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My mom used to tell me all the time, “You should write a book!” And my response was, “You might get mad at me.” But I started a blog anyway. Even though my parents and I have a good relationship now, I was an imperfect child to imperfect parents. As I mentioned in a previous post, they got married when my mom was 14 and my dad was 19. You can imagine how this may have impacted their parenting skills. You also get into the sticky details about how they themselves were raised, etc, etc, blah blah blah.
Which brings me around to the fact that I abhor watching TV at the dinner table.
I am so thankful that my mom worked hard all day, then would come home and fix us five children a delicious meal. I know now just how difficult that really is. So, thank you, Mom!
And thank you, Dad, for working endless hours and sacrificing your body’s health at the tire factory, ensuring that we were all well taken care of. I’m sorry for the pain you are in every day because of your back and neck.
I love you, Mom and Dad!
However, my dad loves to watch TV. The table is in direct sight of his chair at the head of the table. My sister, Melissa, and I would always argue over who got to sit where you could see. My oldest sister, Michelle, sat opposite my father so whoever sat to my dad’s immediate right could not see past Michelle. At least one person ALWAYS had a bad attitude at the dinner table, depending on who it was that couldn’t see the TV.
When you sit down at a dinner table with five children and a wife, it’s not quiet. So instead of guidance and counseling and sharing our day over dinner, we often heard “Shut up! I can’t hear the TV!” My dad loves us, and I’m sorry if this makes him look bad, but it’s the truth. Sometimes it was The Cosby Show. Sometimes it was Roseanne. Sometimes we had to endure hours of hunting and fishing shows. As a result, I know quite a bit about hunting and fishing and can keep you laughing with ribald humor as I recant stories about both.
I would like to administer bonus points here and say that the TV was muted when we prayed over the food. And a quick shout-out to the invention of the remote control!, which alleviated one of us from being the channel changer.
Even now when I take the kids to visit him, the TV is the eternal backdrop to our dinner. When my son spends time at his grandfather’s (which is very, very seldom), he is allowed to vegetate in the dark bedroom in front of the TV. I’m not against TV, as long as it’s monitored. But I want my son to have a stronger relationship with his grandfather than he does with Sponge Bob. (I personally like Sponge Bob. That is one funny sponge!)
Before my husband and I were even married, we cancelled the cable subscription because we enjoyed talking to each other far more than we did watching TV. (We lived together, the sinners that we were.)
In our own home, we do not pipe in TV. We do not have high-speed DSL, either, so we can’t just stream anything in over the PC. We do have one TV that is used for PS2, VHS, and DVD. We use the website www.pluggedin.com to evaluate games and videos before we bring them into our home. It gives cuss word count, sexual content, violent content, spiritual content, and other content of note. It is very, very detailed, which allows you to make the best decision for your family.
The new Transformers movie has approximately FIFTY cuss words in less than two hours. And they run from mild to the very extremely unmild.
Here is the sexual content from the new Smurf movie, which is rated PG:
Stray scenes make rather strange sexual allusions as they connect racier (sometimes R-rated) entertainments to the new Smurfdom. During the credits, we see Azrael licking Gargamel’s face. “I wish I could quit you,” Gargamel says, referencing the gay-themed film Brokeback Mountain. Smurfette, voiced by pop star Katy Perry, references one of her songs (which is lesbian-themed): “I kissed a Smurf and I liked it.” She also finds a new dress in a toy store that looks like the one Marilyn Monroe wore in The Seven Year Itch. Standing above a heating vent, she lets the dress billow up, mimicking the iconic scene from the film. The kilt-wearing Gutsy Smurf then joins her on the vent.
Vanity Smurf—speaking in an effeminate voice—primps in the mirror. Grouchy Smurf falls in love with a large representation of a green M&M—so much so that he makes his own when he gets back home. As the woman grows younger by way of Gargamel’s magic, we see her (tightly covered) breasts grow and firm. One Smurf thanks another for holding his hand. “That’s not my hand,” the Smurf says.
And here is the language content:
The Smurfs movie really brings a whole new meaning to the phrase blue language. The word of choice? Smurf. Characters say “oh my smurf,” “where the smurf are we?” “up the smurfing creek without a paddle,” “smurf me!” “I’ll be smurfed!” and “son of a smurf.” When Patrick, exasperated with the whole Smurf language, says, “Smurfity smurf, smurf, smurf!” Gutsy exclaims, “There’s no call for that kind of language, laddie.”
It seems like overkill to mention here that the movie’s website is smurfhappens.com. But I’ll do it anyway.
Oh, and we also hear one “d‑‑n.”
What are you allowing to be downloaded to your kids for the sake of entertainment?
Bottom line: media has its place, but not when it usurps the relationships in the home and definitely not when it specifically contradicts the Christian lifestyle.
Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”