A few days ago I came across a new ad that KMart has released. The ad, in my opinion, is vulgar and crude and shows a real lack of character on the part of the corporation. I decided I was going to tell KMart as much. I suppose I just want to be a voice out there that is saying, “This is not okay. This is not what we want.” I left a comment on the KMart Facebook page, where they were proudly displaying their new ad. I wanted to send a message to the bigwigs at the corporation. I wasn’t counting on all of the other people who would read and respond to my comment.
People who were total strangers began responding to me. They were sarcastic and mean, calling me names, implying that they felt sorry for my children. And the theme of all of the responses was: You have no sense of humor. I began to feel really attacked and hurt. I started dreading seeing any notifications when I opened Facebook, bracing myself for another abusive comment.
Here’s the thing. I get the joke. I see that it’s funny. But, I’m bothered by the fact that we are so desensitized to all of the trash that we see and hear every day that we accept this type of advertising just because it’s funny.
So, the comments kept (and keep) pouring in, and suddenly it dawned on me that this is, in some small way, an example of how Christianity looks so foolish to the world. I’m not saying I was trying to make a big Christian statement to KMart. But, I am expressing how many Christians will probably feel about this ad when they see it. The Bible says that the world will hate us. And, I see as I scroll through the comments on the KMart Facebook page just how hated my opinion is. Not only is it hated, I am viewed as out of touch, uptight, humorless, and ignorant. And it hurts.
Not only that, but there is some small part of me that started wondering if I am out of touch. Maybe I just need to lighten up as I have been told several times by the strangers. Or maybe I do need to shut up as a couple of people demanded. But, then I look at my three little children and I think about how this is not the America that I want for them. I don’t want them to live in a world where they are taught how to say inappropriate things in a KMart ad. Or where they are taught that fake breasts and perfect bodies are the standard for women’s bodies, via Victoria’s Secret commercials. Or where they are shown daily that being respectful and moral and good is wrong because it’s not funny.
And I wonder if I can do enough to fight against it. It seems there are no limits in this place, where indecency is celebrated and sin is glorified. It’s true that I can’t put my children in a bubble, as one stranger suggested I do. But, I can surround them with right teaching. I can immerse them in the truths of the Bible, where righteousness is honored and love is held high. Where goodness is a virtue. Where living for God doesn’t mean being boring or out of touch. It means giving yourself wholly to a God who infuses you with a passion for living for Him. It is a life filled with adventure and laughter and a determination to refuse to accept the junk the world has to offer. It is bravery and discernment and being open to the promptings of the God of the Universe. The Christian life is not being uptight, as the strangers would have me believe. It is total engagement with the Word of God, living and active, and it is not just rule-following, but God-following. It is following the example of the greatest hero that ever walked the planet, Jesus Christ. When I read His life, He doesn’t seem the least bit out of touch or uptight or humorless. May I be like Him. May my children be like Him.
The world will continue to love darkness and hate Light. But, I will fight against that darkness in the lives of my children. And, if it means taking a little abuse on Facebook, so be it. The voices in this world are LOUD. I want to make sure, at least in the ears of my kids, that my voice is louder. I pray that God will show me what I should be saying.
Here’s the Kmart ad if you’re interested in seeing it.