Jersey was arrested recently on charges of child endangerment. Her 5-year-old
daughter told her school teacher that she was hurting from being in a tanning
booth. School officials alerted authorities, who arrested Krentcil after
further investigation. If convicted of the charges, she could spend 10 years in
We must always be careful about judging someone guilty before they are tried in
court, but it's obvious from video that this mother values a darkened
complexion. The owner of a local tanning salon confirmed that Krentcil pays
$100 per month for unlimited tanning, and says she visits about 20 times a month
for 12-minute tanning sessions. Dermatologists who have been interviewed have
suggested that she may be suffering from a condition known as "tanerexia".
For years it has been fashionable to sport a deep tan; sunbathing and visits to
tanning salons have been common activities. In recent years we've heard more
warnings about the effects of prolonged exposure to the sun. Melanoma, we've
learned, is a serious condition that might develop, as well as a host of other
skin cancers. Nowadays pale skin is valued again.
As we're discussing harmful exposure, let's not forget another area in which
exposure can lead to damage. The wise man suggested this hundreds of years ago:
"The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his
mother" (Proverbs 29:15). The principle is clear: Children will often choose
thoughts and activities which lead to shame. They need responsible parents who
will monitor their activities closely.
Solomon could not have known when he wrote those words about the dangers of
television and the Internet. Still, dangers abounded in his day with immoral
activity and people of ill repute lurking in the shadows. Those same kinds of
influences remain in our "advanced" civilization. And the harm such things can
cause is just as threatening to young minds.
Solomon learned some of his wisdom from his father, David. In Psalm 101:3 David
shared insights on protecting the mind and the soul: "I will set nothing wicked
before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to
me." Evil influences did not originate with modern media. Even in ancient
times it was vital to filter the things upon which one gazed.
David should have more consistently followed his own advice. A dark episode in
the king's life involved his relationship with another man's wife. How did his
affair with Bathsheba begin? "Then it happened one evening that David arose
from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house. And from the roof he
saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold" (2 Samuel
11:2). Upon seeing this sight, David should have "changed channels". But he
Children don't always know that the things they view are harmful. That's why
parents need to be involved. As adults we should know that some scenes will
lead to harmful exposure. And while skin cancer is a potentially lethal
condition, it doesn't begin to compare to the damage caused by sin.
The antidote: Exposure to as much Sonlight as possible! There's no harm in that
- only good.
Timothy D. Hall.