By Craig von Buseck
CBN.com Contributing Writer
CVB: What is the vision for Re-Create?
Luce: You don’t have to look very far to see that the cultural war is hammering our kids. Whether it’s MTV, or point-and-click pornography, or the garbage just off regular television, the music world, video games and all that. This is the parent answer book. It’s called Re-Create: Building a Culture in Your Home Stronger than the Culture Deceiving Your Kids. This is the book of hope for parents who are saying, “What in the world do I do?”
A lot of parents surrender their kids to the culture and they don’t even realize they’re doing it. Several studies have come out. One study says 88 percent of kids raised in church do not continue to follow God as soon as they graduate. We’ve got to do something about that. If we’re going to save any kids we better save the kids who are growing up in our homes.
A lot of parents say, “You’ve got the peer pressure, and you’ve got the culture. What are you going to do? Just pray, throw your hands up in the air and pray for the best.”
Well there are a lot of practical things that we can do. This is a book of practical things that we did do with our kids as they were growing up to make our hearts stayed close with them, and that Christianity was real with them. There is a lot of practical information on how to measure how much influence the culture is having on your kids, and how much intake you’re allowing of the culture into your home. Instead of them growing up and all of a sudden they’re 16 and they say, “Hey, I think I may be pregnant.” And you say, “I thought I raised you better than that.”
Well, maybe you didn’t raise them after all. Maybe the culture raised them. Maybe the media raised them.
You may say, “Well, that won’t happen to my kids.” You know, almost every one of these church shooters were church kids. They grew up in youth group. They grew up in Sunday school. And they’re shooting kids. Those parents never thought it would happen to their kids either. Kids who end up pregnant or on drugs, too many of them are church kids.
We have to start when they are young building a culture in our home that is authentic, that is real, where we can proactively infuse our values into our kids. So the book walks through exactly what you can do to make sure that you’re getting your values placed in your kids so they embrace them. Then they’re not just doing it because Mom and Dad taught me to, but I’ve made the decision for myself.
CVB: Yeah, God doesn’t have grandchildren.
CVB: What are some of these practical tips? From my perspective as a father, and thinking back to my teen years, it’s all about the relationship. What are some of the things you have found in your experience and in your research.
Luce: It is all about the relationship. Some things never change. The problem is that it is a little difficult to have a relationship because there are so many other things for both our kids to do, and us to do. We’re all busy. The first thing you’ve got to decide as a family is, are you going to be a relationship-centered family, or a media-centered family?
Media is so ubiquitous. If you give your kid a Mac and it’s really not a computer, it’s a media machine that they’re connected to all the time. We think that we want our kids to have it better than us, so we’re going to give them a TV in their room. We never had that. We’re going to give them an I-Pod. All their friends have it. We allow so much technology we don’t realize that we are inviting the world to shape their life every time we give them a piece of technology.
So just because all their friends have any piece of technology doesn’t mean they should.
So practically speaking, never give a piece of technology without strings attached. Always have strings. With our kids, when they got an I-pod they didn’t get it until they were 16. They had to earn their own money. But even then they weren’t able to put any music they wanted on there. It had to be approved by us. We said no secular music, period. But even then, you can’t just listen to it 24-7. We gave them etiquette. If we’re in the car together, you can’t have your earphones in. If you’re trying to have a conversation you can’t have one earphone in.
It’s about relationships. It’s about real people.
I would never allow television in our room. I would suggest that no parent do that. Especially if you have cable. But the one TV that you have in our house has to have regulations on it. How much can you watch a day. What types of programs.
If your kids were asked, “What kind of regulations do you have on your TV?” what would they say? Would they even know what the regulations in your family are? It seems remedial, but most families don’t.
Computers are the same. I don’t allow them to a computer in their room. At least not be online in their room. If they are doing their homework on a computer in their room they can do it offline, but not online. Why? Because it’s just not smart.
Make sure that you have computer software that protects your kids. There’s all kinds of it out there, but most Christians don’t have it on their computer. Ninety percent of kids doing their homework online get an unwanted sexual solicitation. They’re just trying to do their homework and they get a flash, or a pop-up. It’s not even fair — it’s guerrilla warfare that these guys are doing to these kids.
We put in the book a media dashboard so you can be constantly watching how much media is invading your house. If a guy knocks on your door and you don’t really recognize him, but you open the door. Then you realize he’s a guy that escaped from prison. And he’s a pedophile, he’s a rapist, and he’s a murderer. And he say’s, “Hey, I think I want to go spend the evening with your daughter or your son in their room.” Would you let that guy in? There’s no way. Why would you put a TV in their room? Why would you put a computer in their room? Because that’s all it is.
We need to be able to monitor. What I tell parents across the board is that they need to know every piece of media their kids are consuming — music, movies, whatever. You say, “How can that possibly be? There’s so much.” That’s right. It’s a hard job. It’s called parenting.
It’s a different kind of job. We can say, “My parents were good parents. I’ll do what they did.” But we live in a different day and age. So we need to do what they did, plus get smart and savvy to what the world is trying to do to our kids with the invasion of culture, much of what gets to our kids without our approval.
We need to understand, for example, what can our kids do on their cell phone. It’s not just a cell phone, it’s a media extravaganza. Sixty percent of all profits in the U.K. that are made on a cell phone are made through pornography on a cell phone. And virtually every single one of these cases where children are sexually assaulted by their teachers, they started the relationship by texting, because it’s an unsupervised.