Today I ran across a highly relevant message that needs to be spread far and wide. Our culture thrives on entertainment. We we moved from Nashville in 2005, we tossed our TV in the move. I tell you, this has been one of the greatest decisions I have made as the leader of my household. The downside? When we want to watch a Christian video like "The Return of the Daughters" our entire family crowds around our small computer screen to view it. Is it worth it? Absolutely. The upside? Our children are not exposed to the filth that comes across the air waves or the cable system. Even if we found "quality" programs for them to watch, the time wasted in viewing these mindless programs has been recaptured. Not to mention the avoiding of mindless video game playing that would result had we purchased one of the "latest and greatest" Wii systems or other such time wasters.
Another facet of leaving behind the entertainment culture is our deliberate abandonment of organized sports. In Nashville, it was not uncommon for us to spend 2 or 3 nights a week sitting in the bleachers while our children practiced basketball. During another season, that time was spent on the sidelines of the soccer field. Then several hours out of every Saturday was devoted to showing up to these games. At the time we "only" had five children, and the little ones were too young to participate. I couldn't imagine the hassle if we were still trying to live out this American pastime with seven children, five of which would probably be old enough to participate at least on some level.
Fellow Christian, what is our goal in all this? Why the fascination with kicking a ball around or sitting for hours in front of a screen watching mindless chatter about unimportant topics? The case can be made for exercise when it comes to sports, but couldn't our children get this exercise in pursuit of more meaningful actions? Some healthy manual labor can cause children to work up a sweat and increase their heart rates. Doesn't it seem that the disadvantages of team sports far outweigh any derived benefits from the exercise obtained, in terms of time away from family, bad influences of other children, instilling a worldly desire to "be first," etc., etc., etc.
Perhaps the biggest danger to this entertainment driven culture is the perpetuation of immaturity in the lives of our sons. There is a dearth of godly young men that will be prepared to marry an ever increasing supply of godly young ladies. As a father of three daughters this concerns me greatly. When my daughters are ready to marry will there be qualified young men who can demonstrate their ability to lead a household? Will there be defenders of the faith who are prepared to "stand in the gates" of their city? Will I even have the fortitude to insist upon men of spiritual maturity in a world that downgrades that importance so harshly? I pray I will, and I am committing to my daughters that I will. My daughters will marry men of rock solid integrity. They will marry men who have not spent all their teen years in pursuit of sporting trophies or in memorization of lines from movies. My daughters will marry men of God who are well studied in the scriptures and can coherently discuss with me finer points of doctrine. Or else...my daughters will remain single and in my household. I refuse to hand them over to immature fools who have no vision or purpose in their lives.
This is an indictment not just to all you fathers of sons, but to me as well. I am raising four sons whom I pray each will marry one of those ever increasing supply of godly young ladies that I discussed earlier. It is hard to raise such men of character in a society that does all it can to foster immaturity and the love of entertainment in our boys. Yet, by the grace of God, I am committed to doing just that.
Scott Brown has recorded a message that nails this subject. The title for his message is the title of this blog entry. Listen to an audio clip from it by clicking here.