O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

And so begins the popular children’s song. It goes on to give these exhortations:

O be careful little ears what you hear…
O be careful little tongue what you say…
O be careful little hands what you do…
O be careful little feet where you go…
O be careful little heart whom you trust…
O be careful little mind what you think…

Though the childish tune may not be a chart-topping hit, the simple message of this song is as relevant to the 30 year old woman as it is to the 3 year old girl. Keeping a pure heart is a lifelong pursuit.

Did you notice the pattern the song follows?

The author of this song wisely noted that our observations become our actions, our actions become our devotions, and our devotions become our perceptions. If we want to have positive perceptions, devotions, and actions, then it stands to reason that we must be shrewd in our observations. We must be diligent to avoid seeing and hearing things that are unfit for the eyes and ears of pure ladies. One way to accomplish this is by having “remote control”. That is, by being intentional about the content we view on our televisions.

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! – Matthew 5:22-23

[Now, if you are a married woman, then your husband is the head of your home. I urge you to defer to his film choices. If his taste is for impure entertainment, I suggest a) sitting beside him while occupying your mind with another activity such as needlework or a book; b) respectfully asking to be excused from the room for the duration of the show; or c) making an appeal for different content in a spirit of meekness. Submit to him as unto the Lord.]

In our home, my husband has given me the task of selecting films for our weekly family movie nights. This means that I have a responsibility to select quality content for our family of four, which includes our two teenage sons. Will I be a wise woman and build up my home through pure film choices? Or will I be a foolish woman who tears down my home by poor film choices? It all comes down to my remote control.

There are several websites out there that review movies from a spiritual perspective, allowing you to vet the content of a movie before (or, in lieu of) viewing it. I often use www.pluggedin.com, as they are quite thorough with their reviews, and their movie lists are extensive. With their cut-and-dry approach, I am able to assess fairly quickly whether or not a movie is suitable for our family.

What do I look for to test a movie’s suitability? Today, I want to share with you three questions I ask myself before a family movie enters our home and beams its message into our noggins. I ask myself:


The word “rude” is defined as follows: something offensively impolite or ill-mannered. Synonyms include ungentlemanly, unladylike, uncivil, discourteous, and audacious.

Plugged In does a fantastic job at pointing out rude behavior in movies. This may include, but is not limited to: bathroom “humor”, crude language, mockery of ethnic/religious groups, etc.

Rude behavior does not necessarily always equate with immoral behavior, but it certainly straddles the line and should make us pause to consider the wisdom of viewing such a film. A movie may be lawful to view, but is it profitable? (1 Corinthians 6:12) Is it filling our family’s minds up with true, honorable, pure, lovely, reputable, excellent, or praiseworthy thoughts? (Philippians 4:8) Opinions on what does or does not constitute as rude will vary from family to family, so I will merely offer some questions you might ask yourself to gauge the rudeness of a film:

These questions may serve as a guide to choosing more quality content. Remember: our observations become our actions, our actions become our devotions, and our devotions become our perceptions…so let us be careful what we observe. If we willingly observe rude behavior, it is likely that we will begin to act in rude ways, devote ourselves to rude people, and perceive the world in a rude way. Before you select your next family flick, stop and ask yourself: is it rude?

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. – Proverbs 13:20

We do not want anyone in our family to keep company with fools, real or fictional. Therefore, I will exercise remote control.

Another question I ask myself before a family movie enters our home and beams its message into our noggins is this:


The word “lewd” is defined as follows: something crude and offensive in a sexual way. Synonyms include indecent, vulgar, obscene, pornographic, and explicit.

Plugged In does a fantastic job at pointing out lewd behavior in movies. This may include, but is not limited to: seductive conduct, sensual kissing, and sexual acts.

Lewd behavior can be highly enticing, no matter one’s spiritual convictions – especially to the male gender. Men are wired (by God) to respond to visual stimulus, which is why pornography never has and never will go out of style. Those in the movie industry are well aware of man’s temptation to lust, and play on this by sprinkling sensuality into just about every movie that hits the box office. Lewdness may have no effect on you as a female…and if you are a good wife who keeps her man on empty, it may have little to no effect on your husband…but I implore you above all to think of your sons when selecting films that may include lewd content. Young men are without an outlet, having no spouse to fulfill their budding desires. Observing lewdness will only serve to stoke fires that have no way of being put out. Help your son to flee youthful lusts by setting only clean movies before him – this is one of the best kindnesses you can offer him and potentially, his future wife.

Remember: our observations become our actions, our actions become our devotions, and our devotions become our perceptions…so let us be careful what we observe. If we willingly observe lewd behavior, it is likely that we will begin to act in lewd ways, devote ourselves to lewd people, and perceive the world in a lewd way. Before you select your next family flick, stop and ask yourself: is it lewd?

You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. – Matthew 5:27-29

We do not want anyone in our family to lust after someone they are not married to, real or fictional. Therefore, I will exercise remote control.

Another question I ask myself before a family movie enters our home and beams its message into our noggins is this:


The word “booed” is defined as follows: something accompanied with contempt or disapproval. Synonyms include decried, disdained, reviled, censured, and condemned.

Plugged In does a fantastic job at pointing out booed behavior in movies. This may include, but is not limited to: lying, violence, and disregard for authority.

Booed behavior is any conduct explicitly denounced in scripture…and Hollywood is rife with such. Long gone are the good old days where the majority of movies had a moral message: protagonist does wrong, protagonist learns the error of their ways, protagonist changes for the better. (Did I just accidentally provide the synopsis for A Christmas Carol?) Nowadays, protagonists in most films sin, get away with it, and go on to sin some more while inviting others to do the same.

It’s easy to get desensitized to movie sins when…

Lies are portrayed as protection. Gory violence is portrayed as self-defense. Disregard for authority is portrayed as bravery. Homosexuality is portrayed as love. Stealing is portrayed as borrowing. The list goes on…anything is portrayed as justifiable as long as we are rooting for the character doing it. But the question is, should we be rooting for a character who is in opposition to God’s ways? Should we applaud what the Lord boos?

Remember: our observations become our actions, our actions become our devotions, and our devotions become our perceptions…so let us be careful what we observe. If we willingly observe booed behavior, it is likely that we will begin to act in booed ways, devote ourselves to booed people, and perceive the world in a booed way. Before you select your next family flick, stop and ask yourself: is it booed?

Being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. – Romans 1:29-32 (emphasis added)

We do not want anyone in our family to give hearty approval to evildoers, real or fictional. Therefore, I will exercise remote control.


In conclusion…

When selecting family films, I encourage you to put each movie through this vetting process:

If it is rude, lewd, or booed, then why is it being viewed? Ask yourself: “do I control my remote, or does my remote control me?” I believe we all could do well to improve our sense of remote control.

I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me. – Psalm 101:2b-3

For God’s glory,
Mrs. Dustin Bolks


Chaste Bolks is a church of Christ preacher’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.

Fear not the whirlwind will carry you hence,
Nor wait for its onslaught in breathless suspense,
Nor shrink from the blight of the terrible hail,
But pass through the edge to the heart of the gale,
For there is a shelter, sunlighted and warm,
And Faith sees her God through the eye of the storm.

The passionate tempest with rush and wild roar
And threatenings of evil may beat on the shore,
The waves may be mountains, the fields battle plains,
And the earth be immersed in a deluge of rains,
Yet, the soul, stayed on God, may sing bravely its psalm,
For the heart of the storm is the center of calm.

Let hope be not quenched in the blackness of night,
Though the cyclone a while may have blotted the light,
For behind the great darkness the stars ever shine,
And the light of God’s heavens, His love will make thine,
Let no gloom dim your eyes, but uplift them on high
To the face of your God and the blue of His sky.

The storm is your shelter from danger and sin,
And God Himself takes you for safety within;
The tempest with Him passes into deep calm,
And the roar of the winds is the sounds of a psalm.
Be glad and serene when the tempest clouds form;
God smiles on His child in the eye of the storm.

Anonymous

You’re probably familiar with the term “eye of the storm”. Sometimes, in the middle of a fierce and powerful tropical cyclone, a natural phenomenon occurs in which calm weather is found in the middle of the storm…this tranquil region is called the “eye”.

Many of us will never encounter a tropical cyclone (especially those of us who live in the heart of the American Midwest), but we will encounter many “storms” in life just the same. Of course I am not referring to natural disasters, but emotional disasters…not catastrophic to the planet, but nonetheless quite catastrophic for its inhabitants.

There are myriads of emotional storms that can hit in life: dissolved friendships, distant marriages, deteriorating careers, and the list goes on. Today, I want to focus on one specific type of storm that is familiar to parents the world over: the storm of teenage emotions. Ask any parent of teenagers, and they will likely tell you that they have been through their share of storms while navigating through the teen years with their child. There’s a reason there are so many stereotypes about the “moody teenager”…because adolescents have a whole lot of emotions, and not a lot of practice managing them. They want parents less than ever, but in many ways they need them more than ever. The teenage years can be a tough season for the whole family, but they can be lived through gracefully with a little prep and a lot of patience.

Are you a mother of teens, or will be in the future? Let me give you some perspective about the storms that your teenager will inevitably send your way, and help you to be the” eye of the storm” that your son or daughter needs you to be. In order to be a safe space for your kiddo (and keep your own sanity) there are three things you need to understand about storms. The first thing you need to understand about storms is that:


Out of the south comes the storm, and out of the north the cold. – Job 37:9

Storms occur in various locations all across the globe. When a storm arises, it is never isolated to one individual. Rather, its effects are usually felt by most or all people in that locale…a collective disaster.

When your teen’s emotions are whipping up a storm, know that it is not personal:

Once you take an objective look at your teen and stop making their storm about you, your eyes will be open to their needs…and allow you to get to the root of the problem.

Remember: your teen’s stormy behavior is not personal. Be the eye of the storm, the calm in the chaos.

The second thing you need to understand about storms is that:


Do you not fear me? declares the Lord. Do you not tremble in my presence? For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, an eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it. Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it. – Jeremiah 5:22

Storms have boundaries. No storm wreaks its havoc upon the whole earth (with the notable exception of the flood in Noah’s day, of course). Travel far enough, and a storm will make way for sunny skies.

When your teen’s emotions are whipping up a storm, know that it is not permissible:

Once you realize that you are capable of both handling and containing your teen’s storms, your eyes will be open to expect and accept the storm…and meet it head on without surprise but with a game plan.

Remember: your teen’s stormy behavior is not permissible. Be the eye of the storm, the calm in the chaos.

The third thing you need to understand about storms is that:


O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires. Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones. All your sons will be taught of the Lord; and the well-being of your sons will be great. – Isaiah 54:11-13

Storms are temporary. No doubt they can cause a lot of damage, but they never last forever. Eventually the rain stops pouring, the wind stops blowing, and all is still.

When your teen’s emotions are whipping up a storm, know that it is not perpetual:

Once you realize that the rough spot you are going through with your teen is only a short season, your eyes will be open to the finish line…and allow you to run the remainder of the course with diligence.

Remember: your teen’s stormy behavior is not perpetual. Be the eye of the storm, the calm in the chaos.


In conclusion…

A question every mother of teens ought to ask herself is this: “Will I be picked up and carried off by my teenager’s emotional torrents? Or will I be the eye of the storm that my son/daughter needs?

We all know what our answer should be, but are we up to the challenge? In order to be the eye of the storm in your teenager’s life, you must understand and remember three things about storms:

Be the eye of your teen’s storm. Be the calm in the chaos. The power of Christ in you will enable you to say to your teenager’s storm, “peace, be still”.

And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. – Matthew 7:25

For God’s glory,
Mrs. Dustin Bolks


Chaste Bolks is a church of Christ preacher’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.