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What’s the hidden message?

Oct 8, 2021

Have you ever been tricked into buying something that you didn’t need? Or did you read something in a book or see something on TV and you weren’t sure if you really believed the message? Well, in practically everything that we see and hear – things like TV shows, movies, books, advertisements, etc. – there is usually an explicit message and an implicit message. The explicit message is easy to see and understand. For example, in an ad for jeans they obviously want us to buy their jeans. Marketing agencies spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out the best way to sell us things. But how do they do that? They might use two really good looking people who are super happy wearing the jeans in a crowd of people. Implicitly they are telling us that if we wear their jeans, we’ll be happy, too. Since we all want to be happy, and probably also good looking and popular, we buy into the message. So even if we don’t have the money or need more clothes, we buy the jeans thinking that we will become like the people in the ad. The ad doesn’t say that outright, but it’s kind of like a hidden message.

Our kids are easily convinced when the message that is presented is hidden like that. Unfortunately, many times these messages concern things that the Bible says are wrong. Sometimes, we are tricked into thinking that they are good because of the way that they are presented. Or we may get so used to seeing them that they don’t bother us anymore.

At ICSV, we believe that even the hidden messages that are found in books, movies, and TV shows are important to address. We want to teach our children to not just accept things as they come, but to really think about them and to determine if they are in line with what the Bible says. Critical thinking is an important skill for all of us to learn and to use on a daily basis.

In the school handbook, we have a Statement of Educational Philosophy. One paragraph says, “The educational process touches every area of life—physical, moral, intellectual, social, and spiritual—by training the student to live skillfully in an increasingly complex world and by preparing the student to grasp and to grow in understanding God’s purpose for his life.” At ICSV, we make sure to teach our kids to not just accept the explicit message that is presented to them, but to be sure to look for the implicit message, as well. There just might be something hiding underneath that requires evaluation.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst, Director