Contend Earnestly: Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Be Careful Little Eyes What You See

I can remember watching Leave It To Beaver when I was a kid and thinking that was the perfect American family. Dad would go of to his 9 to 5 job while the kids went to school and June Cleaver happily stayed home taking care of the house and the family while in high heels, pearls and a dress. Ironically some 50 years later the first lady of the United States Hillary Clinton would mock the June Cleaver and her cookie baking. Really what was being attacked was the idea that the Cleavers lifestyle represented an outdated Judeo-Christian 50’s lifestyle, which doesn’t work anymore.

American families have come a long way since the days of Leave It To Beaver and Father Knows Best. Americans spend more time than ever watching other families in movies and TV. Take a moment to think about the most popular families on screen today. Shows like The Sopranos, The Osbournes and this year’s phenomenally successful movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding demonstrate pop culture’s unprecedented embrace of households that make no attempt to seem normal. There is a trend to focus on weird, eccentric, even combative intact families.

Before you think that I’m trying to be a killjoy I will start by saying that one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time was My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I really had a good time watching the movie with wife. With that said I would pick on this movie for this topic.

So what’s wrong with My Big Fat Greek Wedding (MBF)? MBF glamorizes many traditional values such as:
1.The relationship between the mother and father contains manipulation on both sides. Mother and daughter conspire against the father.
2.The mother is the true head of the family even though the father has the louder bark. I’ll never forget this statement, “The man may be the head but the woman is the neck and the neck turns the head.”
3.The daughter sneaks around behind her parents back. Nia goes to school under false pretenses and begins a relationship in secret.
4.The daughter engages in pre marital activities.
5.This charming couple comes from different religious backgrounds. Not only are they unequally yoked but also they belittle their own faiths.
6.The family as a whole is constantly bickering with each other.
7.The subtle hint of racism. As a proud Greek the father had difficulty accepting any other nationality.

Why am I pointing this out? When you formulate what your family is going to be like and pictures of these dysfunctional families race through your mind what kind of impact do you think they might have if any? Don’t think that shows like Married with Children, What about Ray, and even cartoons like the Simpson’s haven’t already penetrated into your mind.

The TV show Everyone Loves Raymond glorifies many marital struggles as if they are okay. The parents seem to dislike being with their children. The in-laws live across the street and are constantly intruding on Ray’s family. The husband is a wimp who doesn’t want, desire, or accept headship in his family. The wife hates the husband’s friends, family and any hobby Ray seems to have. The couple’s favorite sport is ridiculing one another. The whole show is based are arguments and family strife. There is never any real conflict resolution.

As funny as Everyone Loves Raymond may be, who would want to have a family like theirs? What TV family would you like to pattern your family after? When was the last time you saw a devout Christian family on TV? The last show I can remember was 7th Heaven, which had more family problems than any show I’ve ever seen.

Unfortunately we don’t have examples of family life in the Bible. We do find principles for family living throughout the pages of Scripture by which we can follow. More important we have our own families and we have church families.

The next time your thinking about watching a movie or a few hours of TV maybe you should spend some time fellowshipping at some church members home watching how they set up shop. And if you want drama try reading Genesis and the family of Abraham, Jacob and Moses.

When James warns us about being adulteresses do we listen? We must be very careful what we fill our minds and hearts with. The enemy is cleaver and subtle. He finds his way into our lives through beauty and humor which the world generously gives us through meda and art

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whover wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4

Are we going to find the path of righteousness through movies, music and sitcoms? What is a family? What are the roles of husband, wife, and children? The bible teaches us the following while the world contradicts every foundation principle that we cling to:

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as the Lord. Ephesians 5:22

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching , reproof, correction and training in righteousnes, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

For whatever you do whever you eat or drink do for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

Blessed in the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand in the path of sinners or sit in the seat of scoffers for his delight is in the law of the Lord. And in His law he meditates day and night Psalm 1:1-2

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 1:7

How can we start our day bathing ourselves in the pure water of our Lord only to spend the rest of the day in the filthy lake of the devil? Be alert! Be on guard! Be ready!

I say all this to my own shame. As you can tell by my descriptions of some of the shows above I have watched them and have remembered them so clearly that I can review what I have seen years ago. What does that tell us about the impact of those shows?

So put on your full armour and make sure that you are careful what your little eyes might see.


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