on numerous diets by eating things I know I shouldn’t. Saying no to temptation is hard!
As a parent, how would you feel when your family or friend dropped your child off and told you how your child was obedient to your rules, even though you weren’t around. The pride and love of your child at that moment is how God feels when he sees us making wise decisions.
When we show our love to God, he responds with his blessings on us. This is motivation for us to do anything to protect our relationship with him.
4. Our Choice of Entertainment Affects Others (1 Corinthians 10:24)
Along with affecting our relationship with God, the entertainment we choose also affects others in our lives.
You may be asking yourself why you should care what others think of what you choose to do in your free time. Let’s look at the fourth, but certainly not last, bible principle we can use to help you choose good entertainment.
In 1st Corinthians chapter 10 verse 24 we find the instruction:
No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person. (Christian Standard Bible)
You know that free will that I mentioned earlier that God gave us all? Well, just because we have the freedom to do and say what we want, it doesn’t mean that we should.
We not only have a spiritual responsibility towards God and ourselves but towards our family, friends, and others that look up to us to set an example as Christians.
Even if your goal is simply to be a better person, your children, spouse, parents and even neighbors are watching what you do.
You, yourself may be able to watch something immoral without it apparently affecting your conscience. The same may not be true of those sitting in the room, watching the same movie as you.
This is another principle that we can try right away. When deciding on entertainment, we can ask ourselves how it would affect the spirituality of our loved ones.
As a warning, the opposite may be true. A family member or friend may decide to watch something that you feel uncomfortable with. We all need to be careful not to judge one another too harshly.
While we can share the bible gems we discover with others, everyone learns and makes decisions in their own time.
Two Christians may watch the same show; one person may feel it goes against their conscience and the other may be fine with it. That’s ok!
We need to respect one another’s decisions and encourage each other to keep following God’s direction. Ultimately, we all want to serve God together and be happy!
If you want more ideas on how to do this, check out the fun options below!
Let’s Choose Our Entertainment Wisely!
We can certainly make wise decisions when choosing our entertainment. We simply need to keep in mind the four bible principles discussed:
- Be careful in our choice of entertainment
- Avoid entertainment that God hates
- Choose what God loves to show that we love him
- Keep in mind that our choices affect others
Considering and applying the above bible principles will keep us focused on what God approves, help us make wise decisions and make everyone happy.
In a separate post, I give practical and fun entertainment suggestions that you and your family will enjoy!
Thank you for digging into these scriptural gems with me! There are so many more principles in the bible that can help us choose good and wholesome entertainment.
Do you have any to share? Please do so in the comments below!