In April we decided to send our much larger TV packing. Several factors led to this decision to go without a television. The TV took up too much of our precious commodity called space, Hazel knew how to plug it in and turn it on, and we simply wasted time watching pointless shows.
So we went the summer without a TV. It was blissful. Mike and I spent time playing games together in the evening, we were able to get up in the morning and read our Bibles instead of watching The Today Show, and Hazel played instead of staring blankly at PBS shows or Little People videos. Getting rid of our TV resulted in a tighter-knit family. Mike and I were able to stay informed on current events through Google News and NPR, and we still watched the occasional movie or sermon on our laptop–so it wasn’t a total media ban.
Back to Thursday night. We put the babe to bed and turned on the boob tube. Something felt slightly exhilarating about watching TV once again, but also devious in some way–like we were cheating. After a few minutes of watching commercials and network ads we were quickly reminded of why it was so freeing to not have a TV. Without a TV we didn’t just plop on the couch and watch whatever was on, only to find we wasted another evening and our marriage was not stronger for it. We began to think more biblically instead of what is culturally normal. Without commercials we actually found ourselves in wanting less (and spending less too).
Having a TV is not bad. We like our new little TV. However, after this summer we found that we need to be constantly filling our minds with what is good and with what is true (Pastor Cor did a great sermon on this back in June). Network TV and commercials rarely offer either. In his letter to the Romans, Paul tells the church not to conform to this world, but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2). For now our little TV will stay in the closet until Football Sundays.