Monday, May 23, 2011

The Good, The Bad, The Clean and the Icky!

This weekend I watched two movies.  These movies together made me think about the choices I have been making regarding my tv/video viewing.  These movies were Letters to Juliet and No Strings Attached.  One I can recommend, the other left me reeling.  Both these movies are advertised as romantic comedies and aimed at the late teenage/college and career age.  But these movies are different as night and day.  One relies on the premises of what if and is light.  The other relies perverse humour to get the laughs.  

I watched No Strings Attached with some friends while I was over at their place for dinner.  I was shocked and repulsed at the movie.  Within the first 5 minutes there was already language that I wouldn't want my child to hear or see.  (I can't believe I said that, I sound like my grandmother).  I felt at one point that we were watching soft core porn.  It was that vivid.  Luckily I had to leave early and didn't watch the rest of the movie.  I still feel a bit shocked and dirty.  But I was more shocked that this movie was being played in front of a 15 year old with no issues about language or content.  

I went home and watched Letters to Juliet and was taken back at the difference of the movies.  I knew how both would end.  Of course, the main characters would end up together, but in the second movie they didn't have to sleep together to do it.  This difference, as well as others, led me to start thinking about what I have been watching lately and are they shows I could watch if my daughter came into the room unexpectedly.  

Most of the shows I watch are pretty clean.  I watch a lot of food shows, home decorating shows, shows on the history channel.  We like to watch Pawn Stars and American Pickers.  We enjoy watching Billy the Exterminator as a family and old Mash episodes.  There are few shows I watch that I don't want my kids to watch namely Glee and Grey's Anatomy.  Both these shows are inappropriate for the kids, but if it's inappropriate for the kids, then why is it ok for me?  These are things I've been thinking about lately.

A few weeks ago I fasted from TV for a week.  It was a struggle, but I learned that I could do it.  That the TV shows didn't need me to continue.  I missed one week of my two favourite shows and I didn't die.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.    Philippians 4:8 NIV 84
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  Colossians 3:1-2 NIV84
Do the things that I read and watch regularly reflect these truths?  No.  Many of the shows and books I read are more "worldly."  The focus on what the "world" says is acceptable, rather than what God says is acceptable.  They focus on many of the issues of the day, but many look at self rather than God for help.  This basic lie that we can rely on ourselves and not God can lead us further from the Father until we don't hear His voice, which is where the enemy wants us.  

I will admit that sometimes I read and watch such things to see what all the "hoopla" was about.  For example the Da Vinci Code.  I hated this book and not because of the premise which was how most of my friends felt about it but because it was a poorly written book.  Did I learn anything from this book - NO.  But reading it did help me to talk to my non-Christian friends about truths.   I am not a believer in banning, but I think we need to discern what we put in ourselves and how it can either educate us or harm us.  If what we are watching or reading will lead us away from God then we need to cease and desist immediately.  We need to match what we are feeding our hearts and minds with Gods word.  

I know this is a struggle that I have.  What's appropriate and what's not.  I think we all do.  But after this weekend I know that if it makes me feel "icky" then it's definitely something that I shouldn't be watching or reading. 
My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.
Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.  Proverbs 4: 20-27
 What are your thoughts?  Is this a struggle you've been having? 

I'm linking up with the Soli Deo Sisterhood today at Finding Heaven.


Andrea said...

I think it's good that you can take an honest look at what you are watching and know when it is time to turn it off. But what I liked even more is that you didn't condemn your friend for watching that movie. We need to be so careful that we aren't wearing an attitude of self-righteousness - I don't think that's any better than filling our minds with junk.

Thanks for the reminder to be mindful of that!

Jen said...

I think I've been watching less TV just because I've thought about what really makes me feel rested. I still have some shows that I love (The Mentalist), but I'm also so good with just reading a good book. So, my point is, I think I need to make sure that not only is the content okay, but also, is it life-giving and restful. Because I only have so much down-time! :)

Joywriter said...

Entertainment can be so unreliable... we watch a few shows that will be good and funny most of the time, then out of the blue there will be something sleazy. I've been pondering this myself lately. It's only entertainment... what is it worth? What should I "put up with" for the sake of the good parts?

Debbie said...

Many years ago I was reading some "new age" material to get to know some issues that were confronting the church. My mind easily sees issues from different points of view and this makes me very vulnerable. It was heavy reading and before long I felt myself being sucked in. I started doubting my faith. I became mentally disoriented and actually felt afraid.

On that very day 2 friends of mine independently felt the Lord nudge them to check on me to see if I was o.k. Their visits broke the spell I'd fallen into. I thank God for that.

Pamela said...

I think we all need to take stock once in a while and ask, "Would Jesus sit down and read or watch this with me?" It puts a whole new perspective on the things we feed our minds on. My daughter is 18 and we still discuss whether something is edifying for her. This is a post I'd love for more people to read. I'll be recommending it!


Courtney said...

Yes, I think about this and will probably consider it more as my kids get older. I've found that even "innocent" cartoons (G-rated, on preschool channels) can cause me to raise an eyebrow. So we are very careful about the type of TV our boys (ages 2 and 4) can see. My husband and I have pretty much cut regular TV viewing out of our lives. When I do watch a popular show (like Glee or Grays Anatomy) I'm shocked - and like you I can't believe how I sound like my grandmother! All of this is great food for thought. I subscribe to Plugged In by Focus on the Family - it is free and a great weekly review of all types of media. You should check it out.

Anonymous said...

When my husband and I made the decision of letting go of the TV connection to the outside world, we did it not for banning, but because we both come from this medium.

We wanted our children to grow up knowing that there was another alternative.

I also know that what sometimes we can get up in the 'righteousness'and begin to judge others - but this in itself is wrong.

We need to just let Our Lord be our guide in everything.

By the way, I also watched letter to Juliet and enjoyed it immensely :)

Mrs. M.

Lisa said...

I was confronted (more like slapped in the face) when my 12 year old said to me, "Mom, if it's so inappropriate for me to watch then why are YOU watching it?"

I didn't have an answer for her. Ouch.

My daily walk in His grace! said...

Hi Michelle. Its amazing you discuss this topic today. I was watching Grey's Anatomy and thought, I can only stomach so much. I know God does not want me to watch this anymore! Your post confirmed it. Thanks for the direct and honest post. God bless, Tracy

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I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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