Our living legacy

Feb 5

Call me naive, but I thought watching the Super Bowl game was a family affair. I never would have guessed that I’d actually have to stand guard, ready to shield my kids’ eyes from the filth we apparently now call commercials. And when the entertainment chosen to represent one of America’s favorite pastimes during the halftime show seductively slid her finger down her tongue and across her lower lip while dancing around in dominatrix garb, my heart broke as my my nine year-old daughter was left to believe that such conduct is not only socially acceptable but highly-esteemed in our society.

Is this really who we’ve become as a nation?

Earlier that morning, my pastor gave a sermon on how the cost of sin is not only generational it’s exponential. While children often adopt their parents’ patterns of sinning through learning by example, they don’t necessarily institute their parents’ boundaries; thus why each generation tends to be more morally corrupt than the last. He also showed how the sins we commit have the potential to effect our children even before they are born. My pastor made his points using stories from the Bible; however, I didn’t realize just how relevant his message would prove to be come game time.

Lili Chami Photography

Photo by Lili Chami Photography

Looking back over the years, using the Super Bowl as a reference point, I can see how this biblical truth has played out in my life. When I was a young adult—single, watching the Super Bowl with friends, engaging in debauchery that lead to most of us calling in sick for work the next day—I was part of the force working against our country’s moral fiber in my own small way. And as a young mother busy entertaining Super Bowl party guests, my sensitivities were dulled to the increase in provocative messaging surrounding the game because of my own over indulgence of libations that day. It wasn’t until I was watching the game with my children, free from distraction, looking at it from their perspective that I recognized my contributions to our country’s moral decline (both active and passive) and how my children would be impacted.

Whether at a Super Bowl party or anywhere else in our lives, we can’t play both sides of the moral equation without consequence. We can’t behave one way in front of our children and another when they are not around, expecting that the hypocrisy illustrated in our actions, what we watch, and where we spend our money won’t catch up with us somewhere down the road.  It does—if not within the family unit, then within society at large. And if we don’t recognize our mistakes and pivot toward what is true and what is right, we may find some day that the commercials and entertainment surrounding this year’s Super Bowl game are tame in comparison to what lies ahead.

Yes, it would be easy to blame the advertisers and point fingers at the entertainers for the spectacle we saw on TV Sunday. It might even feel good to take out our frustrations on them. But before we do, maybe we should take a good hard look at ourselves. After all, they are only appealing to their audience.

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10 Responses to Our living legacy

  1. Linda Schude says:

    Great perspective! But hearing for the first time about the Super Bowl parties you attended, then skipping school. Hmmm …….. Someone needs to be grounded! LOL Thanks for sharing a different perspective which makes so much sense. We sometimes need to be reminded of the obvious!

  2. Mary Matas says:

    Dear Dana,
    I love your observations about the debaucle on Sunday. I have for a very long time been appalled at some of the things on TV, including the commercials. I am so thankful that you and Steve try to sheld the children from much of it as they are growing up by monitering the shows they were allowed to watch. Teaching them have the right values will give them the tools to be decerning whenever they are not under your protection.
    Our pastor is also doing a series called “Out of the Kettle” relating the way our values as a society have declined similar to the way a frog in a pot of water doesn’t know the water is getting hotter and hotter until it is too late.
    Thank you for being ever watchful and sharing with all of us your views. Maybe you will be able to save one frog at a time.
    Keep up the wonderful writing, I love reading your blog(s).
    Love, Mary

    • Dana Matas says:

      It is interesting you mention the frog analogy Mary. I thought of it often during these last couple of days. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone in my disappointment. I hope more people wake up soon.

  3. Katie says:

    We talked at length about the Superbowl, the commercials, and the halftime show at all of our “lunch club meetings” at work this week (that’s what I call the lunch hour to make it more fun). Working with pastors is a very interesting experience…especially because besides being my coworkers they’re also my friends, so we can be pretty open.

    The gist of Monday’s conversation ended with the sentiment that media and society aren’t going to quit spewing whatever is being consumed. And…our sensitivities will differ based on what our specific temptations and personal struggles are. I feel like my take can’t be parental because I’m not a parent, but as a fellow believer to many, it has much more to do with being sensitive to what might cause a fellow believer to stumble. Or myself, for that matter. I must know my weaknesses and protect my own mind and heart, for sure.

    I think that conversing, asking questions, teaching younger generations (for me, that’s definitely my sister) how to process and protect themselves and encourage their friends…is as important as protecting them from exposure to inappropriate things. Why is it important to choose the right? Why is that better than pushing the envelope? These are things I wish would have been a bigger part of the conversation earlier in my life.

    That’s what your post made me think about. :)


    • Dana Matas says:

      Thanks for taking part in the conversation Katie. It is always interesting to hear the perspective of those who are in a different season of life. I’m glad you have much of this knowledge as a young adult and that you can share so much of it with your sister (Your parents done good). Obviously Steve and I share our faith with the kiddos but where I get concerned is our apathy or complacency as Christians, not recognizing where we are becoming part of the world. Similar to secondhand smoking (the cause of my Dad’s lung cancer as a kid), we may not be engaging in the harmful activity ourselves, but if we are not careful, we can experience the consequences. At the end of the day, I have peace in knowing that Jesus saves–but the mama bear instincts in me can’t help but want to fight for a world where my children are safe, healthy and happy.

  4. Dave says:

    I agree with your pastor’s insights, specially that our kids do not inherit our boundaries. Those are a learned trait. Sin is inherited from conception and reveals the need for boundaries including the need for a foundation for those boundaries. What are they built on? What is your moral compass? Worldly boundaries are constructed on a movable, portable fence. Thus the acceptance of actions, attitudes & lifestyles. Christ centered boundaries are fixed, based on His Word and this moral compass or engineer, if you will, the Holy Spirit.
    Interesting thought, what happens when the boundaries of the world press up against the boundaries of Christ in life or A life? Christ is revealed and life hates it but A life has to make a decision. I am by no means encouraging the debauchery of the world, Paul in Romans says, as people sin more and more, Gods grace becomes more and more abundant (or revealed).
    Our foundation in Christ will give us the opportunity to be revelations of Him, to our kids and to the world.
    Another interesting fact, top commercial in the social media, Dodge “farmer”, most negative responses, Go Daddy “nerd kiss”. In every man is the desire to know God.
    Great stuff Dana!

    • Dana Matas says:

      “In every man is the desire to know God.” I love that Dave! It is so true, whether man recognizes the desire for what it is or not. I realize all of what we see is only further evidence of our need for Jesus, but that evidence grieves the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30)–maybe that’s the disappointment I felt on Sunday.

  5. Pingback: Dear Parents, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to us | Confessions of a Busy Mama

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