The Desensitization of America

​“Mom, the movie was great, but I don’t think it is appropriate for my brothers,” said my nine-year old daughter after returning home from a movie she recently saw with a friend. “Really, “I said. “Why do you say that?” “Because there are a couple of inappropriate words in there,” she responded.
 
Curious about what those “inappropriate words” might be, I scoured reviews about this new movie  - a remake of a movie from 1982. I looked up the movie on CommonSense Media and still could not quite figure out what she was referring to.
(https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/annie-2014#, https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/annie-1982) After reading a friend’s Facebook post, I learned what she might have been referring to. Oddly enough, what she was referring to did not even make it into the review on the CommonSense Media. After reviewing the commentaries on both the new movie and the old movie, I quickly came to the realization that the world is not necessarily worse or better than thirty years ago. Instead, we are just growing progressively more and more desensitized to how we view life, humanity, gender roles and children.
 
According to dictionary.com, “desensitization” is in one use, a behavior modification technique, used especially in treating phobias, in which panic or other undesirable emotional response to a given stimulus is reduced or extinguished, especially by repeated exposure to that stimulus (emphasis mine).
 
What is our problem today? We are constantly bombarded with more and more exposure to foul language, violence and sexual situations. I mean, when you cannot even watch a live sporting event on television with your children for fear that you may have to have the uncomfortable “birds and bees” talk with your six year old because of all the erectile dysfunction commercials, you know there must be a larger problem.
​I am currently re-reading through the kings who ruled the Southern and Northern regions. While some of them were God-fearing men, some were not. However, even some of those who were God-fearing men did not do anything about the people who were worshipping false gods and building Asherah poles. If you read through the Book of Chronicles and Isaiah, you will see that this did not make God happy. It is not enough to just look out for number one – especially those put in a position of leadership. What the leaders did and did not do and what they did and did not allow did effect their present situations and future generations.
 
The reality for most of us is that we may or may not think of ourselves as leaders. However, let me warn you. If you are a parent, you are a leader. You are raising the next generation that either has the potential to be better than this generation or worse.
 
Some of the saddest words in the Bible were said by King Hezekiah in Isaiah 39:8:

Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah. “This message you have given me from the Lord is good.” For the king was thinking. “At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.”
 
Hezekiah was not concerned about the future captivity because it was in the future. He knew he was not going to be placed into captivity. He did not give a thought to his children or the generations to come and what their lives would look like in captivity. Sometimes in our exasperation with the state of this world, we too can find ourselves saying, “Does it really matter? I will be long gone someday in the safety and security of heaven.” I am here to say today that yes, it does matter what we to do today for the sake of future generations. What we do or do not do today will effect what happens tomorrow.
 
Even Christians who “train up their children in the ways they should go” (Proverbs 22:6) by taking them to church and reading the Bible with their children can fall victim by allowing the enemy to penetrate the walls of their homes and the minds of their children. How?
 
Let’s take, for example, the Disney channel on television. When my oldest child, who is now almost thirteen, was a toddler, the Disney channel was fairly innocent. Cartoons like Mickey Mouse played throughout the day. However, slowly over the past decade while shows like Mickey Mouse have moved to Disney Junior, shows like Jessie, Liv and Maddie and Austin & Ally play throughout the day. While not everything is completely inappropriate, some of the attitudes are and the shows are more mature in nature than some of our children should be absorbing. For example, lots of seven, eight and nine year olds watch the above shows, however the main characters are teenagers. My question: would you let your nine year old consistently hang out with a group of teenagers for hours on end day in and day out? If your answer is “Of course not!” but you are allowing your child to watch these shows day in and day out, you are in essence doing just that. The subjects are mature, issues about dating are discussed and language and teen attitudes are used. We balk at middle schoolers being mixed with high schoolers during the day (in schools that are multi-grades), but we do not have an issue with our lower school children watching shows that put them right in the hallways of high school.

​We, like many of you, struggle with monitoring our children's choices and media viewing too.
​Another example….movie theatres. My seven year old begins to shake visibly whenever we mention going to the movies. Why? One time we went to the movies to see a family friendly movie and one of the previews showed a very violent drive-by shooting scenario in an upcoming movie. I was so upset. If I had wanted to take my children to the movie that was previewed, I would have taken them to that movie, but I didn’t. We usually now have to stand in the hallway with him (and sometimes I think I need to bring the other two out with me too just because of the unknown) until the previews are over.
 
Commercials. Please do not get me started. I am so thankful for the ability to record live television. Commercials are relentlessly portraying scantily clad women, alcohol, previews for violent and scary television shows and sexual-in-nature material. Again, as much as we try and screen what our children watch, we have zero control over what might pop up during a commercial. I hope one day we have the ability to block commercials like we have the ability to block pop-up ads on the Internet.
 
We need to not be like King Hezekiah and resign to the fact that future captivity is coming. However, while he had the privilege of knowing it would not be in his lifetime, we do not have that luxury. We need to believe that the actions we take today will change the course of a generation – whether that generation is our generation or a future generation. We need to fight for our children when they do not even realize that they need to be fought for. We need to fight for our own souls as well. Like toxic waste that slowly seeps into groundwater, we need to realize that the wickedness of this world can slowly seep into our souls if we are not taking proactive measures to shut down the toxic waste-contributing factor. Repeated exposure = desensitization.
 
Use your voice. Use your words. Use the power of prayer. Use the Word of God to stand on. Stop watching the shows. Stop watching the movies. Write lawmakers. Discuss these things with your friends who may be unaware. Be pro-active instead of reactive. Start today.
 
"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life" (Proverbs 4:23).
 

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

Related Posts

1 Comment


Juli - January 8th, 2015 at 10:32am

Great Blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recent

Archive

 2015 (42)
 February (1)

Categories

Tags

#Emerge #LiveUnashamed #TurnOffTheDark 'Tis the Season 1 Corinthians 13 1 Peter 3:18 1 Timothy 1:12-16 180 the documentary 1973 1and3 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 2015 2016 Vote 2016 40th Birthday 62nd National Day of Prayer 63rd National Day of Prayer 8 A Few Thoughts About the Starbucks Red Cup A Generation in Crisis A Savior is Born A Shining Star Aaron Abbott and Costello Abraham Acts 16:31 Adultery Advent Calendars Advent Devotional Advent Wreath Advent Agape Alabaster Jar Alaska Airlines Albaster Jar Albie Pearson All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten American Church Ami Chapman Anglican Church Annie the Movie Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Are You Hurting Your "Friends"? Ascension Ash Wednesday Ashley Madison Asma Al-Assad Assemble Aurora Auror Austin & Ally Autumn Awaken Band-Aids Baptism of the Holy Spirit Barak Bashar Al-Assad Bathsheba Be a Voice for the Voiceless Beautiful Gate Being Fed Beirut Attacks Bethel Music Bethseda Better Days Are Ahead Bible Fellowship Bible Museum Bible Study Bible Billy Graham Bishop TD Jakes Bitter Cup Blogger Boaz Bobbie Houston Boko Haram Born In A Manger Boston Marathon Bride BringBackOurGirls Brittany Maynard Burdens Busyness C.H. Spurgeon Caleb Castille Calling Canada Casting Crowns Catherine Mullins Change Charles H. Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon Charleston Church Shooting Charleston Chasing the Dragon Chick-fil-A Chicken Child Choose What is Better Christ-follower Christine Caine Christmas All Year Long Christmas Christy Nockels Church Climb a Tree Coffee Bar Colossians 3:13 Comfort Zone Comfortable Community Confirmation Content Cool Christianity Coop Corrie ten Boom Country Club Craving God Ministries Creation Creator Cross Crown of Thorns D.C. DIY DOMA Dads and Daughters Dads Daily Devotional for Lent Daily Devotional Dallas Damascus Dandelions Darkness Darlene Zscheh Daughters Of the Deep Daughters Days of Elijah Deborah Defiance Deliverance Democrat Demon Possessed Man Dennis Bratcher Desensitization Deuteronomy Devotional for Lent Devotional Disorder Dominican Republic Don't Act Like a Chicken Donald Trump Doubt Dr. Tony Evans Dry Bones Dylann Roof ED Commercials Earthquake Easter Eight Practical Tips Election 2016 Election Elephant in the Room Elohim Emanuel A.M.E. Church Emanuel AME Emerge: It's Time To Turn Off The Dark Emerge Emerging: Out of the Shadows of Voluntary Darkness Emerging Emily Lett Empty Tomb Encounters Entertainment Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 2:8-9 Ephesians 2:8 Ephesians 6:12 Epiphany Erin Olson Erin Olson Dallas Erin Olson Sandalfeet Erin Olson Erin and Scott Olson Erin Esau Esperanza International Evangelism Explosion Evangelism Exodus 1:17 Ezekiel FORGIVEN If we are forgiven why can’t we forgive? How you can know if you are living in unforgive Facebook Live Facebook Faith Fall Family Relationships Family Fasting Father's Day Father's Day Festival of Unleavened Bread Fetter Firing Squad First Fruits First Great Awakening For Your Glory and For Me Forever 21 Forever Forgiveness - Unforgiveness : Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness - Unforgiveness: Revealed Through Your Fruits Forgiveness Bible Study Forgivenes Forgivness Four Friends Friendship Friends Fruits of the Spirit Fruits Fruit Galatians 5:22-23 Garden of Gethsemane Gather Your Neighbors Gather Gendercide General Revelation Genesis 3:15 Gentleness George Zimmerman Gerasenes GetOurGirlsBack Gideon Gifts Give Credit To Whom Credit Is Due Give Gluten-Free God With Us God is Love God is With Us God is good God's Not Dead God's Will God's Word God Golden Chord Good Friday Goodness Grace Greg Laurie HIS Bridge Builders Habbakuk Haitian Earthquake Haiti Happy New Year Harvest America 2016 Harvest America Harvest What Does it Mean? Harvest Hate He is Risen Healing Heart Heaven Kissed the Earth Hebrews 10:14 Hebrews 10:24-25 Hebrews 12:1 Heroes of the faith Hillary Clinton Hillsong United Hipster Christianity His Redeemer Lives His Revelation Holy Spirit Holy Week Homeschool Home Hope Defined Hosanna in the Highest House of Prayer Human trafficking Hurricane I Can Only Imagine I Can ISIS Immanuel Impatience In N Out Instagram Intercession Intercessory prayer Isaac Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah Israel It Takes A Village It'S Time To Turn Off The Dark Jack Graham Jackie Pullinger Jacob Jael James MacDonald Jehovah-Jireh Jen Hatmaker Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah Jerry-Maguire Jessie Jesus Movement Jesus Revolution Jesus is the Reason Jesus is the reason for the season Jesus' miracles Jesus' will Jesus Jim Cymbala Job 23:10 Job Joel Osteen John 10:10 John 14:6 John 15:1 John 3:16 John 8:12 John Hagee Join With The Angels Jonah Joy To The World Joy Judge Deborah Karen Wheaton Kari Jobe Kickstarter Kids Ramp Kindness King David King Herod King Hezekiah Kingdom Community Kirk-Cameron Lakewood Church Laodiceans Laodicea Las Vegas Leadership Lent Daily Devotional Lent Devotional Lenten Devotional Lenten Season Lent Let it Be Jesus Life Light In the Dark Light of the World Light Lioness Arising Lisa Bevere Listen to Him Liv and Maddie Live Unashamed Living Under an Open Heaven Lord's Prayer Lord's Supper Lot's wife Love Luke 10:42 Luke 11 Luke 2:46 Luke 2:7 Majestic Inspirations Majesty Malachi 1:2 Manchester Mandisa Manna Marathon Marilyn Monroe Mary Anoints Jesus Mary Magdalene Mary and Martha Matthew 12:21 Matthew 20 Matthew 21 Matthew 28:19 Matthew 5:9 Matthew 7:24-27 Mat May 7th May 7 Middle-class Mike Fechner Miracles From Heaven Miracles Missions Moms Mom Mordecai Moses Mother's Day Motherhood Motrin Movies Museum of the Bible Museum Music Muslim My Hope America with Billy Graham My Hope America Names of God Narrow Gate Narrow Path National Day of Prayer National Prayer Walk Your Neighborhood National Prayer Walk Nehemiah Neighborhood New Beginnings New Year NewSpring Worship Niagara Falls Nigerian Schoolgirls Nigeria No Longer Slaves Notes Obedience Oceans Of Mess and Moxie Office Shooting Olive Branch Olive Oil Olson On the Day of the Solar Eclipse One Thing is Necessary One Year Later Open Heaven Operation Christmas Child Oregon's Death With Dignity Act Palm Sunday Parables Parents Pareto Principle Paris Attacks Paris Passion Passover Pastors Patience Peace On Earth Pecking Order Pentecost Perfect Timing Peter Pick up Your Cross Planned Parenthood Podcaster Podcasts Podcast Pool of Bethesda PowerPoint Praise you in the Storm Praise Prayer Closet Prayer Room Prayer Works Pray Preparing for the Harvest Presence of God President Obama Presidential Race President Prestonwood Baptist Church Prestonwood Devotionals Prestonwood Easter Prestonwood Pregnancy Center Prestonwood Women's Ministry Prestonwood Priceless Priscilla Shirer Pro-gay Prodigal Son Promised Land Proverbs 10:12 Proverbs 22:6 Proverbs 31 Psalm 118:1 Psalm 121 Psalm 31:19 Queen Esther Race Racism Rahab Raised to Life Rashness Red Cup Reinhard Bonnke Repent Republican Repurpose Reset 2016 Revelation 4:8 Revelation Rick Santorum Robert Fulghum Robin Hill Lane Robin Williams Roe v. Wade Romans 4:7-8 Romans 8:28 Ronnie W. Floyd Rooster Ruth SCOTUSA SYATP 2015 SYATP Sabbatical Year Sabbatical Samaritan's Purse Same-Sex Marriage San Bernardino Sandafeet Sandalfeet Blog Sandalfeet Ministries Sandalfeet Minsitries Sandalfeet Santa Claus Santa Satan Scarlet cord Scott Olson Dallas Scott Olson Scott and Erin Olson Season Second Coming of Christ Second Great Awakening Second Kings See You At The Pole Self-control Senior Adults Senior Church Goers September 11 Serve Sex trafficking Sexual Abuse Shame Share the Message Shifting the Entertainment Atmosphere Sifting Silence Silent Night Simeon Simon Simplify the Season Sisera Sit At His Feet: Choose What is Better Sit At His Feet: Choosing What is Better Sit At His Feet Social Media Sodom Solar Eclipse Solemn Solomon Sound The Trumpets Special Revelation Spenser Olson Spirit Rising Spiritual Atmosphere Spiritual Food Spiritual Needs Spiritual Orphans the Book Spiritual Orphans: A Generation in Crisis Spiritual Orphans Spiritual Warning Signals Sprint Stand United Star of Hope Starbucks Start Serving Stop Complaining Stay Gold Stepping Out of the Boat Stormie Omartian Storms Storytellers Stress Strongholds Supreme Court ruling Surrender Syrian Conflict Syria TD Jakes Temple Construction Temple Temptation Testimony Thankfulness Thankful Thankgiving Thanksgiving The American Humanist Association The Gathering The Great Commission The Katinas The King is Among Us The Mission of Motherhood The Ramp The Sisterhood The Tabernacle The Waiting Place The Weeping Prophet Theophany Third Child This I Beiieve Thomas S. Kidd Three Wise Men Time with God Timing Tony Evans Trafficking Transfiguration Trayvon Martin Triumphal Entry Twelve Days of Christmas Unashamed Unbelief Unforgiveness United 2015 Uzzah VBS 2012 VBS Vacation Bible School Valentine's Day Vessel Vicky Valle Victor's Crown Virginia Grounds Virtual Academy Voice Institute Voluntary Darkness War Room Washington We Are Called to Forgive Weekend Project Weeping Prophet Whale What If What's in a Name Wheat and Weeds Who's on First? Wide Gate Wide Path Will You Stay Silent? Wise Men Woman at the Well Woman-at-the-well Woodlawn Word for the Year Word of God Word of Life Words Works Worship Music Worship Writing in the Sand Wubble Bubble Ball Wubble Bubble Yahweh Yes You Can You Are Not the Boss of You Your Love For Us Youth Zacchaeus Zechariah 9 Zechariah abortion adoption authenticity author baby names blessing blog blood moons category 5 hurricane child abuse child trafficking children conversation depression divorce family family vision statement family mission statement stay-at-home mome flu epidemic flu vaccine flu forgiveness four blood moons fruit of the Spirit garth brooks governor abbott hand of God hand-of-god heroines hope housewarming shower hurricane harvey kinsman Redeemer lost lukewarm marriage media ministry mobile sonograms mustard seed myhopeamerica.org nasa nineveh orphans orphan pandemic parable of the mustard seed parenting peace persecution prayer prestonwood baptist choir pro-choice pro-life prodigals prophecy pythonic-spirits python radical obedience radical reconciliation revival sadness sharethemessage.org spiritual-warfare steps of salvation stomach virus thanks the Bible the Seed the gift of conversation theatre shooting this blood time in His presence tragedy trials trust unanswered prayers unplanned pregnancy waiting widow's oil workplace ministry