Whether you watch the Super Bowl or not the game is
important to you as a Christian parent. This annual spectacle tells you a great
deal about the world your children inhabit. Proverbs 7 shows a parent looking
out his window at the world around him. This father used the view from his
window to instruct his son about the dangers of life. The window of your television affords you the
same opportunity and obligation. In
addition to the game you can learn much about the world around you from the
commercials. These commercials cost
approximately 3 million dollars for a 30 second spot, and that does not include
the production costs. The companies who sponsor these commercials believe that
they will appeal to what motivates Americans. It is safe to assume that these
sponsors don’t see an America that has a Godward orientation. Chapter
3 of Shepherding a Child’s Heart speaks
powerfully to this issue. The principles of this chapter have implications for
your children: Their hearts are not
neutral. Who will they worship? What are their treasures? — to name a few.
Literally hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested
by sponsors of the Super Bowl to ask these same questions. The answers they
offer are portrayed in the final products, the commercials. Why is this so important?
Because like the wise father in Proverbs 7, you can identify the spiritual
issues that confront your child in his world. I John 2 carries a strong warning: do
not love the world. The enemy of your soul is doing his best to make the
world attractive to your children. He
wants them to love the world! You can learn a great deal about the motivations
of our culture by observing the commercials in this game thoughtfully. Analyze
them. The warnings of Proverbs are based on an informed knowledge of the
dangers & temptations that make up life. This is an important message for today’s
parents as well.
This game and the surrounding spectacle also say much about
the orientation of your heart as a parent. Just as TV viewers observe the game
and its commercials, your children are observing you. What do they see? What
can your children tell about the orientation of your heart as they observe your
interaction with the spectacle that is the Super Bowl? Let’s examine a few
possible responses to the game.
Your team loses. Will there be discouragement and
disappointment? Will this mood stay with you for days? What does this attitude
say about the sincerity of the way you sang the hymns at church just a few
hours before the game? Content to know no
gain nor loss, … my glory all the cross. That is, of course, as long as my team doesn’t lose.
Your team wins. Do your children see a joy and
excitement that shows itself only at
these moments? What is your level of happiness and enthusiasm when the pastor
preaches on Ephesians 1 and you hear that you have been lavished with every
spiritual blessing from Christ? How does that rank with your team winning the
Super Bowl—or any other big game for that matter?
You really aren’t interested and don’t watch. You
prefer to watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. That’s perfectly fine.
Just allow me two questions. Is there another event or spectacle that captures
your interest? If there is, then rethink that event in light of the orientation
of your heart. Secondly, are you concerned to pray for those who are caught up
in this spectacle? The Super Bowl represents the orientation of a culture lost
in its own pursuit of self pleasure. The game is a call to pray for God’s mercy
on a culture plunging more deeply into darkness. Do your children see
compassion for the lost of our world?
This elaborate spectacle reveals much about your heart and
its treasure, just as it does about your culture. Most importantly, your
children are impacted by these things. They see how you respond and learn what
really matters to you. What are the spiritual attacks on your children from the
world around them? Follow the example of the alert father in Proverbs 7.
Jesus sums it up – Where your treasure is there will heart be
What are your observations about the Super Bowl and the
attitudes of your heart?