Is TV an American Idol?
TV viewing in America is taking an unprecedented amount of time away from our families. If this is the case in so many families, has it become an American Idol? Do you devote more time to watching television each week than you do in studying the word of God, and doing other religious activities? Do you watch programming and commercials that are spiritually unhealthy for yourself and your family? If so, you may want to consider cutting down your TV viewing somewhat. You may also want to consider changing the channel, locking some out, or possibly even cutting off the cable.
My old pastor once told the congregation a story about a time when he called his family together for their family devotion time. His wife looked up from the TV program she was watching and said, “Just a minute, it’s almost over.” When she said this, he realized that TV had become an idol in their home. He promptly unplugged it, took it out in the back yard, and put a shotgun shell through that “false god.” Now I’m not advocating going to this extreme, but when we can’t turn the TV off long enough for family devotions and Bible study, then maybe we should at least consider a TV fast for a while. I recommend starting small like a weekend or week long fast. Then if you’re really committed, you might consider a 40 day TV fast.
If you find that the fast benefits your family’s spiritual growth, then you may even want to consider a more permanent change such as my family chose to do. We chose to cut off the cable and limit our TV viewing to carefully selected DVD’s with family, educational, or religious themes. This works for us and we don’t have to worry about unwanted commercials, and immoral programming, not to mention the high cost of cable or satellite dish TV. We have now been without cable for about eight years or so and we really don’t miss it that much. We do occasionally watch a TV program at a family members house, but we find the commercials to be aggravating somewhat. It’s just not worth the trouble most of the time.
We use our time for more enriching activities and have ample time to do Bible study and devotions most days. We have a game night, a spelling B night, church night, movie night, and a free night. We have much more time together as a family, and much more time for Bible study and devotions during the daylight hours. We choose not to watch TV at all during the day, which frees our time for extra rest, homeschooling, gardening, and playtime. We have so much more time than if we wasted it watching TV programs that would probably not benefit us any if we did watch them.
I do sometimes miss things like the weather channel, history channel, and animal planet when I hear about something really good that came on, but these times are so few, that’s it’s just not worth the trade of our time. In any case, we could now go online and watch most anything we really wanted to see. Needless to say, my children are much less inclined to be influenced by some of the more morally repugnant influences in the world today that they would likely encounter on TV, and I have much more time to study God’s Word and do other more important things with my time. Is TV my idol? Not anymore! How about You?