Health & Spirit

Should we restrict what our children watch on television?

By Billy Graham, Tribune Content Agency on

Q: Do you think we ought to restrict what our children watch on television? We'd never paid much attention to what our children were watching until recently, and we're concerned about some of the things we see (like all the violence). Or does it really matter, since it's just entertainment? -- Mrs. V.McN.

A: Yes, I believe it certainly does matter what we allow our children to watch on television (and elsewhere also, such as films or games). Both human experience and the Bible are clear: what we allow into our minds will eventually influence the way we live.

After all, how can we possibly believe that a steady diet of violence or immorality or materialism won't have any impact on our children? It does when they see it in our lives, and it will also when they see it in the lives of others -- even on a TV program or film. This doesn't mean every program depicting violence (for example) causes someone to go out and commit a violent act -- but a constant barrage of such things inevitably corrodes our thinking and corrupts our moral values. The Bible says, "Above all else, guard your heart ... Give careful thought to the paths for your feet" (Proverbs 4:23, 26).

Be alert to the programs your children are watching, and let them know why you're concerned. Don't just steer them away from those you find objectionable, but find ones that are both entertaining and positive. In addition, let advertisers know you don't support programming that's harmful to children.

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Most of all, make Christ the center of your home, and ask Him to help you raise your children wisely. The Bible says, "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it" (Proverbs 22:6).


(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association:



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