The Summer of no Television

6 09 2012

We purchased our first home just before Memorial Day weekend.  My wife and I decided that for the benefit of our budget and walk with Jesus that we would not purchase a satellite subscription.  Since Labor Day weekend just passed I’d thought I’d write a few things about our “Summer of no T.V.” and our plans for the future.  Here are some things we’ve learned so far this summer:

1. We don’t really miss our “shows”– I never really had a set number of shows that I liked to watch except The Office and Law and Order.  My wife had a few other shows and I’d surf back and forth between the History Channel, ESPN, and Discovery.  Come to find out, we can live with out those!  It’s been great.

2. We spend more time as a family– Let’s face it. When we were watching T.V. every night we weren’t really spending time together.  We were just sitting there glued to a little box without much real conversation.  Now we play together more, sing together more, communicate in the evenings more… It’s amazing to see the freedom from something we didn’t realize was consuming precious moments.

3. We have more time for more important things– Besides just spending time together as a family, we have more time to read good books, plan things together for our family (goals, how to pay off debt, the future, etc.), talk about God’s work in our local church FBC Oppelo (what He’s doing, new ideas, goals, etc.),

4. We still watch t.v. sometimes– while we don’t have local channels or satellite we are subscribers to Netflix.  We get about 1 movie every 1-2 weeks.  We still enjoy the entertainment but now it’s just drastically limited.

5. Television is just a “fruit” issue–  In other words, if we could get every Christian to quit watching TV, we still haven’t addressed some root issues.  These root issues include laziness, lack of appreciation for the gift and responsibility of family, “practical” denial of the sufficiency of Scripture (in that many don’t read it and study it together), prayerlessness- and perhaps these are not the real root either, since these all stem from a lack of trust and love for Christ.  Truth is, we can all find other wasteful things to replace TV.  Christians did it for centuries!

6. We are still growing– I can’t honestly say we’ll never have television in our house again.  I hope we don’t.  We still need to work on limiting the time our children spend watching their movies.  We still need to work on not just sitting around together staring at our iPhones.  There is still much sanctification that needs to happen in the Nelson household!  Turning off the T.V. has freed us in some ways, and revealed areas where more growth is needed in other ways!

Concluding thoughts:

I don’t think every Christian has to give up their satellite subscription.  If they did, how would I watch College Football!? But I do think Christians need to be more disciplined in their use of t.v.  For us, it was most helpful to just unsubscribe.  Others may be able to be more disciplined while also having satellite and I think that’s fine.  I do think we will be held accountable as Americans for all the time that God has richly blessed us with.  Be careful not to waste time God has given you by sitting around a talking box (or glued to an iPhone Cuatro!).

Soli Deo Gloria.

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