Friday, February 10, 2006

Let's Have a TV-Bashing Party

Okay, so the title is a little facetious. But a TV-bashing party sounds kinda fun to me!

I really should have brought this series to your attention before. Blest with Sons, a new find for me, has just concluded an amazing and introspective series that is positively brimming with Scripture and fun convicting thoughts. (Don't you love conviction? Hurts so good, if that's not too glib.)

Her subject? What she terms the great "American Idol": television.

The last post in the series is here. (BLEST, sistah, you need to link all of the posts on your sidebar for easy access, please! Not telling you what to do or anything, but methinks lots of people will want to read and re-read those over time. I know I will.)

Maybe I am getting senile at 31, but I can't remember how much I've posted specifically about TV. Ryan and I ditched all TV programming in the first few months of our marriage, five years ago now. It's one of the best decisions we've ever made. I told Blest that people stare at us incredulously and ask (totally seriously), "Well, if you don't have TV, what do you DO? Stare at the walls?"

Um, yep. That's what I do. I just can't think of anything else to do, since we don't have TV. Can someone help me out?

Really (and this is what I reply to the poor souls who can't fathom what we do without a brain drain TV), we read books, we write, we pray, we hike, we work out, we play music, we play games...need I go on?

My question is, how does anyone WITH TV get anything done? We did have TV for a brief (and recent) period, and I will go on record: it wreaked havoc in our lives, and I don't think I am exaggerating. Against our better judgment, against our own prior decisions, we let it in our house, and suddenly we were tolerant of things we KNOW the Lord doesn't approve of, we allowed our time to be frittered and sucked away, and we allowed evil to be put before our eyes in the name of entertainment.

Is it an understatement to say it was a mistake?

But there's good stuff on there! people say.

I like food and home and garden shows, too. I know everything on TV isn't the spawn of the devil. But you know what? I didn't stick to just those "good" shows. (Confession ahead!) I inevitably started flipping channels and watching Punk'd or E! for far too long. And even the innocent shows can have commercials that aren't.

I know that for some families Tivo-esque technologies have helped TV become an option. I do see how that could help you be disciplined and accountable about what you watch, and maybe about how long you spend watching. But I just don't think that discipline, TV, and me can co-exist peacefully.

Like Blest, I am not out to tell everyone they MUST get rid of their TVs and all programming. But boy, she makes a air-tight case for thinking really hard about what we watch and why. And I am all about that.