Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Avoiding Evil & Violence

In light of the Boston bombings and the suspected Tsarnaev brothers, I have thought a great deal about the powerful influence evil individuals can have on my boys.

In a perverse and twisted way our society glorifies evil and violence. 

The attention the media gives to the likes of James Holmes, Adam Lanza, and presently the Tsarnaev brothers practically makes superstars out of these evil men. 

The young, curious minds of our youth have easy access to images of evil and violence on Television and in movies. 

To these easily influenced minds, Hollywood portrays evil as appealing and exciting.  A real man goes rogue, is "bad ass," and reverts to violence to make a point. 

If young boys and even girls want to imagine what it feels like to walk into a room and slaughter human life, all they have to do is plug in their game system and play the newest "shoot-em-up" game.  Instantly, they glimpse the "thrills" and feel the "highs" of having the power of life and death in one's hands.

I, by no means, am insinuating that ALL TV, movies, and video games are evil and destructive to our young children's minds. 

This is not a anti-gun blog or political message.  

I am also not arguing that the Media is altogether to blame for evil, violent actions of others.  

I am simply expressing my concern as a mother of young children with the glorification of evil and violence in our culture.

Let's even consider the topic of bullying. 

Bullying among children is a heinous epidemic in our schools. 
At its root it is evil and can very often turn violent. 

Just the other day I watched a real news clip of bullying that was happening on a school bus.  Two older boys were literally both verbally and physically abusing a young boy.  It was so very disturbing.  It made my stomach queasy and my heart ache just watching it. 

And I had to ask myself, "What has happened to these boys that they feel such liberty and find such pleasure in performing evil, violent acts onto another human being?"  

This is a question we ask ourselves often when we witness, read, or hear about evil and violent behaviors in this world. 

There are likely many personal and circumstantial factors influencing these behaviors. 

Nonetheless, I have to wonder if some of what has happened to these individuals is a complete desensitization to the horrors of evil and violence. 

Maybe they've chosen to seek out the glory and thrill portrayed in so many media outlets? 
 
Or maybe they've been influenced by another who, for whatever reason, plots evil and violence toward others? 

I could go on and on about this topic of evil and violence in our culture, but I would like to narrow my focus to our children. 

It is nearly impossible to guard their eyes and minds from all the evil and violence in this world.  We can't shelter them forever. 

But part of our job is to, when appropriate, have honest and open conversations about the evil and violence going on all around them.

And these conversations must also include discussions about what kinds of individuals our children admire, look-up to, and strive to be like.  

They mustn't envy the power and supposed thrills evil men acquire through violent behaviors. 

They musn't aspire to catch a glimpse of the twisted rush felt when plotting violence and stirring up trouble. 

And they mustn't desire the company of and attention from those whose hearts and minds have been essentially brainwashed to do evil.

Proverbs 24:1 speaks directly to this:

"Do not envy wicked men,
do not desire their company;
for their hearts plot violence,
and their lips talk about making trouble."

There is evil and violence all around us.  Let's pray that our children don't get sucked into its twisted glorification.  And let's pray they steer clear of those who do.

Jesus,
I pray protection over my children from the horrible evils of this world.  I pray you would guard their hearts and minds from unhealthy exposure to acts of evil and terror.  I pray you would give them a bitter and sour taste for evil and violence.  And I pray they would not envy those who are caught up in evil and who plot violence and cause trouble.  I pray they would not seek the company of the wicked but would seek Your righteousness above all things.  

Proverbs 24:1

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