I once heard a story about a man who had two teenage daughters. They were a happy family and they loved each other. One day, the girls came home asking their parents if they could see a popular x-rated movie in theaters. The family rule was that movies with a rating over 14 were unnecessary and the family would not watch them. The girls knew this when they approached their father and had planned their entreaty.
“It will allow us to understand what our friends are talking about.”
“It will help us relate better in society.”
“Watching the movie will help us better understand and defend what are standards are.”
Dad looked at his girls with compassion, understanding their desire to fit in with the crowd and knowing that sometimes choices are hard. He explained to them that as the parent, it was his job to help them make choices that would be best for them. Somewhat deflated, the girls accepted their father’s decision, kissed him on the cheek and headed off to bed.
The next day, the girls re-approached their father. They had prepared a ‘pros & cons” list weighing the value of their being allowed to see this particular x-rated movie. Included on the list was that it was a one time thing and that as such it was a little thing and would not really make that a big a difference in their lives; they would still be the girls they were and it would simply give them a taste of what these movies were like.
Listening intently to their persuasion, Dad respected their efforts and asked the girls to please give him until after supper the next day to make his decision. Delighted that he seemed to be coming around, the girls sweetly replied, “Of course!” sure that he would agree to let them go.
Supper the next night was a warm family affair. Caring and laughter filled the room. This family loved and enjoyed one another and meal time was a favourite. The girls were almost jiggling in their seats. So confident they were that their father would say yes, nothing could spoil their mood. Sure enough, the meal ended and Dad gave his consent for the movie. Squealing in delight, the girls were happy to listen to their father’s one condition on their going to the movie.
“We can talk about it while you enjoy these brownies I made for you.”
The girls smiled, they had the best dad in the world. They each held out their hands as they were served the warm, fragrant and sure to be delicious brownies their dad was ‘family-famous’ for making. Forks half-way to their mouths they paused as dad told them that they should know something before they bit into the brownies.
“You told me you wanted to try new things and that it was ok if there were a little bit of bad because it would help you appreciate good so, when Rover went out back today, I took a teaspoon of his droppings and added them to the brownies.”
The girls forks lowered and horror crossed their faces. “Dad, what have you done? We could have eaten that!”
“Well, we had never tried dog droppings in our brownies and it was a new experience and would definitely be something you could discuss with your friends. Ninety-nine percent of the brownies are exactly they way I always make them. I am sure that such a little bit of bad stuff won’t make that big a difference.”
The light dawned and the girls smiled. “OK, Dad, we won’t go to the movie.”
As parents, it is our responsibility to help our children understand that there are some things that just are not good for them. As Christians, we need to see that God is doing the same thing for us.
Every time we open our lives to sin, even the ‘little’ ones, and allow them to go unchecked, they have opportunity to grow in our lives. It is highly unlikely that any of us would pollute ourselves with dog droppings and yet we invite things into our lives that are equally bad or even worse. Whether it is through media, language, attitudes or behaviours, all of these little parts make up the whole.
It is shameful to even mention what the disobedient do in secret.
Finally, brothers, 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.
Are you ready to take a look at what is in your recipe? Is the 1% worth the effect on the 99%? Are the choices you make reflecting the life you want to live?
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.