I grew up in a home without a TV.
No, I am not a septuagenarian, born at the same time that television sets were just starting to become a popular fixture in American homes. But my parents, who were born “back then,” grew up under television’s influence and simply made the decision not to have a TV in our family’s home.
Being the only kid in my class without a TV was rather mortifying, especially when all of my friends talked about the latest installment of Dukes of Hazzard or Little House and I had no idea what the shows were even about.
Instead of watching TV, our mom took us to the public library… a lot! Every week we checked out several grocery bags full of books, and had the option of borrowing that era’s form of “non-print media”that wasn’t television … vinyl records.
We loved reading the books, but listening to a story on one of those LPs was mesmerizing, as the legend or fairy tale came alive with sound effects, music, and dramatic voices. Even now, after more than four decades, I can still hear the shrill voice of a little boy in a recording of The Emperor’s New Clothes, when he noticed the ruler marching along in a parade wearing only his birthday suit.
“Look at the king,” the child cried out, shocking the other onlookers who had chosen not to acknowledge the king’s state of undress. “Look at the king!”
I have no idea why I still remember the exact timbre of that little boy’s voice from a record I listened to 40 years ago. But I do know why I’ve been thinking a lot about what he shouted. Just a cursory look at current U.S. news stories parks me directly in the path of the king’s parade! And it seems like modern American society has joined the procession, marching along as quickly as possible behind the naked king, laughing at those foolish enough to even think of mentioning that something might be wrong, and vehemently scorning anyone brave enough to shout out “Look at the king!”
I’ve been watching this parade from a distance for the past 21 years, and sometimes it’s easier to see the big picture when you don’t have a front row seat. Here’s a list (though certainly not exhaustive) of some of the big picture items that I’ve seen in the parade:
- Rampant use of pornography and the idea that it’s OK as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult
- The homosexual agenda & gay marriage, and the way that this is being presented to young children in public schools as “just another type of family”
- “Shout your Abortion”
- The homeless crisis and how it’s become so political that no one is actually doing anything to help
- Tolerance (for anyone and everyone but the person who disagrees with you!) – a quick check for Scripture references related to this idea didn’t turn up anything very positive! Whatever happened to “agreeing to disagree” but still being friends?
- The trans agenda, innumerable gender options, trans athletes winning top prizes in women’s sports, etc
- Drag queen story hours & kid drag queens
- “Extinction Illness” – the claims of climate activists that the world will end in 10 years and how this has stolen the childhood of today’s youth. (First of all, is there really any scientific evidence to back up some of the specific doomsday claims? And more importantly, wouldn’t it seem that the real “stolen childhoods” were taken from children involved in sex trafficking or working in sweat shops around the world, or the kids who languish in orphanages overseas or bounce in and out of foster homes in the U.S. because their parents are hooked on drugs?)
- I could add so many more “smaller” cultural movements that just seem ridiculous, like “Shaming,” (fat shaming, slut shaming, etc.) or “cultural appropriation,” where you will be widely scorned for using any item of clothing, jewelry, a hairstyle, costume, etc. from any culture other than your own. And let’s be honest here…. who among us has never done this for Halloween or a school play or just because we like and admire another culture’s style?
Sometimes I wonder why no one in America is shouting “Look at the king!” But I know that’s not entirely true; many people have cried the alarm. It’s just that their voices are so easily drowned out in the cacophony of the parade.
As I mentioned before, I’ve been watching this spectacle from the outside, peacefully living in a country where the government (for the most part) and her people still operate under fairly conservative and even Biblically-based values. Because of that, we still aren’t dealing with these issues in the same “in your face” way that you see them in the United States. It makes Peru a more comfortable place to be raising children… at least for now. But the captivating music of the parade’s band is playing on our airwaves, and the king’s procession marches closer and at a quicker pace each year.
So I wonder…
Do we teach our sons to be the ones who will stand up and shout
“Look at the king”?
I know that one of them would quite enjoy this opportunity, while the other would cringe at the thought of standing up and speaking in front of a crowd. I don’t know if either one of them will ever be THE Voice calling out this phrase, but I do know that it is our responsibility as parents to make sure that they will recognize the king’s nudity when they see it.
But I believe that our most important job as Christian parents is to help our children learn to truly
look at the KING.
Because only by knowing the real KING, the one who gave His life to be the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith,” will they in any way be ready to face this parade when it arrives.
One day… maybe it will be soon…
a majestic procession will arrive, when the KING comes back to this earth that He created. This will be the REAL “look at the King” moment.
And it has already been described in great detail in Revelation 1:7 even though it hasn’t yet taken place.
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.
I certainly don’t want our sons to be included in the group of people who mourn on the day when they finally get to look at the King. I want them to rejoice!
So to help them prepare for that holy procession, and also for the small “k” king’s parade that they will face here very soon, our goal is to teach them to
“…run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
I think that verse is God’s way of saying
“Look at the KING!”