Crude, Lewd, and Crass: Six Thoughts for Parents

Lisa Cherry —  December 8, 2013

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By Lisa Cherry

Turn on any sitcom. Watch any movie. Listen to any talk show. Obviously, crude and lewd humor is feeding the hunger of the masses. But just because it is everywhere does not, of course, make it healthful or right.

I find this issue challenging me regularly as a parent. How am I to determine which humor is okay?

How am I to deal with kids in various stages of development, struggling to find their own style of humor and entertainment, without coming down on them so hard that I  lose their ear?

As I was pondering those questions just this week, it occurred to me that I needed to take a moment and analyze why crude and lewd is a problem anyway. That way I am able to make a mature response when I sense the Lord leading me to disciple my kids.

I am not saying all these six of the thoughts below are equally weighted as to relative danger....but I think all six are worth our note and consideration.

So here are my top six thoughts on Crude, Lewd and Crass Humor:

1. It's childish.  Potty talk, burping, and flatulence have all been issues in my home. How about yours? Right now, Josiah at six is bugging his sisters with loud, ill-timed, gross burping. It's annoying, but at least I have watched his older brothers make it through that stage so I am not too worried. But isn't there something distasteful about adults who never make it through that stage? (You know, grown men at youth meetings stirring up potty humor to get the kids laughing.)

2. It's hard to define. Where oh where is the line we should use here?? What one grandma says is crude, another says is funny!! What one Christian labels as honest and forthright, another Christian may label as crass and shocking.

3. It manipulates on weaknesses. There is no doubt that a sexual humor joke or even a potty humor joke will bring the house down. But is it really fair to our fellow man? Does it not bring potential temptation or stumbling blocks to others at the expense of our own fun? 

4. It is never enough. One joke leads to another and then to another and then to another. What level of humor hits today with one level of innuendo is never enough humor for tomorrow.

5. It desensitizes. People who are interested in shifting a cultural view have long recognized the worth of humor. Hey, get everybody to laugh at those old out-of-touch, prudish grandmas and then see how much honor will remain for grandma’s values. Or get everyone to laugh at the next gay marriage joke and watch how much easier it is to forget our problem with gay marriage.

6. Scripture warns against it. Really, this one trumps the other five:  “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” Ephesians 5: 3-4   ~Tweet about this here.

So when it all said and done... Is God being honored with the words spoken in my family, laughed at by my family, and even purchases as entertainment by my family???

Ouch! I need help with this one, Lord!! Every day, I need the discernment of You, Holy Spirit, to allow me to sense the crude and lewd around me. And then I will need courage and wisdom to lead my family into holy living!

Image:  Victor Bezrukov “Port-51” Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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