I have never been more compelled to hurry home from my morning carpool session, grab my laptop and begin to type. With tears blurring my vision, my heart is overwhelmed to say the least. More importantly, my spirit is standing at attention. What you are about to read comes from compassion’s vantage point and from the humble heart of a mother who is also a pastor.
Let’s talk about 13 Reasons Why.
Haven’t heard of it yet? You will. And I can assure you if you have tweens or teenagers, they have. “13 Reasons why” is a Netflix series based upon a Novel by Jay Asher. It’s premise follows teenager Clay Jensen and his quest to uncover the story why his classmate and crush, Hannah, made the decision to commit suicide. It is chilling, raw, heartbreaking and vulnerable. (I would encourage you to watch the link above if you are hearing your kids talk about it.)
I am not here to endorse this series by any stretch of the imagination. What i am here to do is shine the light. If you are a parent, you cannot afford not to pay attention. That would be the most costly mistake you have ever made. This show is heavy and in NO CASE SCENARIO should be watched without parental supervision and open discussions. Bare with me…my fingers cannot type at the pace my mind and spirit are speaking.
The eyes are the window to the soul.
What we see, we open up our spirits to. Please make sure that you are providing adequate monitoring of your children’s devices. Their phones, iPads, and social media platforms. Indulge me for one second, if God blessed you with these precious gifts, as long as they are in your home…YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM. Privacy my butt! They can have all the privacy they want when they are grown enough to move out. We did not grow up in the same world they are living in. When we left school, we left school. They spend the majority of their lives engaged to social media and tethered to their devices and when they do that, there is NO safe space. They never leave it and it never leaves them. As Christian parents our foremost responsibility is to raise a righteous seed.
I want to shine light on the fact that when we have immature spiritual beings intaking monumental doses of topics such as suicide, rape, and pre-marital sex, that they are opening up their spirits to those things.
If you are an adult watching this, you are not processing this show the same way young people do. Adult brains do not respond to tragedy like teenage brains. Which brings me to the next topic…if you aren’t having the hard talks, i promise you they are talking about it with someone. Let it be you. Someone who loves relentlessly and has their best interest at heart. Things that could be small to you could be rocking the world of your kid. Everything they go through feels like it is going to last forever…like there is no way out. Being Pastors, i constantly have to be careful that Ronnie and I are not “talking at” our kids. That we let them talk and that we don’t judge. They may not be feeling the “correct” feelings but as long as they are feeling them, provide a safe place of communication.
Educate them on the TRUTH. I pray that we are teaching our kids not only who they are, but WHOSE they are. That every life was created by God’s hands. All people are deserving of the love of God and we are here to show them that love. The church needs to be teaching this generation bold, authentic confidence. That it takes a courageous person to be love. That it is EVERYTHING to be a person who can stand on their own two feet and in moments that matter stand up for what they believe in and to not just “do it in theory”. Stand up for others when it’s hard. That’s what Jesus would do.
Victim shaming, blame, bullying, and being a bystander, are not Christlike.
Decisions we make in moments affect not only our lives, but the lives of other people for eternity. I encourage you to bring up this show to your tweens/teens. I can almost guarantee you they have heard about it, if they haven’t already watched it…and as a mother and Pastor i believe it is important to make you aware, if you like me…may not have been.
I love you. I love our children. All of them. Let’s fight for them. They are the NOW CHURCH and we are their watchmen. Stay woke!
All my love,