God’s Family Promises: TV and the Family

Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt


Time is a family gift. Time is a God-provided resource for us to use purposefully.  Time is a way of measuring the meaning of our lives.  Time is for love, worship, work, and re-creation.  


Of the 24 hours in each day, the average amount of television watched by an individual recently increased 3 minutes per day to 4 hours & 35 minutes (Nielsen Media Research).  That is more than one day per week that people sit in front of a TV set. 

Therefore, let’s talk about time, faith, and the television.


Ten Points for Our Television Viewing

1. Have a family room with a TV, not a TV room with a family.

2. Live life before and after watching the TV program.  TV is to enrich our living and not meant to be our life in service of TV.

3. Channel surf only once per viewing.  Don’t zone out.

4. Mute the sound during commercials and talk to whoever is in the room with you.  Even your cat or dog will be glad for the attention.

5. Keep books with brief readings near your TV. 

6. Avoid brain rot or heart disease.  Don’t let yourself be insulted by programs that dumb you down or clog the heart arteries of your soul.

7. Fast from the TV.  Taking an occasional break from the TV prevents the TV from controlling your life.

8. Avoid vicarious sinning via the TV.  Don’t release your temptation for revenge or sexual encounter through screen characters.  Imagining yourself as the sinning character sticks in your soul until purged.  Interpret for children any questionable scenes.  The moral talk can be bonding.

9. Enjoy one regular program to the extent you give yourself permission not to answer the telephone during the show.

10. Spend equal or more time in a spiritual experience (e.g., Bible reading and praying) as the amount of time you spend with TV for entertainment.


Television is meant for enrichment … not impoverishment.  Meaningful family life requires quality & quantity time to be effective.  As you think about T.V. & family, also consider the following:


Family communication is as REAL reality TV.  Communication is about our understanding and being understood.  To be understood is a heart desire shared by each of us.  God’s Golden Rule applies here as in all cases for human affairs.  Give understanding to others as you would like to be understood.


Family is our home base for meaningful relationships.  From the home, we extend out to friends as family, church friends as faith family, co-workers, school friends, friends of shared interests, and social friends formed as we are out & about living each day.  Effective communication determines the quality in these relationships, and our relationships reflect the degree of our happiness.  So being a good communicator is essential.  If we learn how to understand and be understood in our families, we’ve got the foundation laid for all our relationships to be meaningful.


Not surprisingly, we see the best communication for life-practice played out from Jesus’ life.


Perfectly, Jesus knew how to understand others and give people the clearest opportunity to understand Him.  Luke 2:41-52 illustrates how families and friends can communicate effectively by asking the right questions, listening to understand, sharing to be heard, growing from the pain & joy, and applying lessons learned.


The following are five bonus lessons learned from their encounter:


1. Don’t be distracted from understanding the other person even if you have to delay your own needs to be understood.


2. Parents, work hard to find the best words to communicate the right response for your children to understand what’s important.  Don’t talk to aggravate.  Don’t push their buttons to get the edge.


3. Children, listen for understanding and share to be understood.


4. Trust.  Give each other the benefit of doubt.


5. When you feel disagreements arising, ask, “Help me understand.”  Most disagreements are caused by misperceiving the person’s intent.  It is better to stay focused than investing the extra time & efforts to recover from the fallout of unnecessary disagreements.


Pastor Les Hollon


Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover.  When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.  After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.  Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day.  Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends.

When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.  After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.  Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.  When his parents saw him, they were astonished.  His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this?  Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”  But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.  But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.  And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

-Luke 2:41-52


This article was written by Les Hollon, Pastorof Trinity Baptist Church.  For more information about God and your place in His world, contact Dr. Hollon, click over to Trinity Baptist Church.


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Posted on 21 January, 2010 in Finance & Family, Parenting, Spirituality
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