Lately, my husband has introduced a new phrase to our household. When a movie, TV show, or song comes out that he believes we probably should not put into our minds, he asks “Does it pass the Philippians 4 test?”
This means – does the movie, show, or song contain content that we, as believers, should be taking into our minds? Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (ESV)
I don’t know about you, but I get annoyed when Hollywood takes a wonderful story and messes it up with unnecessary foul language and an obligatory sex scene. There are hundreds of movies that could be excellent if they would take out five minutes or less of adult content.
Whether we like to admit it or not, what we watch and listen to says a lot about our walk with God. If you are comfortable watching movies that promote actions that directly violate Scripture (e.g., glorifying promiscuity, greed, or violence, etc.), then that is a heart issue to be examined. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable watching or listening to ungodly material, but your boyfriend/girlfriend thinks there is nothing wrong with it. Does his or her attitude about what they watch and hear concern you?
Having a spouse that takes living a godly life seriously will be a blessing to you. The path your potential spouse is on now will likely be the path he or she remains on after you are married. If he sees nothing wrong with watching filthy movies now, he probably won’t see anything wrong with it after you are married (even if he or she gave them up for you while you two were dating and/or engaged). If she had no problem listening to obscene music now, it’s not likely to change later. Remember, before marriage is when we put our best foot forward. So, if what they are watching or listening to concerns you have now, it will probably worsen after marriage.
What I’m not suggesting you do is become a nagging guardian angel. It is important that he or she know how you feel and what you believe about what you put into your mind (and what he or she puts into his or hers), but you cannot take the desire away from your boyfriend/girlfriend – only God can do that. If he or she continues to enjoy ungodly entertainment, fervently pray for God to change his or her heart. If you see no change, this may be a red flag to indicate you should not be in a relationship with that person. If he or she is comfortable with going against God’s Word in the area of media consumption, he or she is probably comfortable violating God’s law in other areas.
My hope for your relationship is that both of you are seeking to do God’s will in every area of your lives. With that being said, let me suggest that you and your future spouse go through your movies, music, and other forms of entertainment (books, magazines, etc.) and do a Philippians 4:8 cleansing before getting married. Some people just throw the items away while others have bonfires or other ceremonial ways of destroying unwanted materials. Choose to go into your future marriage filling your home with media that brings Him glory. A peaceful, God centered home is worth more than the enjoyment of any movie, TV show or song.
What movies, TV shows, CDs, or books do you believe you need to remove from your life and future marriage?