New American Standard Bible
"It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble."
The weekend before last, on our way home from the kids visitation with their dad, Noah and Karah talked excitedly about daddy watching the "black spiderman" with them. I called my father who I let listen to Noah and Karah's retelling of the scenes they watched, as well as Karah reminding Noah they also watched the one with the "octopus man". My father and I listened angrily to the horror of the images my poor babies had been subjected to at only 4 & 3 years old. Their poor little minds, what would they dream of? Who was this man I'd known for so long that let our children watch a movie with such hatred and demonic imagery?
I'm reminded of the opening scripture where we're warned that death would be a better path than to mislead one of God's most precious and innocent creations. Not just death, but death by being plunged into the sea and having no ability to swim up for air but to plummet and ultimately drown.
Am I saying all parents who let their children watch these movies are horrible people? No. First of all it is not my position to judge, not even now. I am merely protecting the delicate minds of my children. But no one could argue that the images don't and aren't MEANT to insight fear. Would any parent joyfully and willingly subject their child to these images if they knew how they would affect them? By that I mean, 2 weeks... WEEKS of my babes having nightmares, regressing in their potty training, becoming violent in play with other children, having separation anxiety, etc. All things indicative of a child-like trauma. Being all of a sudden fearful and irreverent. Fear isn't a born trait any more than racism. It's learned, it's taught. It's something a parent uses to their good such a hot stove, or stangers. It is not something we subject our children to when their impressionable sponge like minds are looking to us for examples, comfort, stability.
He and I have long disagreed on many things. He thinks my educated and well researched as well as proven belief that children need a routine (wakeup time, breakfast, snack, dinner time, nap time, bed time, etc) is solely a means for me to control, and manipulate. He ignores basic rhythmic changes in their behavior as normal and insisted once that I spank Karah for being moody while also sick at bedtime which, excuse me in my opinion, seems more natural than defiant. How would you like it if all you wanted was sleep and someone insisted you do one more thing for work? He denies my belief in giving the children half juice/half water but had no issue with giving Karah (1 yo at the time) Mio Energy in her sippy cup because "we were out of juice". Nevermind that I had just run out for juice and milk to a store less then 2 miles away and would return in minutes. Nevermind the possible negative consequences of giving a toddler amples doses of caffeine.
I will include some of the most popular images from a few of the movies he has watched with the kids and let you be the jury. I don't need to have anyone on my team, I don't need family and friends telling me how awful he is. I know. I'm convicted enough in my faith, by my knowledge, my own sins and mistakes, and by my immeasurable love for my children to know what he is doing is wrong. I know I will make mistakes. But I spent enough time married to him to know he's either doing it with complete disregard to be the "cool parent" or to spite me and my concerns. Maybe both. Who knows. I do know that I will do whatever necessary to protect those I love most especially my children. I wish he could see the huge mistake he is making. But I am not the boss of him. I am not the judge or jury. It is up to him and God. I hope one day he will forgive my complaining and insisting. I hope one day he and the babies will all see I do all is out of love and a desperate need as well as responsibility to protect, educate and provide for my children.