“Watching TV wastes time.”
“We are entertaining ourselves to death. ”
“We are what we expose ourselves to.”
Above are famous quotes from yours truly while in my “continuous dripping of a leaky roof” stage. (Proverbs 21:15, 16)
I had been convicted that TV was at best a waste of time and at worst an instrument of the devil to turn me from life to death. Since I believe in equal opportunity my conviction extended to my family, and if I’m honest beyond. I look back now and can see that part of my “holy” conviction wasn’t quite so holy rather it was selfish. I wasn’t getting the attention I felt I deserved from my husband. Fear (one of my besetting sins) was a factor too as I felt my worldview couldn’t compete with the charming worldview on TV. I know laziness (another besetting sin for me) made me afraid I would have to work harder to combat daily the damage done by watching TV (or video games, or any exposure to the outside world.) Are you shocked? Yes, this is how I felt.
As you can imagine, my family did not share my conviction at first. My kids still don’t – well maybe a little. I’m glad I’m not left to my own weird devices. I’m constantly coming up with some crazy idea or “conviction” and my sweet husband (a gift from God to me) talks me back down. He is consistent in pointing me to God’s Word because it is THE source for truth.
After looking in God’s Word to guide us on this issue we agreed that we needed to guard our hearts against hypocrisy (Luke 12:1), greed (Luke 12:15), distortions of the truth (Acts 20:31), anxiety (Philippians 4:6,7) godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge (1 Timothy 6:20,21). We are to stand firm in the faith, be courageous and strong and to do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:13) and guard the good deposit that was entrusted to us with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (2 Timothy 1:14)
With this in mind we decided to take the TV and put it in the closet for a while. This was a compromise. I was ready to burn the thing (think Salem Witch Trials). My wise husband took more of a “all things in moderation” view.
Those first few weeks sans TV were hard! No joke. There was much complaining and cries of boredom! My kids would tell us daily what bad parents we were and how all their friends’ parents thought we were nuts. I confess that stung a little. But what stung worse was my longing for football – and the food that goes along with it. Oh how I wished I had kept my big mouth shut!
After a while we got used to having no TV. We read, did stuff outside, we TALKED. Clearly we were making progress because we all started to see the benefits. However, there came a point where I needed the TV to be able to use the DVD player so I could do my workouts. Let’s not miss the irony here. I needed.
So we put the TV back up on the wall. But, we use it sparingly. We no longer spend every evening in front of it. We are selective about what we watch. We don’t have the antenna hooked up so we can only watch videos or stream from Amazon Prime.
We still spend most evenings either talking or reading together.
This is the most important change in our habits.