Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pulling it out

It has been a couple of months since I decided to limit our TV/movie watching and I can't tell you what a difference it has made with the Noah and Jack! They do still watch cartoons (Qubo) at Grammy's house every night. I am hoping to get that cut out soon. Because my family watches the boys for free while I am at work, though, I don't like to leave too many rules with them. If I see that the cartoons adversely effect their behavior than I will be willing to request a ban at their house as well.

Changes since the TV ban:

  • Increased creativity and imaginative play
  • Interest in building things (towers)
  • Less fighting and hitting
  • Big decrease in destructive behavior (whether it's their toys, water messes or my things. The coloring on faces...that's not changed though)
  • Less attitude and defiance
  • A huge increase in their ability to keep themselves quietly occupied.
It's really been amazing how much less frustrations I have had, with Noah especially, since not allowing TV in the house.

I have been struggling with the movie ban (Netflix and Hulu Hehe), but this week I have made a concerted effort to not watch one.thing. while at my house. and can even see the difference with me. I have more patience with the boys and a lot more energy. My house stays cleaner and work actually gets done! And let's not forget to mention all the time I'm willing to give to God now that I'm not engrossed in seven seasons of some odd television show.

All in all, God has managed to convince me that He was right in requesting me to dump my movie collection (when is He ever wrong?! LOL) and I am ready to take the next step: the TV is going to Goodwill this week! I will be keeping some of our treasured movies for those very random movie nights. But we will be borrowing someones else's TV for that.

I read this verse last night and it really hit home:

"If your hand or foot gets in God's way, chop it off and throw it away. You're better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owners of two hands and two feet, godless in a furnace of eternal fire. And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and throw it away. You're better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell."
Mark 9:43-48 (the Message)

Watching movies and/or TV is not wrong (depending on what you are watching!). Nowhere in the Bible do you find a verse that clearly states it is a sin to entertain yourself with a movie. However, if television keeps you distracted. Keeps you from spending time with God and following His will for your life, than it is far better to "pull it out and throw it away" than to spend eternity apart from God.

What "good" things do you have in your home that are separating you from God? Remember that it is better to live lacking in a world of good things than to find that you've missed the most important.
"The way to life - to God! - is vigorous and requires total attention."
Matthew 7:14 (the Message)


Jaime @ Our Journey said...

I'm truly impressed!

Aubrey said...

Are you TRYING to kill me?? I have been struggling with this, but for me it is the computer. Especially Facebook. I use the excuse that since that is the preferred means of communication of EVERYONE, I will be cutting myself off and actually hindering my ministering. What are your thoughts?

Odie Langley said...

I am sooooooooooooooooooo proud of how you are handling this Ali. I'm not too happy with me right now but you are awesome.

Alexia said...

Aubrey, the computer is a challenge for me as well and I'm sure that's next LOL The question always comes down to what is God telling you to do?

But a couple of my own thoughts: I think the ways that the internet keeps us connected to people is GREAT, but if we spend all of our time in front of the computer instead of out on the streets (or wherever God is wanting us to be), how many people are we missing? For those of us who are able to do so much more than sit in front of a screen, I think it's an easy way to ignore the hard stuff God is asking us to do (and I am SO included in this). How radical can you be behind a computer screen?

I'm planning on setting a timer when I get on the internet to make sure that I don't lose track of time. And I'm learning how to quickly scan. No matter how much or how little time you spend on the computer I am confident that God can bring to your attention those you need you to minister to them!

Anonymous said...

I stopped watching TV over a year ago. It was only due to being so busy with working AND studies for my new degree. I just didn't have time and that was one thing that had to go out of my schedule. I never picked it back up. An instructor I had was teaching about stress and how she was practicing methods to reduce stress in her life. I realized that not returning to TV would continue a stress relief for me. I still have to keep up with news, but I can do that selectively by reading it, from the computer, newspapers, or magazines.
I am now an instructor myself, and have to keep up with the news. I find I have more detail, and less stress by getting my news this way. My students relate news in the classroom and they are very stressed and emotional about it. It has been an eye opening experience. TV engages most of our senses (all but smell and taste *smile*), and we are effected a lot by it. Real emotional stress happens when it is being watched and then we have less personal stamina for the rest of our day/life.
Very nice things happening for you - and it was nice to read about it. Like so many things in life it is a personal journey - and the right fit is different for each person. I'm glad you are finding something that is working for you.

Kristie said...

That's a huge step! I'd love to do the same, but I don't even think Goodwill would want our old TV-LOL! I'd also like to keep it around for the occasional movie. (Rich and I like our pizza and movie nights once in a while!) :-)

That's neat the boys are doing so well without TV. I guess we didn't have the TV on too much for Morgan and Blake-I tried keeping it to one or two shows a day, so I haven't seen much of a difference. Morgan DOES seem more needy now though!! LOL! (I think it's a girl thing.) They asked a lot at first, but now they seem to have gotten used to not having it. (We ARE allowing the occasional Christian movie just for them though, like Veggie Tales or The Jesus Movie, but they have only watched one once all of lent so far. I went to my room and read.)