“I feel the need – the need for speed!”
If you are anywhere near my age, there’s a good chance you recognize that quote from the Tom Cruise blockbuster 80’s movie Top Gun. Perhaps like you, I have seen that movie more times than is probably healthy, but it had been a while until tonight. I have a teenage daughter who gives me credit for being a better man than I am. So, she is interested in just about anything I am. She has seen the DVD in our collection and asked about it. As she grows up, my wife and I have struggled with wanting to share fun movies and books that we have enjoyed and wanting to protect her from the junk and some of the lousy values promoted in those stories.
I had forgotten just how much vulgar language and crude innuendo Top Gun contains, not to mention the unrealistic and flat out unholy view of male/female relationships. I became increasingly uncomfortable allowing my daughter to continue watching. We skipped over the more risqué parts, but it was still an unpleasant experience.
And so, I’m reminded that I’m charged with protecting my children. Not just protecting them from physical harm, but perhaps more importantly, I’m charged with protecting their hearts and minds. I don’t want them to be totally ignorant of everything in the world, but I also know that there is always a deeper level of depravity we have not experienced yet. Let me say that again.
There is always a deeper level of depravity that we have not yet experienced.
There’s always something more shocking out there that you haven’t seen, heard, or heard about. I’m always pleasantly surprised when I meet someone who is innocent enough to not understand a crude innuendo or profane word. And, honestly, I’m perfectly fine with my kids not knowing all the filth their peers know. The thing is, once you start exposing your kids to the ways of the world, where do you stop? And, in today’s rush to grow up, what’s the harm in letting our children be innocent a little longer?
I made a mistake tonight. It’s not one I’d like to make again. Ironically, it reminds me of a quote from another of Tom Cruise’s blockbuster movies which I will not be showing to my daughter anytime soon (if ever), A Few Good Men. Sam asks Joanne why she likes the Marines who are on trial for murder and she replies, “Because they stand on a wall and say, ‘Nothing’s gonna’ hurt you tonight – not on my watch.’”
I’d like to paint that on my mirror and on my kids’ bedroom ceilings, so it reminds me every day and them every night – Nothing’s going to hurt you – not on my watch.