Disclaimer: The show referenced in this letter targets our young people and is so offensive that I will not link to it for fear of contaminating this site. I do not want its filth to stain our space. However, if you choose to watch it through a simple Facebook search, I am HIGHLY WARNING you to view it in a private place away from little eyes and ears. It is beyond disgusting, full of crude language and sexual references, and viewers need to watch with extreme discretion.
To Whom It May Concern:
One of your trailers came across my Facebook newsfeed today that has left me enraged. With a constant stream of news, shares, posts, and pictures, it is easy to keep scrolling, passively taking it all in. But, the content of this video is so obscene and deeply troubling to my spirit that, as a parent, I simply cannot remain passive about it.
What is it you may ask? It is the Netflix produced cartoon series entitled Big Mouth that is slated for release on September 29, 2017. Like most mothers, my first thought was, “How bad can a cartoon be?” Well, how naïve I was! Ten seconds into the two-minute trailer aimed at our sons and daughters entering puberty turned my stomach in ways I have never felt before. It was repulsive.
Those two minutes were filled with the most sexually perverse content I have ever seen. The stars who voice the characters on this show, which is being marketed as a “raunchy, coming-of-age comedy,” say themselves that it is “filthy.”
Whoa! Guess what Netflix? I have a coming-of-age teenager and you have just stepped on this mama bear’s toes. Now, listen to me roar!
Your “creative team” who sat around the drawing board while sharing their personal stories of teenage sexual dysfunction (which I read was the inspiration behind the storyline) will not cast their dysfunctional, moral corruptness onto my children's young, impressionable minds. Your twisted and warped humor is not funny. It is dangerous.
Do you know that images are branded into our consciousness? Yep, I bet you do. In fact, you are probably banking on it. What goes in through our eyes can never be unseen.
You, dear Netflix, with 100 million subscribers, have a moral obligation to protect the eyes of the innocent. Instead, you create programs like this that are full of debauchery and hedonism with the high hopes that these images will imbed themselves into the curious minds of children, gaining you loyal customers for life. Capture them in a dark bedroom while their parents are busy. When asked what they are watching, they’ll reply, “Just a cartoon.” Pretty sneaky of you.
You have sunk to the lowest common denominator with this one. Your widely popular, suicide-glamorizing 13 Reasons Why gave me much pause and concern; this one slams on the brakes.
You have already stolen the imaginations of our children. A whopping 80% of Americans younger than 35 have a Netflix subscription. The average child between the ages of 2 and 18 streams 1.8 hours of content per day. That’s 650 hours per year! Contrast that with the four to seven MINUTES spent playing outdoors per day. Kids watch services like yours 15 times as much as they play outdoors. Stop and chew on that for a minute.
To you, Netflix, and all the other time-wasting, mind-wasting video platforms out there, you have, in one fell swoop, redefined childhood. Yes, despite being a gatekeeper in my home, I’m guilty of allowing you in. I’m guilty of thinking your weak parental controls are sufficient enough. I’m guilty of allowing my children to get sucked into binge-watching you. I’m guilty of throwing you in their faces so that mama can have some peace and quiet to complete other tasks. But, I thought you were innocent.
No more! I will make it my goal to reclaim the time that you have stolen and to encourage the imaginations that you have stifled. My children have already been without you for 40 days and I’m sorry but not sorry to say you have not been missed. Even if I were entertaining the idea of turning you back on in moderation, you have just given me ample reason not to.
Netflix, you have shown yourself to be the pusher of an agenda that I do not want my family to be any part of. You operate in the gray area where anything goes. If you are willing to go to this level of lewdness, where will you stop? Sadly, I don’t think there is a limit.
You say, “When parents are going through their family’s entertainment spending, we want them to feel great about their Netflix bill.” Well, unless you CANCEL THIS SHOW and can all the other vile and noxious projects in your pipeline, you won’t make me feel “great” even if you give me this service for free. If you do not heed the message of this letter and the tsunami of backlash you are about to receive from all my mama bear friends, then, I’ll just warn you–Get ready for that millstone around your neck. Mark 9:42
Now, changing audiences, I say to all my mama bear friends following along, I highly implore you to do the following:
In conclusion, back to you, Netflix. It’s not too late to turn this ship around. It’s not too late to say to your audience that you care about the eyes of your most innocent viewers. In fact, I beg you to do so! If you do, I will be the first and loudest to applaud you. You will show yourself to be a company of high integrity, aiming for the highest good of those who have been entrusted to you. Be the type of company that I can trust with my money, my support, and most importantly, my children’s precious minds.
A Mama Bear
First, I am a child of God. And, like a child, I am always learning and growing. The more I know Him, the more I love Him. Second, I am a wife to a good man. Missions is his thing while teaching women to love God’s Word is mine. Third, I am a mama to three plus a sweet cockapoo who thinks he’s #4. My children are my ongoing sanctification. Fourth, I am a passionate advocate of all things healthy & natural, an even 50/50 split of introvert/extrovert, and a dreamer/designer. Old friends call me Becky, newer ones call me Rebecca, and the most intimate ones call me Beck. You can just call me friend.
Welcome back friends! Today’s post is not a feel good post by any means...but please keep reading! I had a very sweet friend ask me to pray about writing on confrontation. I think I looked at her like she had four eyes! Confrontation? No one likes to hear that word, much less read about it! But because I love and respect this friend, I did what she asked, I prayed about it and do you know what happened next? I had a week full of confrontation! Isn’t that exactly how things tend to work?
Confrontation is such a dreaded word, but it is Biblical and we as women need to know how to handle it in a godly way. Thankfully, the Lord has given us a guideline in His Word and has called us to hold each other accountable in love. In Matthew 18:15-17, scripture lays it out pretty clearly, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.”
I have experienced confrontation on each level in which Matthew speaks. We recently bought a house next to some neighbors that have some amazing animals! My kids love seeing their horses, ducks and many other animals while they are out playing. It was all fun and games until we were gone one weekend and came home to their ducks in our pool! Oh my...the “mess” that they made in the pool and on the concrete was awful! I took a deep breath, knowing I would have to address this situation immediately. I then saw our neighbor outside, so I asked for him to come over. I asked him to look in the pool and see what his ducks had done while we were out of town. He was very apologetic and assured me that he would have the problem fixed. It was a simple confrontation with a happy ending! I chose to confront them with love and a concern for my family and not out of anger. There is no doubt the outcome could have been different if I would have allowed my emotions and flesh to take over! We also see examples from scripture, one being how Nathan confronted David in 2 Samuel 12.
In other situations, I have had to bring others along with me. Whether it has been confronting about living in sin or in the case of possible divorce, those conversations are not easy, but we are called to have them. Not all of the confrontations have ended the way I would have hoped, but it’s not up to me to fix them, it’s my responsibility to be obedient to what the Lord is calling me to do.
One of the hardest I have ever seen is when it was brought before the church. Someone had an affair and at the request of the one that was caught up in sin, they stood before the church to ask for forgiveness. Confrontation at this level has taught me so much about restoration (that’s another post you can be looking for). Our ultimate goal is to see the person restored in their relationship with Christ or come to a relationship with Christ if they don’t have one. It’s so easy to get angry and walk away, but ladies, we have a much higher calling than to run!
The most important thing that we need to always be mindful of is that we are on the same team! God created each of us for one purpose and that is to be His representatives and grow His Kingdom here on earth. Personally, I have to deal with confrontation immediately! It’s almost as if I can’t function correctly until I address the issue head on. I am so thankful that I have friends in my life that confront me when I am walking in disobedience. How blessed to have people in our lives that love and care for us so much that they want us to be in right standing with the Lord!
When we see sin in someone’s life, our approach is so very important! Galatians 6:1-2 tells us, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Oh I love that word, gentleness! If we are a believer in Jesus, He has put the spirit of gentleness inside of us, and we are to use that fruit of the spirit when confronting people and situations. We should want others to succeed, we should want others to be restored to a loving relationship with our Savior!
When I am faced with confrontation, here are a few things that I like to do:
1. Pray - Prayer calms me when I am about to let my flesh take over! I pray and ask the Lord to soften my heart towards the person I am having to confront. I ask Him to help me speak in love and that what I have to say will be received in love. Ephesians 6:19
2. Role Play - I try to put myself in the other persons position. If I were them, how would I have handled this differently? By doing this, I can sometimes see the reasoning behind a decision and it helps me understand how to approach the situation. 1 Peter 3:8
3. Loving Approach - The last thing I would want someone to do to me is be defensive. The approach sets the tone for the rest of the conversation. When others see that I truly care and want to make things right, the confrontation will be much more successful. I also always try to point them to scripture and let the Lord do the talking for me. Luke 6:31
Are you at a place where you know you need to have those hard conversations? Pray that the Lord will soften your heart to the person you are needing to confront. Pray that He will use you to speak love, to show love, all while pointing them to Jesus and His Word. Confrontation is one of the hardest things we can do as Christians, but it’s one of the most needed things we can offer.
Laura is a pastor's wife, mom to two crazy fun kids, part-time marketing director, loves hanging out in her community and building relationships...oh and loves to laugh!