Creating What?

There is a huge difference between limiting and abstaining. Generally, we abstain from things that are detrimental or harmful or sin; no discussion, no rationalizing, end of subject! Well, at least it should be that way.

But what reasons do we choose for limiting something? Food is good, yet too much will lead toward gluttony and bad health. Sleep is good, but too much is slothful and will hurt our body. We have to have food and sleep, so we cannot abstain. Instead, we must learn to limit.

What about things such as video games, movies, TV, cartoons, and various sorts of entertainment that are not necessary (or even beneficial) for life in Christ? For some families those are the things that become a great struggle. Children love those sorts of things. (Okay, many adults do, too.) Even if parents may be discriminating in choosing or limiting such things that may not be overtly evil, their children will seldom exercise the same discretion.

We have observed parents who want their children to be happy (and in the process may not realize that they are trading away godly for merely happy). So they will choose to limit the child to metered amounts of movies, cartoons, or video games each week often as a reward for good behavior. They do not realize, however, that they are actually doing far more damage than any marginal amount of hoped-for good with this approach.

In business, the saying is “scarcity creates demand.” What parents will find with this direction is that they are creating huge appetites in their children for these things by this approach. The children know that if “it” was actually “bad” they wouldn’t be allowed to do it, but since it is merely limited, it must be good. Eventually, they will be able to make their own decisions, and these will include few if any limits. 

Our lives are filled with boundaries, and it began in the Garden when God said don’t eat of that tree. The world does not want limits placed on the flesh. “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” (Philippians 3:19)