I recently attended a homeschool conference. It was a good conference, and I hold the speakers in high esteem. I’ve read many of their books. But one thing became clear to me early on in the conference: whatever God convicted the speakers for, they felt everyone should adhere to their rules. The speakers have a dynamic walk with God, and I don’t doubt that God has led them to have the rules they have. But a lot of their rules don’t apply to everyone across the board.
In fact, Scripture says that those who are mature will have more freedom, and that people who are less mature will have more rules. The Bible is very clear about this. At the same time, if God convicts you of sin in a certain area, if you get rid of that area of sin, God is pleased. To take back that area of sin would be sin.
Take, for example, the television. They tell everyone that TV, or “the beast,” should be thrown in the trash; that it’s a sin to own a TV. I know a lot of people who have gotten rid of their TV’s, and their family life has thrived. It’s great to get rid of your TV, if God so leads you. But it’s not a sin to own a TV. My children watched Creation vs. Evolution debates on DVD’s on our TV. They have grown in their knowledge of God’s Word because of those DVD’s. But to be honest, in most homes, the TV is an idol. It is on every evening no matter what. In my own home, many evenings my husband and I have a cup of chamomile tea and talk quietly about God, or life, or a struggle I’m having. The TV is off. We are just sitting there for hours having a deep conversation. I know this is unusual, though, in most homes. My husband and I also like several shows that we watch together. We laugh and enjoy our time together, commenting on what’s going on during the commercials. Our children watch educational videos and DVD’s, and they learn an immense amount.
For many people, though, they can’t just have a little bit. They have to have tons. It’s just like drinking alcohol. Jesus drank alcohol, so it’s not sin. But many people go overboard by having tons. They drink too much, getting so drunk that they can’t stand up. (This doesn’t mean that people who have self-control in that area are sinning. I know many Christians who drink in moderation and don’t get drunk. But well-meaning people force other people to have the rule of not drinking because theoretically people could end up sinning if they drink.) It’s the same with TV or any other area of life. Anything can become an idol by wanting too much of it. Just look at what you look forward to in your life. Whatever it is will probably be an idol. (Not always, but usually.)
Something else about television: it is a tool that you can use for good or for evil. It’s very similar to the internet. If your heart is right with God, the internet can draw you closer to God. There are so many sermons and spiritually convicting articles and blogs. Plus, you can find out how to clean Sharpie marker off the wall, and other practical things. It can be used for good.
My husband and I were having a conversation last night, and he mentioned the fact that people who don’t have a TV are usually prideful and look down on people who do have a TV. I said, “What if they’re right? What if it’s like a paradise, with the whole family linking arms, swaying, and singing Kumbaya? In other words, if the house is quiet and you have nothing to do, men would play more games with their kids and talk to them more.”
“That’s not going to happen. It’s a heart issue. They’ll replace the TV with another idol to avoid their children and to de-compress. They’ll get a hobby, like going into the garage and working on a motorcycle. Family life will not be better just by getting rid of the TV,” my husband said. Parents can interact with their children and have a great family life, even if there is a TV in the house, in other words.
The speakers also believe in courting. Now, this sounds great, but dating isn’t necessarily sin. My husband and I dated, and we were pure on our wedding night. It’s not necessarily sin to be one-on-one with the person you’re planning to marry. Presumably we have given our children good values, and playing around doesn’t really have a place in that. For example, my 8-year-old said, “When I’m a parent…” and I forgot what else he said. He meant, “When I’m an adult….” but because it’s normal for adults to be married and have children, that’s what he considers normal. Restrictions and suffocation aren’t necessarily the way to go when dealing with adult children. It seems like by then they know God and are under His authority, and they fear Him. But who knows? I might change my mind when my kids get older, especially for my daughter. For some reason I believe my sons will make good choices for their future spouse. Already they love God with all their hearts and want to serve Him. If you’ve raised them right, it seems like courting would be a non-issue.
The speakers are also anti-sports, but I will deal with that as a separate topic. Since I hate sports, it would be so easy to go along with what they said, but they were wrong in a lot of their reasoning. However, like I said, if God was prompting them to take their kids out of sports, it would have been disobedience for them not to do it. So they did the right thing for their family, but what they failed to say was, “Seek God’s will for your own family.”Tweet