Tuesday, October 23, 2007

T.V. Challenge Update

I started a book this weekend by Thomas Young called "Do you want to go to the mountain?". Young was at our church back in May while the girls and I were in New Mexico. Chad really liked him and was very challenged by the message he brought each night, so he bought this book. I've tried to start it several times but each time something else would come up and I would put it aside. Friday night I decided that I would start it again. Wow!! This is an incredible book. While it isn't a hard read, I find myself reading sections a couple of times to digest it. It's packed full of good stuff. (and I just finished chapter 3!!!)

Young touched on a thought that God has recently placed in my heart. He says, "Gradually, step by step as we hold His hand along the way, Jesus becomes all in all to us. And gradually, we take Him out of the segmented box of our spiritual lives and understand that He is to be worshiped in every part of our day and every choice we make."

This isn't something I didn't already know or understand. But recently, God has shown me that I tend to leave Him out of areas of my life. Like the t.v. thing I posted about here.

Let me tell you what God showed me over the weekend. I kept my T.V. Journal all weekend and was really surprised that we didn't watch as much t.v. as I thought we would. Friday night was the hardest, there just wasn't much on that even peaked our interest. So, after the kids were in bed, I read your blogs and Chad worked on some fundraising stuff for Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Team run. We had the t.v. on in the background and it wound up on a movie. This movie was rated PG. We didn't see this on the big screen and weren't really paying attention to it. However, the longer it was on, the more I became aware of the story line. I began to feel God tugging at my heart. This wasn't lining up with Phil. 4:8. What I would have once "overlooked" and ignored, now made my stomach sick.

Sunday afternoon during rest time, the girls wanted to watch a movie. Chloe had set the DVR to record a certain movie with a dancing Arctic animal featured as the main character. We first saw this movie last Thanksgiving. It's filled with all sorts of music that Chad and I grew up listening to. (most of which my parents didn't allow, so now they're going to read this and know that I listened to Lite Mix 105 and various other radio stations behind their backs! Let me just say that I NEVER listened to KZ 106. Just wanted to clear that one up before I see them again and get a talkin' to!!)

Back to this dancing Arctic animal movie. From the time we first saw it, Chad and I both agreed that we were shocked, and a bit offended, at the sexual undertones in this movie. We weren't that impressed with it. We have not watched it in over a year. Sunday afternoon, Chloe asked to watch it. I agreed to watch it with them. Maybe I was just being a prude about this movie the first time I saw it. Maybe I made more of it than was really there. This time, the girls fell asleep and I was so glad. God confirmed that my first impression was correct. This did not please Him. Nothing about it lined up with Phil. 4:8 and for our family, it's a no.

We want to bring glory to God in ALL things. That includes the things we allow to enter our home. That cute little movie with the catchy songs will take residence in the minds and hearts of my daughters. They will sing the songs, dance the dances, and act it out.

The word says in Psalms

"may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing and acceptable to you oh God."

As much as I want for, long for and pray for my daughters to have hearts and lives that bring glory to God, it isn't going to just happen. They have to see it. See it in my actions and hear it in my speech. There has to be a difference, a marked difference. Allowing them to watch this movie or others like it, tells them this behavior is okay.

God showed me Sunday that as entertaining and fun t.v./movies can be, He is more. He isn't asking me to give it up, disconnect cable and boycott movies. He's asking me to take a stand. To be very aware of what is on in our home and the amount of time it's on. I think I'll keep up the journal for awhile. There is some accountability there. Writing down and looking at what I'm watching in print is so eyeopening.

I'll leave you with this quote from John Piper. (It's in Young's book) It sorta goes along with what I'm saying here, and I really like it.

" God is glorified in his people by the way we experience him, not merely by the way we think about him. Indeed, the devil thinks more true thoughts about God in one day than a saint does in a lifetime, and God is not honored by it. The problem with the devil isn't his theology, it's his desires."

Are you experiencing God in your daily life? Let's change the way we think about Him and include Him in everypart of our life. As Young suggests, let's take Him out of that segmented box once and for all.


Heather C said...

What a powerful post! I love John Piper... so might have to check out the book you're reading now, too. Anyone who quotes Piper is ok in my book :)

What a challenge you have set forth here. I love what you said about how our daughters becoming godly women isn't going to just "happen"... we must.. must.. MUST be intentional in our parenting. Proactive. Positive. You've got me motivated! Thank you!


Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Girlfriend I just have to tell you, you are right on with this one. Tony and I saw that movie too and were devistated with those horrible undertones. I cannot believe people put those things in cartoons.

Keep taking the stand. I am standing right alongside of you!
Much love,

Kristin said...

Hi Stephanie. Thanks again for challenging me. What my kids watch has always been a very big deal to us, but I haven't been as careful to guard my own mind in the same way. This is a good reminder to me to also be aware of the things I let myself listen to and see. I heard a story on Focus on the Family (I think) a couple of weeks ago about some teenagers who were trying to talk their father into letting them see a recently released movie that he didn't agree with. They made a list of pros and cons like "it only has a little bit of foul language". The father asked to think about it for a day and when he called them in the next afternoon to talk about it they thought they had won. Instead he presented them with a plate of brownies that he had baked himself (with love) and said that if they would eat one they could see the movie. Just one thing, they had a little bit of dog poop in them, but he mixed it in really well and they probably wouldn't even be able to taste it. Needless to say, they didn't eat the brownies or see the movie. I thought it was a good lesson on just how bad even "a little bit" of something can be to our minds just like in our food.
In Him ~ Kristin

Anonymous said...


I am so with you on this one. I have been so troubled lately by this very subject. I am a huge national news junkie and lately even on the news I can't believe what I am seeing. It's not even safe to have the news channels on when the kids are around. And don't get me started on television and movies.

I hear so many people make the statement, "I can't watch this show until the kids are in bed."
My question is this, "If I cant watch it with my whole family, should I be watching it at all?" I believe the answer to that is a big NO! Not only do they need a momma who guards what they see, but they need a momma who will not compromise herself. A momma who will be holy in every area of my life as well. If they follow me, do what I do, will they be living a life that is pleasing to God? (Philippians 4:9)

It's time to wake up! Reminds me of the song by Casting Crowns...
"It's a slow fade when you give yourself away, it's a slow fade, when black and white have turned to gray and thoughts invade, choices made, the price will be paid when you give yourself away. People never crumble in a day, it's a slow fade."

Thanks for the reminder!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...


Just catching up on this post & the challenge. I've struggled with tv choices myself, and gave up 2 shows in June. I really thought it would be a struggle, but I realized this week that I'm not watching any network TV, except sports. I didn't notice that I'd drastically cut my tv watching, and now it's just Disney, Hallmark, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Food Network & HGTV. And I'm not missing anything! For someone who used to plan her schedule around certain shows, I was amazed to discover that when I changed my focus, I hardly have time for one 30-minute show.

It's definitely been a God thing!

Thanks for sharing your journey & insights!

Jackie said...

as a parent it is amazing how aware you become of the content of things- some things that I used to watch- I am appalled when I realize what my young daughter may pick up from it. Thanks for this post- very good stuff!

darla said...

Girlfriend! I know what you mean about that movie! I paid to take my kids, and was insulted that I had to pay them to watch what was supposed to be G rated, and my kiddos were very upset with me..for talking through the movie and saying, "that is not good, and God would not like that behavior one little bit" LOL they don't want me to take them anymore! :)

The Stokes Family said...

Hey Stephanie! I just had a minute to catch up on everyone's blog and was so excited to read this entry and your TV challenge. I have struggled with this issue in the past as well--I am so careful about what the kids watch, but not so careful about MY shows I watch. God really worked on my heart about this issue last winter and I gave up several of my regular shows. It's odd, I don't feel like I ever sit down to watch TV now and I can't say that I miss it--I used to plan my schedule around a few shows! I think when we respond to the Holy Spirit's convictions and ask for God's help in overcoming, he takes that desire from us. Isn't God amazing!

Anyhow, I love your TV journal idea, that is an awesome idea! And I am certainly up for the challenge!