The television that I have had since I was about 12 years old is the same one that hubby and I have used for the past 5 years. Despite the fact the we occasionally had to give the side of it a good whack in order to avoid uncontrollable static, the thing held up pretty well. Nevertheless, a little over a week ago it took it's last whack and went out altogether.
In all honesty, I'm not upset about this. In fact, I'm actually a little relieved because I was working to "demediaize" (ahem...yes, I made that word up) our family anyway.
We are commanded to "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:15). Nevertheless, "Wherever we look, technology blasts us with the world's values, attitudes, and false definitions of reality. The popular media lie to us about the nature of goodness, truth, and beauty. They offer counterfeit versions of what a family is supposed to look like, what romance is, what success is all about, and where we should spend our money" (Joshua Harris in Media Discernment 101).
My desire for our family is that instead of spending endless hours watching, lusting after, or thinking like "the world" that we will spend more time acting, seeking after, and thinking like God. I think that this is true for most Christians families. However, there is some real work and real sacrifice involved in achieving it that doesn't come easy for most of us. In order to do this we must be willing to take the necessary steps in order to create a home-life that is not "media-centered" but "word-centered."
In Media Discernment 101, Joshua Harris writes, "...consider changing the setup of your home so that entertainment technology, particularly television, is neither omni-present nor central. Let's not allow movie and television watching to become our default free-time activities. You may also wish to abstain periodically from different forms of media in order to test their influence on your life and increase your focus on God." I'll admit that whenever I am extremely busy or tired, my first inclination is to "pop" a movie in for my children to watch or to let them spend entirely too much time in front of the television watching cartoons. Sometimes after a couple of hours it seems like they start acting like cartoons!
However, without a television to use as a "crutch" I am more likely to have my children do something more productive during those times. For example, since the television broke, I have been more inclined to have them do chores, "read" books, and to use their imagination while playing. I find that I am much more likely to go for a walk, talk, sing, play, teach, discipline, hug, kiss, and laugh with my children during the day. Automatically, I realize that there becomes a larger emphasis put on God and His word because I use that time to testify and sing songs of praise to God with my children while we do other things.
In essence, the lack of television lends itself to my doing more to fulfill Deuteronomy 6:6-8 which says, "