By Jess Soete
Few things get more cheers in my house than TV time. Maybe it’s because we use it so sparingly. Maybe it’s because children universally love screens. Regardless, I could put on the Weather Channel and I think my kids would sit fixated for at least twenty minutes. As nice as this respite is, I really appreciate when the content my kids watch allows us to talk about the Bible.
Here are three suggestions for ways to use media to talk to your kids about Jesus.
1. Watch and discuss Bible content from your church or other churches.
The Crossing has worked hard to provide quality online video curriculum for kids during these times. You can find this content on our YouTube channel. As a bonus, we always have questions you can ask your kids to help them understand the meaning of the episode and how it relates to Jesus.
2. Find quality Bible content from other sources.
Not all Bible content is created equal. Be sure to ask yourself who is the center of the story. If the hero is the character (David, for example), you may have to talk to your children more explicitly about how God used David but the real hero of the story is God. It’s always good to watch an episode first to see the way the show frames its theology and how much you’ll need to “coach” your kids through the episode to see the main point of the Bible story.
3. Watch and discuss almost any show.
What if I told you almost any show your children watched you could use to help them understand gospel themes? It’s true. Sure, there are kids shows out there that we really don’t want our children to watch because they annoy us or aren’t our favorites. Realistically though, we can view almost anything that’s written for kids and help our own children identify how it relates to our Christian worldview.
Watching a show where two characters are in conflict? Ask your children why you think the characters can’t get along. Remind them we are all sinners who need Jesus (even the Ninjago guys). Remind them that we can pray and ask for forgiveness when we get into fights too. Watching the Trolls World Tour? You can talk to your children about how God didn’t mean for us all to be the same. Our diversity makes us great and it’s that way because God created us different on purpose.
Check out this article for more ideas on what to ask your kids about.
It will take a little closer watch on your part (or you can always listen to the themes your kids bring up). But using any programming your kids are interested in to show them how it relates to our view of the world in the context of the Bible will help them start thinking that way about their everyday situations too.
Sure, we can’t use screens to do all our parenting. But they can help us, even as we seek to teach our kids about Jesus.