It’s Saturday morning, and I’m taking care of the kids. Not just my nine year-old son and nine month-old daughter, but two of my nephews had just spent the night too.
They all just finished breakfast and the boys were looking for something to do.
“Hey Uncle Dan. Can Samuel watch Scooby Doo 2?”
Hmmm… My wife and I are usually very careful about TV programs and movies we let the kids watch, especially when it has to do with monsters and ghosts (among other “Christian-questionable” content). But I also know that I’d always enjoyed the sleuthing of the Mystery Inc. crew.
My wife and I have talked quite extensively about what we let the kids be exposed to. Do we encourage Narnia, but reject Harry Potter? I’m still not sure that I have an absolute response to that one yet, but I do know that if my son wants to read the Harry Potter books, then I would want to read with him and discuss Biblical truths along the way.
Back to Scooby…
So I quickly searched Focus on the Family’s PluggedIn Online website for a Scooby Doo 2 review to help me decide whether the Spiritual content was appropriate or not.
As I scanned the review (while stalling with my response to the kids’ question), I came across something I thought was pretty awesome. It was this statement in the conclusion of the review…
In the last movie, director Raja Gosnell’s team deconstructed the characters and viewed them through a cynical, postmodern lens. Perhaps the filmmakers learned from that mistake, because Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, Velma and the CGI Scooby are more likable and easier to identify with. They possess greater charm, mature as people and learn to appreciate their roles on the team (a chance for families to discuss Romans 12:3-8 and Ephesians 4:11-16).
So I had the boys read these Bible passages out loud, and we discussed very briefly what they mean. It wasn’t a long discussion. Just enough for them to understand the idea that everyone plays a different part in accomplishing the same mission.
Then I asked them to watch for this principle applied in the movie.
After they watched the movie, I followed up by asking if they could see what we talked about from the Bible in the story of Scooby and the crew with how they solved the mystery.
They thought is was really cool and in our short follow-up discussion, I could tell that they got the point. They learned an important Biblical principle that day with probably no more than 5 minutes of talking about the Bible and a movie. More importantly, they looked at a secular world with a Biblical lens.
I’m glad I took that opportunity to teach them, and not let the moment pass without planting a seed that I pray will continue to grow and flourish in their hearts.
I don’t know that I’ll need a Bible study for every single TV show, but I feel like this may become a more regular practice where I can fit it in.
How do you shape and encourage a Biblical worldview in your children, especially as it relates to TV and movies (and even books)?