Sunday, August 09, 2009

Randy Alcorn: Taking Charge of the TV

Posted by James Grant

Randy Alcorn has some helpful thoughts about taking charge of the television. You do not have to agree with all of it to benefit from his advice. Here are his points (but click through to read his reasons):
  1. Keep track of how much time you spend watching.
  2. Decide in advance how much TV to watch per week.
  3. Use a schedule to choose programs for the week--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.
  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.
  11. Don't use television as a baby sitter.
  12. Spend an hour reading Scripture, a Christian book or magazine, or doing a ministry for each hour you watch TV.
  13. Consider dropping cable, Showtime, HBO, or any other service that you determine is importing ungodliness or temptation into your home.
  14. If you find you can't control it--or you're tired of the battle--get rid of your television.
[HT: Josh Harris]