Movies are a HUGE part of our American culture.  What family doesn’t enjoy a good family movie night together with a side of popcorn?  There are some good quality non-Christian movies (Sound of Music, Swiss Family Robinson, and Inside Out to name a few), but there are also plenty of not-so-great ones. 

Some have a good overall message but are filled with attitudes and potty jokes you wish they would leave out.  Other movies are pretty “clean,” but have indoctrinating messages such as living for oneself, feminism (degrading men often goes along with this), and other political agendas.  We know as the old saying goes, “What goes in must come out,” and movie makers know this- which is why they add their agendas to movies, sadly even ones for children.

We desire to fill our kids with ideas that will build them up in their faith and character, not bring them down.  But with so many “feel good” yet “not so good” movie options, and the pull from our culture to watch them, it makes it difficult to know how to handle the entertainment world as a Christian parent. 

Here are a few suggestions when deciding whether to let your children watch a movie…

1.  Check a Christian movie review website to see exactly what is in the movie, or watch it yourself first.  Plugged In Movie Reviews and Dove Movie Reviews are two great options that I have found helpful.

2.  Ask yourself if the movie goes against the values you are trying to instill in your child.  Consider your child’s age as well- the younger, the more impressionable they are.  

3.  Pray and ask God for wisdom and be ready to follow His leading, not your own desires to be “in” with the culture or make your kids happy. 

4.  If your kids are older, consider talking through the desired movie with them and deciding together whether it would be a God-honoring movie to watch.  We use the Philippians 4:8 test in our house: “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.”  If the movie meets this criteria, it’s a winner.

5. Train your kids to speak up when they are with others who are watching a movie they are unsure about.  I have found most of the time, the parents or adults in charge will either contact me to ask if they can watch it or choose a movie they are more confident we would be comfortable with. I want my kids to learn to stand up for themselves and their beliefs, but also be accepting and not judge others who may feel convicted differently on movie selections.

6. Finally, encourage Christian movies!  Advantages?  Yes- tons!   More positive attitudes and overall messages shape their world view and love for God and His Ways!  Our children get enough of the world from living in it everyday- why not use entertainment to teach them more about God and living for Him, rather than the opposite?  Click here for some great Christian movie reviews.