The first reality TV show I ever remember flipping by was Temptation Island. The name says it all. A group of men and women were stranded on a tropical island together, with the ultimate goal of tempting each other away from their significant others. It was like watching a train wreck–I just couldn’t look away. Did people really do this kind of thing!? What were they thinking? I had to know what they were going to do. Were they going to succumb to the temptation or stand strong? Which one did I really want them to do? Unfortunately, I couldn’t use the excuse that it was just a show because this was “real” life!
But It’s Just So Tempting!
Have you ever been there? Totally swept away…in filth? Yet something inside you is crying, “Don’t look away! You might miss something!”
The song “ Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See” comes to mind. What once was rated “R” now seems to be PG-13. Some PG-13 movies make me blush.
We try not to watch too much TV around our house, but it is handy for relaxing. In the evenings, when all I want to do is find something good to watch, it’s getting harder and harder. I’m increasingly more aware that I need to turn the TV way down to make sure the kids can’t hear what is going on with the character’s love lives or the words they are using. Sometimes the Holy Spirit moves, and I realize that watching that kind of thing isn’t relaxing for me. Things that don’t honor God shouldn’t be enjoyable for someone who loves Him. The simple truth is, if it’s not something I want my kids to see, there is a good chance I shouldn’t watch it either.If it’s not something I want my kids to see, there is a good chance I shouldn’t watch it either.#TV… Click To Tweet
What Can We Do When We Feel Convicted?
Option #1: Ignore That Pesky Feeling of Conviction
Haven’t we all done this at one time or another? We may be having a great time and then, all of the sudden, this feeling comes seemingly out of nowhere. We can question if God is really trying to tell us something and reason it away. If we look hard enough, we can come up with a seemingly good excuse to keep on watching junk. We might be able to find several “good” excuses. But that feeling of conviction is there to guide us. If you keep ignoring it, it will go away. That doesn’t mean it will go away because you matured enough to handle the wrongdoing. It simply means that the hedge of protection that God placed around your heart, your armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) is weakening. You can read more about that here.
Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19 ESV
So what’s the alternative? We could live like the Amish and shun electricity and modern conveniences. Or, we could pick Option #2 or #3.
Option #2: Forget TV Altogether
TV has a snowball effect. I was a strict 30 minutes of TV per day momma when I only had one child. Once my second child got old enough to watch TV (around the age of 2), it didn’t seem fair that the oldest always got to pick since they were always together. He didn’t want to watch her baby shows, so it didn’t seem fair for her to pick either. So they both picked and it became an hour. Then came child number 3. I tried to set boundaries and reign the kids in, but that only led to arguing and tears.
This led me to long for the day the TV would break. Then I would be able to just throw it all away and declare our house a no TV zone. Then it actually happened. I had visions of family read-alouds at night. We would all learn musical instruments and form a family band. It would be beautiful.
Except real life creeped in. Who had energy to sit around and teach the kids to play instruments after dinner? We just needed to zone out for a few minutes once the kids were in bed. So the computer became our hub for entertainment. You can stream movies! The only difference was that the reception wasn’t nearly as clear. So we got another TV.
Option #3: Find Something Better to Focus On–Like Pure Flix
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 ESV
I had heard about Pure Flix for a while, but perhaps the stigma of the Christian movie scene from 20 years ago plagued me. (Cheesy!) I wasn’t sure it was worth a try. Maybe it was better to just try to keep the TV turned down and turn my head when I needed. But a lack of anything “good” to watch finally led me to give in and give the month-long Pure Flix free trial a shot. I’m so glad that I did.
What’s on Pure Flix?
- Were there some cheesy movies? Of course there were a few. There was even a dating show called It Takes a Church where the people in the church played matchmaker! At least it was much cleaner than other dating shows I have seen!
- There were also great movies that had been in theaters, like God’s Not Dead 2.
- There were movies that reminded me of something that could have been on the Lifetime Channel. My favorite thing I watched on Pure Flix was a movie called Time Changer. It’s a about a Bible college professor from the 1800s. He writes a book about why it’s okay to not mention Jesus when teaching moral standards. He thought Jesus’ ideas should be taught without using Jesus’ name, just in case anyone would be offended by the name of Jesus. When one of his fellow professors won’t agree to endorse the book, the author is whisked away to present day in a time machine. He learns first hand what happens to the world when morals are taught without the name of Jesus. The ending was especially inspiring, but I won’t ruin it for you!
- Wholesome classics, like the Pilgrim’s Progress and The Little Princess, were on Pure Flix too.
- Superbook sends a couple of kids back in time to experience Bible stories as they are happening. I love that it tackles stories that aren’t told as often–like where Satan came from!
- Owlegories is a newer series that is incredibly cute. It’s biblical allegories told by owls. The songs get stuck in your head and you don’t even mind! There are famous guests at the end of each episode that provide a further explanation of the concepts taught. My kids loved it when Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty was on the show. In the cartoon portion, he was a duck named Uncle Fly.
- Auto-B-Good teaches Christian morals with animated cars. My kids have watched this series since they were small, but my 10 year old still likes it. All the kids were excited to find episodes of it that they had never seen before.
- Several tried and true Christian Veggie Tales shows, the ones with Bible verses and not just good morals, are on Pure Flix too.
- The Torchlighters series that explores famous Christian heroes is another great show on Pure Flix that your kids should check out. Just be aware that they address hard issues like Christian persecution. Some are more younger-kid-friendly than others.
- Awesome Science is a show I wish we had had more time to watch. Kids explain famous locations with a creation science view. Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Glacier National Park are just a few of the places they visited. Our family will definitely be catching more episodes of this in the future.
- Drive Thru History is a popular homeschool show, but if you have Pure Flix you can watch it for free!
- Popular Mechanics for Kids is an oldie, but a goodie. My kids were shocked to learn that it wasn’t a new show. It’s one of their all time favorites.
If you enjoy these ideas, you might also be interested in the free month-long curriculum that Pure Flix offers homeschool parents. Here are a few more tips and suggestions specifically for homeschoolers:
There were lots of other shows we didn’t have yet to explore on Pure Flix. Are there other decent shows out there to watch not on Pure Flix? Sure! For just a few dollars more than Netflix, however, I have a peace of mind knowing that I will most likely be comfortable with any of the shows my family chooses. Happy and safe TV watching!
What rules does your family have for television? Which services do you use to stream shows? What is your favorite wholesome show or movie?
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