I’ve mentioned my childhood a few times here, but I suspect I haven’t let on just how high a degree of unusual-ness I grew up in.
It was up there.
There were seven of us, so we required a large vehicle. Back when other folks were beginning to drive super-cool Suburbans, we cruised in an enormous, bright red passenger van.
There was no blending in in our small town. There go the Smiths!
We took two-week-long beach vacations each summer (which was a wonderful thing), but because my folks were pinching pennies in just about every other area, the van didn’t have rear air-conditioning.
And it got toasty in there.
So those never-ending, 18-hour drives down to Florida were, umm, pleasant.
My dad took care of it though.
He bought one of those small, personal-sized oscillating fans that normally clip on a desk or something and instead rigged it to the van wall in the back seat. We could even turn it in on low, medium or high.
So, instead of just burning up while you suffered through backseat riding, you also got to burn up with your choice of low, medium or high hot air blowing directly in your face.
While your sweaty legs stuck to vinyl seats.
With six other people and all their travel junk wedged around you.
It was great.
(But seriously, our family vacations were fantastic. My parents were brilliant at vacationing on a budget. They should teach a class.)
Anyway, we were odd.
We picked up hitchhikers back when folks were really starting to act like you shouldn’t do that kind of thing. We went out to eat maybe twice a year. We had goats, and we had TV Night.
TV Night was incredible.
(You may not be aware of this, but when you don’t allow your kids to watch TV on Monday through Wednesday, and then assign Thursday night the title of TV Night and you sometimes happen to serve homemade pizza in the same evening, TV Night becomes the greatest experience of a child’s life.)
It wasn’t really that important what we watched, but whatever it was basically just had to pass each of three minor tests.
1.) It was a TV show that came on on TV Night.
2.) It was a TV show that came on one of our four channels.
3.) It was a TV show during which no one cussed, caressed or drank alcohol. (Bonus points were given if the characters on the show attended church or if the word “Angel” was anywhere in the title.)
I’m sort of teasing.
But, really, we were odd, and, yes, a little on the square side.
And now, here I am, a mom of three finding myself in the exact same position, feeling exactly the same way.
A typical conversation with this sweet face:
“No, Edy, you can’t watch that. I don’t like they way the kids on that show talk to each other.
No, not that one either. They act too old.
And NO! Never, ever Sid the Science Kid!” (Sid the Science Kid is like your most annoying nightmare times 3,000. I’m not kidding.)
So we watch closely what our kids watch.
I know you do too.
Our kiddos are important, and what those precious eyes see is important. Garbage in, garbage out, right?
So, my question is, if we don’t want our children watching garbage, why are we watching it?
I’m asking myself this too.
Josh has to work late one night a week, and after wrangling the kids all day, all I want to do once I get them into bed is drool in front of the television until he gets home.
On this particular night every week, there are two shows that I fight with myself over whether or not I should watch.
Because I really want to.
They’re funny. They’re mindless. They seem harmless. They represent all kinds of worldviews that I don’t agree with, but, heck, everyone else is watching them.
Yet, darn it, once again, there’s this pesky verse…
“I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” (Ps 101:3a)
What really causes me trouble is that this verse was spoken by David, a guy who loved the Lord like crazy.
And if David could make this vow—to not willingly view wicked things—and yet still fall into grievous sin because of something he accidentally saw, what hope do I have to resist the temptations of this world when I’m setting that junk before my eyes on purpose?!?
The answer: Very little.
(And that’s not good.)
In Philippians, we are encouraged to fix our minds on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. (See Phil 4:8)
Can you think of the last thing you saw you on television that fell under those qualifications?
If you are a follower of Christ, then you are in the fight of your life against a dangerous enemy.
And if we are not aware of that, then we are probably losing.
Watch out. And watch what you watch.
Because, in this case, being a little odd and little square probably ‘aint such a bad thing.
So..in honor of being squares, how ’bout a book giveaway?!?
Just in time for celebrating the Resurrection, my newest book, God Bless Our Easter is (ironically!) square-shaped, but seriously (and way more importantly) teaches little ones about the love of God and the blessings of Easter.
Leave a comment below about any ol’ thing (or just say “hi”), and you’ll be entered into the drawing. Winner to be announced next week!