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Today’s post is designed to get us thinking:  How do we decide what to place in front of our eyes, and therefore inside of our hearts?  And more importantly, what do we allow our children to see, hear and experience?

We are all familiar with the concept of filters.  Air filters take the dust and particles out of the air, leaving fresh, pure air.  Oil filters take the sludge and metal shavings and gunk out of the oil to keep it flowing smoothly and protect the engine.  Water filters take out the nearly invisible impurities in our water to make it clean and safe.  

In the same way, we are urged to think about things that are pure and good and admirable.  We are told that true religion involves a certain avoidance of the world’s polluting influences. (Philippians 4:8 and James 1:27) And we are told that we should do whatever we can to keep from tripping up the children. (Matthew 18:1-9)

The bad news is that our world has embraced a lot of crude and repulsive things and has collectively voted them as normal and acceptable (maybe even preferable), making it harder to stay innocent and sheltered.

The good news is that we have a lot of tools available to help us.

We have used Plugged In  ( for quite a while to help us review movies before we watch them.  We have been spared from awkward experiences and wasted rentals more than once by this website.  We especially like how it systematically rates various elements of the film, including positive elements, spiritual elements, profanity, references to drugs/alcohol, etc, etc.  It is a good way to quickly identify if we will have objections with a movie.  The main downside is that I like to go into movies and be surprised and carried away by the story, and these reviews will often give away a lot of the plot.

A new website that we just found is Common Sense Media.  (  It creates similar reviews, and I also like that their editors have put together movie lists and other information.  They also cover a lot of types of media, such as apps, games, and music.  We will be researching this one more to see if we like it.


Ultimately, every individual and every family will have different standards that are based on your unique struggles, temptations, and weaknesses.  Our family will always be much stricter than most.  These sites are simply tools that you can use to make an informed decision, before you rent the movie and watch it during the kids’ naps to see if it is appropriate for them to watch.  (By the way, Dana and the kids watched Frozen and loved it.)

These are just two websites, and I’m sure there are many other good ones.  Please let us know what resources you use.

We want to hear from you!