Advice to the Christian Stage-Mom or Stage-Dad
There is a notion among some church goers that Christians should live completely separate lives from the rest of the world. While I can see some validity to this notion, the very fiber of my being cries, “Are you kidding me?!”. This kind of thinking is wrong on so many levels and counterproductive to the will of God. Christ calls us to be salt and light. How can we be salt if we stay in our containers on the shelf…and how can we be light if we hide ourselves under a bushel? We cannot, and should not, withdraw ourselves 100% from the world. We are to be IN the world, not OF the world. It’s a fine line.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” John 2:15-17
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:13-19
While we are commanded to be IN the world, we are also warned to NOT FALL IN LOVE with all it has to offer us, or allow it to CONFORM our very thoughts and intentions. We are to CLING TO THE TRUTHS OF GOD as written in His word, and PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD (Romans 6:10-18) so we can withstand the fiery darts of Satan. And then, we are to expect persecution when we DO STAND UP FOR CHRIST.
Persecution? Wait, what? Why?
*nervously wrings hands*
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18
Living IN the world is not an easy task. In fact, it is a daily battle. This brings me to the true subject of this blog post: Christians in theatre. I often have parents of faith express their concerns to me about their children’s involvement in theatre. Secular theatre will often ask Christians to compromise their values and moral principals. I can write this with authority because it happened to me as a young, college student in the 1980’s. The question that I hear the most is: “How can I help my child through this scary and often compromising environment?” Here is my advice:
- 1. Pray for your child daily as Hannah prayed for her son, even after he was born. Ask God to place a hedge of protection around your child, and grant them the wisdom to know right from wrong. And the courage to stand up for their beliefs and convictions despite how unpopular they might be. Don’t just pray FOR them, but make sure you pray WITH them, as well.
- 2. Schedule weekly bible study sessions or discussion times with your family. Be intentional when you make these plans, and then make it happen. Use this time together to discuss any questions, concerns or prayer requests that might arise during their time spent in secular rehearsals. Children are sponges, and they will soak up everything they hear and see around them. Encourage them to discuss their observations with you. And empower them to be strong in their witness for Jesus. Remind them of the verse, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” from Proverbs 13:2
- 3. Get involved. Yes, get involved. If your child lands a role at a secular theatre company, volunteer to build sets. Sew costumes. Work in the box office. I don’t care what, just get involved. Get to know the adults and teenagers that surround your child, sometimes on a daily basis. Make your presence known. And make it a positive presence for the glory of God. Let them see Jesus through you.
- 4. Encourage their dreams. God gave them certain gifts and talents, so let them express them in a way that can glorify Him! My mantra has always been: “Where your talents and passion meet, therein lies your calling.”
During my educational time at a large university in Missouri, a professor once told me, and I quote…
“I look forward to the day that an actor can defecate, urinate, copulate, fornicate and masturbate on the stage.” R. McKenney
It is a scary world.
But we, as Christians, are not called to hide from it. We are called to CHANGE it through “salt” and “light”. Above all, remember this verse.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8