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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Parental Mistakes - Our recent one

Recently, as parents, we made a big blunder. We took our kids to an R rated movie that was pure trash. Why didn't we leave? Why did we go there to begin with? What were we thinking? Maybe we should have been alarmed when we didn't see any other kids were in the audience - of course it was pitch black in the theater becuase we were a bit late. While I could give additional excuses for our blunder (with some validity), the truth of the matter is we were not diligent enough (as parents) to protect our children's innocence or even our own.

The movie gave us some talking points but it would have been better to have had the talking points without the visual imagery burned into our memories. Afterwards, it is fair to state, we all felt like we had walked through a garbage dump; it's stench and slime clinging to our memories. The movie was like porn - it's images remained long after we left the theater.

The very next day, our blunder was highlighted by our son's friend's parent when she asked me about the movie. Our mistake had indeed been discovered! Her son had been told by my son that "Mom laughed during the movie" implying I enjoyed it! Yes, I did laugh- parts of it were funny; needless to say, my son and I had to have a second discussion! The parent was interested in knowing about the movie because her son had been asking to see it; she was more diligent than us in that she had read the reviews, saw the ratings and had concerns about the movie. What followed was a great discussion; we each got to know the other much better! Unfortunately I felt convicted as I should have; my reputation deservedly received a bit of a tarnishing. Yes, it is a contradiction to promote chastity and take your kids to this movie!

All parents will make an occasional mistake here and there. We will need to pick ourselves up afterwards, reaffirm why that was a bad decision, make the decision to not repeat it again, and ask God's forgiveness for weakness and poor judgment. But there will be consequences as well to our mistakes.

It brings to mind a recent story about a young woman who decided to become a sister (she lives in Italy). After making her decision, a jilted boyfriend posted nude pictures/poses of her on the internet for a number of reasons. His motives and actions are notably ugly for a variety of reasons; nevertheless, they cause us to also question the motive and reputation of this young woman.

The moral of the stories are: truly we are our brother's keeper. We are all called to help each other stay on the straight and narrow path to our heavenly Father. Our sins will be revealed in either this lifetime or the next! I am indebted to the mother who asked about the movie - I appreciated her investigation into our decision. I was relieved that she didn't just write me off as a bad parent! I appreciated her remarks! She taught me an important lesson that I need to remember. I appreciated the reminder that our sins have a ripple effect- they extend to people we can't even imagine would be affected!

Thank you God for placing people in my life to remind me of you! thank you for trying to make me a better person. Help me be strong for my children.

Ok, I will finally admit to you the title of the movie: The Hangover! Yes, we are that stupid sometimes! Mea Culpa.