Do You Need TV Boundaries?


It is possible to live in our media-saturated culture without compromising your commitment to God's Truth.

I am focusing my attention on the subject of media. But this is really more a conversation about boundaries. You won't hear me saying "all media is bad," and I won't be asking you to unplug your TV, cancel your Internet service, and refuse to ever see another movie. That doesn't seem like a realistic approach to me. 

As is the case in all areas of our lives, our choices are a reflection of our hearts. I most desire to impassion you to trust God's standards in this area. I want you to know how to live in our media-saturated culture without compromising your commitment to God's Truth. And I want you to develop the ability to discern what is healthy and what is toxic to your hearts and lives. 

As part of that conversation, I want to share with you some of the decisions others have made. I recently spoke with Nancy about the parameters she has for television watching. I think you'll find her insights food for thought that's worth chewing on.

Erin: What made you decide to re-evaluate your TV viewing habits? 

Nancy: I grew up without TV. So I wasn't really a media consumer. But after years of living alone, I'd get home from a long day of work and use the TV for decompressing. I wasn't watching bad stuff. I didn't have cable. But I realized I was vegging out a lot and that it was sapping spiritual vitality and my hunger for spiritual things. I am kind of an addictive person as opposed to self-controlled. I'm pretty all or nothing. So my television habits weren't really bad, but they weren't good.

Erin: So what specific boundaries did you establish?

Nancy: I decided not to watch television alone. After months and years of putting off that conviction, I finally made that commitment and followed through. With very few exceptions, I have kept that commitment. 

Erin: What was the result?

Nancy: Within a very short period of time, I noticed such a dramatic difference in my sensitivity to spiritual things—in my heart and hunger for spiritual things. It was revival! I just felt like God had set me free. One year later I spoke to Campus Crusade. That, in God's providence, ultimately resulted in Revive Our Hearts. 

It has been a checkpoint in my life. I've decided that I am going to be intentional. I am not just going to leave the TV on. It has been a good safeguard. There have been times when I have watched television since then. And when I went back to it, I realized that what I was watching wasn't as clean as I thought it was. 

One seemingly small decision, to refrain from watching television alone, has had a tremendous impact on Nancy's life and the lives of many others. That is the power of being intentional in our media habits. 

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