One evening just before sitting down for tea, an advertisement came over the TV, which caused comment in our home. The advertisement portrays a father in the family room surfing the Internet, with his son playing nearby. The telephone rings and it’s the lady from the bank. Dad is busy and doesn’t want to talk to her, so he instructs his young son to tell her that he is mowing the lawn. The scene then changes to another day. On this occasion Dad answers the telephone. The bank officer, realizing that she has finally caught up with Dad says,” I can call back later if you are busy mowing the lawn”.
My children were astute in pointing out that the dad was in the first instance, telling a lie!
The advertisement gives the message that lying is OK and that it is even quite clever and comical. This is a disappointing message to be sending regularly to our community – to adults and children alike. Our family had a good little discussion about the values and standards of behavior that is being portrayed by the bank through advertising in this way. Since that evening, I have noticed that there are other advertisements, which are subtly desensitizing us and encouraging poor personal values.
The good thing is that we are more aware that inappropriate messages are being used around us and that we need to think about what we are hearing and seeing. Parents have a vital role, which is God given. In Proverbs 22:6 we are told,
Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray.
Heavenly Father help us to use every opportunity that we must teach our children, in meaningful and non-threatening ways, values and standards which honor You. Amen
Neil P. Schiller