Think on such things

Matt Walsh posted this the other day, and I’ve got to say, it resonated with me. Not because I watch Game of Thrones (we don’t even get the channel it’s on), but because Josh and I have really felt convicted over our choice of “entertainment” in recent years. 

Years ago, we used to watch “Law & Order: SVU” and “Criminal Minds” every week. We stopped because, at least for me, the horrific crimes portrayed became imprinted on my brain. I would lie in bed at night and the most awful thoughts would creep into my head about crimes against children and serial killers showing up on my doorstep. I would imagine these things happening to our family, to my children. I would have to pray with every fiber of my being that God would push these thoughts out of my mind so that I could go to sleep. Then we started watching “The Following” (again with the serial killer motif – we have issues). I actually really liked the first season of it. Though it was dark and often scary, it was cleverly written and you never knew who was a good guy or a bad guy. But the second season didn’t have as good of a plot and we decided it wasn’t for us anymore. Never mind all the people getting killed all the time, and the fact that the chilling affect of the primary bad guy was just c-r-e-e-p-y. We stopped watching it.

Last year Josh’s parents told him about “House of Cards” and Josh really wanted to watch it. (POLITICAL DRAMA. Right up his alley.) I wasn’t too excited about it. (Politics. Ugh.) But we eventually put it in our Netflix queue. (Yes, we still have a Netflix queue. Because we are probably one of the only household in the entire US of A that still gets dvds mailed to our house. Twice a month. Mandatory date night. I don’t even know what we would do if we had a streaming account!) So the thing about a series on Netflix is evidently they can get away with just about anything and everything. Cursing? Yep. Sex scenes that waaaaay cross the line? Yep. It didn’t happen immediately, but a few episodes in, it started to become clear to me that I wasn’t entirely comfortable with some of the plot situations. 

Of course, the amazing communicator that I am, I did not share this with my husband. He really liked the political aspect of it, how the protagonists worked behind the scenes to accomplish what they wanted, how the houses of congress were doing their thing, etc. And I had made him watch “Criminal Minds” and “SVU” for years so I figured I owed him one. Well, it eventually became too much. I started to just fast-forward certain things, but often I was caught unawares and couldn’t hit the button fast enough, and, you just can’t UN-SEE that stuff.  I resolved that night to tell Josh that we had to stop watching the show. The problem was, I just didn’t know how to tell him. I prayed and I worried and really struggled with how to communicate how violated this show was making me feel. The next day, I confided in a couple of my friends and they said they would pray about it as well.

The very next day, God answered my prayers. Josh and I were on a walk with the baby and he said to me, “You know, I think we should just send the disc back and not watch that show anymore.” What I said was “I agree” but inside it was like a hallelujah chorus rang out. Thank you, God! I couldn’t put how I was feeling into words, but my husband heard me anyway and he decided to lead our marriage away from something that was damaging. I will forever be grateful to Josh for doing the right thing and taking the burden of the decision off of me.

The things we watch, the things we read, the things we listen to affect us. They can bring us closer to God, or they can lead us away. We will not be unaffected. Everything we expose ourselves to affects us in some way. So we have to make choices. Good choices. Godly choices. Walsh’s article is about a t.v. show, but I’ve found his opinion to be true of the books that I read and the songs that I listen to. I can never un-read a book that I’ve read. My imagination formed the scenes in my head and they are there to stay. I can never un-learn the lyrics of some of the songs I was into when I was a teenager. They will forever be in my head. I have made the mistake of putting a movie into our Netflix queue because it was an Academy Award winner and then found myself subjected to what I would rank on the same level as pornography. I cannot un-see the scenes of a movie. 

So I am making a choice. A choice to make responsible decisions with my eyes and my ears and my heart. A choice to protect my marriage and my family from damaging influences. A choice to keep the bad things out, but let the good things in. 

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy {I WILL} think on such things.” Phillippians 4:8

I will most assuredly fail. Probably a lot because I’m only human and completely flawed. But Christ covers me and I’m going to trust in Him to lead me in the right direction and to turn me around when I’m headed down the wrong path. And I think I’m going to keep watching “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle,” and “The Goldbergs” plus a whole lot of Food Network and HGTV. But I’ll be fast-forwarding the commercials. 😉

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