Home > Andrew's Blogs > Help for TV Watchers (Most of Us)

Help for TV Watchers (Most of Us)

Randy Alcorn has a nice article here about taking charge of  the TV.  Here are the main points.
1. Keep track of how much time you spend watching. (It’s much more than you think).

2. Decide in advance how much TV to watch per week.

3. Use a schedule to choose programs for the week (perhaps at family time)— then stick to your choices.

4. Keep your television unplugged, store it in a closet, and/or put it in a remote part of the house (prevents mindless flip-on).

5. Periodically “fast” from television for a week or a month. Notice the “cold turkey” effects. (Avoids addiction, reminds you of all that can be done when TV off).

6. Choose programs that uplift rather than undermine biblical values.

7. Use the “off” switch freely. If it’s wrong and you keep watching, you’re saying “I approve.” (Unless it doesn’t present temptation and you’re critically analyzing it).

8. Use the channel changer frequently. Even decent programs often have explicit commercial clips of the latest adultery-rape-murder-madstalker-child-kidnapper movies. (Put the channel changer in the hands of one of your kids, under your supervision—let him exercise his conviction).

9. Watch and discuss programs together as a family—to avoid passivity and develop active moral discernment through interaction. (Avoid the second TV set that splits the family and leaves children unsupervised).

10. Don’t allow young children to choose their own programs—that’s the parent’s responsibility. As they get older, they can choose, but parents should always have veto power. Use it with sensitivity, but use it.

11. Don’t use television as a baby sitter. Provide healthy alternatives, such as reading, projects, play and interaction with parents, siblings, and friends.

12. Spend an hour reading Scripture, a Christian book or magazine, or doing a ministry for each hour you watch TV. (It’s not enough to get rid of the bad—go out of your way to renew your mind by filling it with the good).

13. Consider dropping cable, Showtime, HBO, or any other service that you determine is importing ungodliness or temptation into your home. (Many people who are fatigued find themselves morally vulnerable to flipping on ungodly programs late at night. In the moment of strength make decisions that will prevent temptation in the moment of weakness—get rid of the source when you can).

14. If you find you can’t control it—or you’re tired of the battle—get rid of your television.

Categories: Andrew's Blogs
  1. Heather
    August 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    When I was 5 my parents got rid of our TV and didn’t get another one until I was in college. You can imagine how weird our neighbors and friends thought we were. There were times we thought we lived with the meanest parents ever but the reality is that I still saw quite a bit of tv between babysitting jobs and visits with friends and family so really wasn’t missing a whole lot. One big result of not having a tv during was that my brothers and I all become voracious readers. We constantly had a book in our hands and still to this day all love to read. I am still not a big tv watcher and would be more than happy to keep it off. Thanks for the thoughts!

  2. Kimberly
    August 10, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Thank you so much for the great post! I cannot believe what we are willing to let into our home as Christians and I appreciate the concrete idea’s on how to approach television use.

    • August 11, 2009 at 1:58 pm

      What a good Idea! I was raised with out TV so I to became a avid reader but now days I Don’t see so well so don’t read as much and I do use the Computer to do my bible studies as I can make the print larger and I can print it out or fwd to friends.

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