I hadn’t known about it or seen it until yesterday. It was a text that asked if I knew about last Friday’s release of Fergie’s new single, “M.I.L.F. $.” And so, I watched. According to the counter on YouTube, the video’s had 20 million views as of this morning.
The envelope keeps moving. And wherever the envelope stretches and goes, there will be a captive audience of vulnerable and impressionable kids who believe that what they see and what they hear is the way it is and the way it’s supposed to be. When you think of it that way, it will make you grieve.
Rather than spend time deconstructing the oh-so-easy-to-deconstruct visual and lyrical message of “M.I.L.F. $”, the video’s release and reception should spur us on to consider the lenses through which we choose to view and evaluate all of life, and in turn, choose to teach to our kids. This is oh so important in every day and age, and certainly warranted in today’s world.
This morning, Tim Keller’s The Songs of Jesus takes readers into Psalm 78, a historical psalm that serves as reminder of God’s sovereignty, human fickleness, and the imperative regarding the Christian education of our kids. The Psalm begins with these words:
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3 things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
5 He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
6 that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
7 so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
8 and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.
Sadly, the reality is that when we fail to heed God’s Word, we will heed anything and everything else we see and hear without thought or discernment. Without God-centered foundations and filters, horrible lies become easily accepted “truths”.
In recent months, I’ve become more and more convinced of our need to deliberately and aggressively “tell the coming generation” by equipping them with foundations and filters that will serve them as they navigate the confusing landscape of culture in ways that evidence a hope set on God, a remembrance of God’s works, and the keeping of God’s commandments.
But how do we do this? In essence, we must speak louder than Fergie.
Because it’s fresh on my mind, I think of my mother-in-law, who has been with Christ since late January. The process of cleaning out her house continued last week. I took on the job of sorting through her books. The over-whelming majority of her books were focused on her pursuit of God, and the development of her own foundations and filters. I carefully leafed through each of her several hundred books, pulling out the many hand-written notes which reflected things she had learned. I was struck by the number of notes that reflected her desire to see her progeny follow Jesus.
One book that caused me to pause was her copy of How To Read The Bible For All It’s Worth, by two of my seminary professors, Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. It’s not only a call to read the Scriptures, but to read them correctly. . . something we don’t necessarily do to well these days.
After watching Fergie’s video I pondered God’s command to know the Word, and to teach the emerging generations to do the same. Perhaps you’ll find these simple directives that I’ve chosen to drill into myself (but don’t always follow) helpful in your own life, and valuable to teach to kids. . .
My commitment to the study and pondering of Scripture should be marked by:
- Read it regularly. . . every day.
- Read it right. . . dig into its intended meaning.
- Read it repetitiously. . . re-read over and over, pondering and meditating on a passage.
My reading of Scripture should be preceded by these three prayers:
- Show me you. . . God, I want to know who you are.
- Show me me. . . God, I want to know who I am. . . my tendencies, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities.
- Show me you plan for my life. . . the way things are supposed to be.
For this next generation we pray the words of Psalm 78:8. . . “that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”