"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."
Recently, I watched Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with my kids. No, not the newer Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with creepy and quirky Johnny Depp. We watched the original movie, with creepy and quirky Gene Wilder.
While the movie's quality was enough just for the pure enjoyment, we also got into some good discussions about life and decisions: Would you take and sell the Everlasting Gobstopper, to provide for your poor family? Where is that child's hope? Do you think he should have done that? Why?
This movie was full of wisdom and morals (and just some plain humor), and not just for kids. It contains many parent lessons as well.
Who better to teach about parenting that the Oompa Loompas! Let's hear what they say about gluttony, compulsive habits, spoiling, and television, and then compare it to what God has spoken.
Oompa Loompas (OLs): "If you are wise, you'll listen to me."
God (in Proverbs 8:1): "Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice?"
"What do you get when you guzzle down sweets?
Eating as much as an elephant eats
What are you at getting terribly fat?
What do you think will come of that?
I don't like the look of it." (OLs)
"Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat,
for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags." (Proverbs 23:20-21)
Hey, I love to eat as much as anyone (or more!). I like to say that eating is my hobby or spiritual gift. While we can enjoy food, my metabolism has slowed down in my old age. I need to be wise in how I eat, and set a good example for my kids.
"Gum chewing's fine when it's once in a while
It stops you from smoking and brightens your smile
But it's repulsive, revolting, and wrong
Chewing and chewing all day long.
The way that a cow does." (OLs)
"Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. . . .
The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them." (Ecclesiastes 2:11,14)
Nothing is inherently wrong with chewing gum, and it even has it's good aspects. In the same way (in counter to the point above about eating well), nothing is wrong with eating healthy or exercising. But remember that being "healthy" can be just as much of a idol and sin as gluttony is.
All our good efforts will be as much in vain as our negative behaviors, if done apart from the hope of Jesus Christ.
"Who do you blame when your kid is a brat?
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat
Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame
You know exactly who's to blame.
The mother and the father." (OLs)
"Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him." (Proverbs 13:24)
Spanking is a hot topic, and I'm not afraid to write about its dangers or what the Bible says. We parents must remember that our ultimate goal must be to reach the hearts of our children. While we cannot control the outcome, we must remember that we are constantly teaching and training our children by what we do for them, or fail to do for them.
The core issue (for us parents) is not what we do (or don't do) for them, but why we do (or don't do) something.
"What do you get from a glut of TV?
A pain in the neck and an IQ of three
Why don't you try simply reading a book?
Or can you just not bear to look?
You'll get no... you'll get no... you'll get no commercials." (OLs)
"A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man." (Proverbs 24:33-34)
As with chewing gum, working out, eating healthy, and other pleasures, there is nothing inherently wrong with watching TV (or for modern parenting, playing video games). But when it crowds out reading and other constructive endeavors, it is certainly harmful.
For more specifically on the topic of reading and television, check out The Importance of Reading to Children, and The Battle of Reading vs Screen Time.
Wisdom Calls OutSo then, if you want to be a better parent, listen to the Oompa Loompas. Strike that.
If you want to be a better parent, seek God and His wisdom.
Have you watched this movie (or both versions) with your children? What are your thoughts?
"So shines a good deed in a weary world."
"We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it."
**Thanks to Lyrics Mania for providing me with the words of the wise Oompa Loompas.