About eight years ago I had a four year old who loved to sing anything and everything she heard on the radio. That happened to include all of her mom’s favorite hip-hop tunes. But the day she belted out, “Apple Bottom jeans, boots with the fur…” everything changed.
Although I had always known this to be true, that day I became acutely aware that what comes in, really does eventually come out. I started to look at media with a different perspective, with a life changing perspective. I wanted to protect her little eyes, ears, and heart. I wanted to protect her from all of the stereotypes, the hype, the burden of a life of comparison and trying to measure up to the next big thing. I gave up my hip-hop habit and radio became strictly Air1 or KLOVE. But the biggest things that had to go were my magazines. Every bathroom and flat surface was stacked with them. Each full of headlines and images meant to manipulate and deceive. There aren’t many headlines worth believing in our world today. And even fewer worth proclaiming to our children.
So, this past weekend as the Christmas Headline read, “Virgin Birth?!” I had to stop and think about what would run through my mind if I saw those words printed across a magazine or paper at the grocery store today. Undoubtedly, I would roll my eyes and think judgingly about the sensational media culture we live in. And then, curiosity peaked; I would probably grab that story and quickly read it as I waited in line! That’s just what headlines do. They are attention grabbers, designed to pull you in, make you pick up that paper or click that link.
The Bible is full of some really good headlines. Headlines that might even embarrass us; stories of temptation, betrayal, scandal…but read deeper. These headlines are really stories that are full of restoration, redemption, promises, truth, and love. The headlines of the Bible pull us into the same truth over and over again. God is with us and He is mighty to save.
Behind the “Virgin Birth?!” headline we can read deeper about a brave young girl, who was told to do something that would change the world. Literally, the whole world would change with the birth of her Son! It’s a story about a young girl who heard promises of all her Son would be. A young girl who chose to believe that all of those promises were true and who was obedient to what God asked her to do. We may not understand all the logistics of this headline, and we don’t have to! But faith compels us to believe it. Hope demands we believe it. Yes. There are some headlines worth believing.
What goes in eventually comes out. News, headlines, stories, they all have power in our lives. Which headlines will you let grab your attention? Because your heart follows your eyes (and your ears), and your kids, well they are likely to follow your heart. Praying that this holiday season is full of all the right inputs, music, family, friends, and all the right headlines to grab your attention.