I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. ~Psalm 101:3
When my children were 12 and 13, I came home from running some errands to find them watching Jerry Springer on TV. They knew this was forbidden, but I was away and they were curious. I asked who was on it so we could process it right after I turned it off.
The show had invited a man who wanted to propose to his girlfriend for all the world to see. His intended had other plans. She was coming on the show to publicly come out of the closet with her lesbian relationship to her boyfriend. Again for clarity, she was going to announce to her boyfriend – who believes he is there to propose marriage – that she is in love with a woman.
Where does one start with how much is wrong with this? Regardless of where you stand on the gay rights issue, it is wrong to publicly humiliate someone, especially someone you have deceived to believe that you love him. This woman must have really hated men!
This was the final straw. We turned off the cable.
More recently, I caught a few minutes of a sit-com in a waiting room. It was set in a family where the wife was brash and scantily clad and the young adult daughter was the smart one who led the family. I can’t remember a father figure but I only saw one episode. Because I have not seen much TV, I was surprised by the language they used and the attitudes (especially about men and sex) that were portrayed on the show.
It was so ungodly. If these people appeared at my door I would have to turn them away. I would fear the kind of influence they would leave with their language and attitudes. So, why do people invite them in to their homes via their televisions? Won’t they have the same level of influence, especially if they are invited back week after week?
Exactly how discerning should parents be about what comes into the home? Does the TV we watch honor God? Do the children on the program obey their parents and show respect for authority?
If there are no children still at home should that make a difference, should adults also honor God with their TV watching choices?
My children were not happy campers the day we cancelled the cable. Over the years though, we can all see that we talked more, read more, and relaxed more together than we would have if we had been jumping up from the dinner table to watch TV.
Our deal with them was that we would take the money we had spent on cable and rent movies. We have invited many movies into our home over the years and had to throw only a few of them out!
So, do we need a standard? Is there some level of sinfulness that TV has to reach before Christians are willing to change the channel or turn it off? Many of us invite these unsavory personalities into our homes week after week, year after year, as children are growing up. They hear language and pick up disrespectful attitudes that we then punish them for and rarely take the time to think about where they came from.
If people with these same character traits came to your door asking to come in and visit your children, would you invite them in? What better source of entertainment could we invite into our homes?