Thursday, October 12, 2006
This won't be a popular post!
There used to be a time in my life not too long ago where I could not leave a grocery store without purchasing magazines. Not only did I buy them in the grocery stores but I also had subscriptions. US Weekly, People, Lucky, InStyle and many more. Whenever we went on a vacation, it was nothing for me to spend $30.00 on nothing but magazines for the plane ride or car ride to our destination. I must say there is nothing more satisfying than sitting on a beach or on the deck of a gigantic cruise liner reading about Nick and Jessica or whatever other poor couple is being scrutinized.

A few months ago, the Holy Spirit began to really convict me of my obsession with these magazines. Are these magazines really something that is beneficial to me? Oh sure I can flip the pages for the hottest fashion trends but is that all I truly come away with. Do these magazines contribute to my self esteem or do they make me wish the lines on my face were a little less noticeable or that my pores were a little smaller? Do they make me wish my hair was like Jessica Simpson's (I mean her hair extensions) or my abs were like Sarah Jessica Parker's? Do they make me want to dress a certain way, look a certain way? And why do I care so much about Jen and Vince? Do the details of their life really make a difference in mine?

Okay ladies, don't lie to yourself. Don't try to justify this. I realize that we all have different convictions and some of us are not convicted about some things while others are. I totally understand this. But in a world where women struggle with their weight, their self esteem, their marriages, their relationships and their self worth, HOW CAN THESE MAGAZINES BE A POSITIVE THING IN YOUR LIFE?

Yesterday I was at my Mom's salon getting my hair done. As I sat under the dryer I needed something to read. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something that I had been dying to read. It's the hottest celebrity news, right? JEN AND VINCE! The Breakup! They should have seen that one coming since they already did a movie with that title! So I picked it up and began to read every page of the US Weekly. Guess what? I enjoyed every second of it. Some may say, "Hey, it's okay. God doesn't love you any less because you read a few trash magazines!" Correct, he doesn't love me any less.

And then there is my love relationship with TiVo/DVR. Oh how I love that thing! Staying at home with kids all day long can be difficult at times. The entertainment factor only goes so far in reaching the woman in me. But Grey's Anatomy, now that one speaks to many parts of me. I like to be different, I don't like to do something that everyone else is doing. I would rather be the first to do it and let everyone else follow. So the hype on Grey's Anatomy was annoying to me. But I kept hearing McSteamy, McDreamy, McVet and I decided to watch the season premiere. That's all it took! One episode and I was hooked! It doesn't end there either. I love this season of Fall TV. All Summer I waited for the new shows to begin and finally they did! One show, two shows, three shows? No. I love LOST, Boston Legal, Brothers and Sisters, Survivor, The Nine, Six Degrees, and probably something else that I am forgetting. Oh but I have DVR so it's okay, right? I can watch it while the kids nap or after they go to bed. After all, an hour show is only thirty minutes when you watch it on TiVo or DVR.

I hate this subject! This won't be a popular blog. Since I have been blogging I have met countless Christian women that share a common addiction. It's called TV. Yes we can try to justify all we want. We can say it doesn't interfere with family time, quiet times or whatever else. We can say we don't support adulterous affairs, one night stands, a woman sleeping with two men at the same time yet different times. We are totally against abortion and drinking at bars, and so much more. That's right! As Christian women we are strong in our beliefs! We have no problem telling an alcoholic or drug addict how bad they need help because their addiction is dangerous! Right? But what about the addiction of TV? The addiction of HOLLYWOOD? Your Pastor's wife watches it, what's wrong if you do?

Oh the enemy is so dang sneaky. He preys on women in so many ways and we are too dumb to figure it out. We wonder why we feel fat, ugly, wrinkled, and insecure all over? We wonder how we can get rid of the cellulite, and make the boobs a little bigger or a little perkier. We see the hot romance between Meredith and the doctor AND the vet and we wish we could be romanced AGAIN? No,no,no. Not you! You have a good marriage, right? You have a healthy self esteem and you are totally comfortable in your own skin, right? These shows, these magazines, they don't cause you to stumble because you are a GODLY woman! Right.

We say we are Godly women, God chasing, God fearing, Bible reading women! We say that we will pray for each other, encourage one another and try to be "real" with one another. I don't see how that is truly possible when we have our heads stuck in an airbrushed world. I was reading something in the news the other day that shocked me. There is an actual list of Celebrities that do or don't look good on Hi-Def television. Unbelievable! Where do they get this from? Well, they get it from us! Actually, we are their biggest fans!

I am all for fashion, entertainment and fun. Clothes, shoes, hair, all of it have become kind of like a hobby for me. But as I seek Christ more and more and more and more daily, I can't help but wonder what other Godly women that I admire are busy doing. How about Beth Moore, Elisabeth Elliott, Ann Ruth Graham, Joyce Meyer, Women of Faith speakers? Are they slaves to TV, magazines or the entertainment world? Is Beth Moore Addicted to Grey's Anatomy? And yes, I say ADDICTION. I know I am. I love all of those shows and I can't possibly imagine NOT watching it tonight. BUT, I am thinking about all of this stuff and wondering how it can be right for some and not for others. Don't we have non-negotiables? How can we have love on the tip of our tongues at all times when our minds are totally filled with things of this world?

It's not a fun subject but something the Lord has been dealing with me on. Hey, I am not about to NOT share it with you. If I have to go through this, I'm not going through it alone. Remember, it can be something as simple and pure as American Idol OR some other show that doesn't show SEX. That's not always the point. It's more about our time and what all we are putting into our minds. How much is our relationship with Christ suffering?

This morning as I was preparing breakfast in the kitchen, I turned the TV on in the playroom to watch the news. Something came on that shocked me. It shocked me because I realized that someone out there was "getting" it. Someone out there is trying to show all of us women to be "real" women. But as long as we are addicted to so many things in this world, we cannot be the "real" women HE created us to be. Instead our desires will be for the all that the airbrushed world has to offer.

We all know it started with Eve in the garden. She was discontent and many times we are too. It's the curse we suffer. I long to meet women that will challenge me, encourage me and make me better. May I be taught that my value comes from HIM and not from this world. Is there a balance? Not sure but it's something we should all be thinking and praying about.

Don't be mad at me, I am just the messenger. There is no victory on my side yet, but I'm trying.

(You won't see me throwing my TV out, that is not what I mean. I like TV, I don't believe that having a TV is wrong. I will still read magazines and I will still watch certain shows but I am just questioning what has become an idol in so many of our lives.)

Watch THIS and you will see who's getting it! Campaign For Real Beauty

  posted at 11:19 AM

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Paula said...

Amanda~ Very good post. I do think this is a struggle for many women. At least it is mine. I have never been a magazine person, so I don't struggle with that. But TV?? Movies?? The thing is one, what whould God think. Two, what are we teaching are children. I struggle with it is not appropriate for Colton (not just age issues) so why is it appropriate for me? It is a slave.
I have tried really hard to cut TV out slowly. I would say I probably never will, but that is giving up before I try.
I have to say I am down to 1 hour in the morning and I don't turn it on til about 5pm. (I do let Colton watch his Bible songs though.) Not that is great. I wish I could keep it off. I wish I didn't HAVE to see what Meridith and Mc Dreamy are doing tonight!!
I have a friend who doesn't OWN a TV. The decision was made when her children were babies. All 6 are grown and moved on now. You wouldn't believe how smart, avid readers and close their relationship with God is. I think it is because TV wasn't a battle for their time.
The struggle really comes down to part of me wants to give it up, but the other is just not ready to. That is me being honest. Not to mention a husband who will NOT give up ESPN and movies.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger native-nc said...

I have felt this same pull. In fact I did a 'fast' from tv for several months one time. When I turned on the TV the next time I was shocked at what I had once accepted so easily.

Now I'm addicted as well. Still trying to find that balance. Thanks for sharing.

Love those shows as well. Survivor, LOST, Grey's Anatomy, etc. The list goes on.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Hi there! I had to comment today....

I used to be ADDICTED to General Hospital. I scheduled my life around it. I scheduled my children's naps around it. It was pretty bad. I started realizing that I had no "time" to read my bible daily but I could watch that show.

It didn't leave me with a really good feeling so I stopped cold turkey. It's been 4 months and I don't even care about it anymore. I fill my heart, mind and time with God's word and I've grown so much.

You nailed it on the head. Addictions (as innocent as they seem) need to be dealt with.

We all have to constantly reevaluate our relationship to God and make sure He is number 1 in our lives.

I also strongly believe in the "Garbage In - Garbage Out" theory.

Thanks for putting yourself out there!

At 12:09 PM, Anonymous Lela said...

Home fashion magazines! I would go to the library and check out 10 or More! Bring them back and get another 10 or more.My sister used to bring me all of her Us Weekly magazines; she had a subscription.I could not throw them away without looking at them and then, my eleven year old wanted to see them also. That bothered me. My sister moved far, so I don't see Us anymore. I also had 2 subscriptions to home fashion magazines; I've let them expire and I won't renew. When I go to the library, I don't get any magazines at all. Took me years, but the Lord took away my need for them. Really. We were not made for this world, but for the next. He longs to help us detach ourselves from the temporal and long for the eternal.I'm a little bit older than you; it takes time. The first step is recognizing it and He worked with me from there. As for TV, I have 4 children and there is no TV on school nights.So, I don't even keep up with what is on because there is football, supper, etc.

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Amanda-
You know I read your blog the other day and it really related to what I was thinking about lately and then I read today's and well... it awesome! You could not have said it any better. There was a time where I would not go somewhere because I wanted to watch a show... but that has changed like you I do watche certain shows but I really don't let it control me as to what I PLAN OR DO anymore. I really like your new blog and the design is so cute... take care
Veronica (aka: mighty minnie)

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Well some of you have it beat. I don't. No where close. Even now I am looking forward to tonight's TV schedule. In fact, I can't wait. But, I can't help but THINK about some of this stuff. As I watch tonight, I will see if there is a check in my spirit. I know when God is speaking to me and I know I have heard Him in this area but am I willing to really listen? That's the question!

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Dee said...

Preach it girl!! (As I stand blushing in the corner) Magazines, yes, girl, I can relate - that is what I stopped by Food Lion today on my way to pick up the kids so I would have reading material --- now, I don't subscribe, only buy them when they catch my eye (translates often)!!! Isn't it funny how we can know these things aren't always the most wholesome thing we could read, but the desire to know about Kevin/Brittany or Nick/Jessica or Brad/Angelina and their "celebrity lives" keep us looking for more?!?!??

My husband has commented before on this to me... I am not a big TV watcher, though I like me some "Days of Our Lives" (translated trash for the mind) and "Seventh Heaven" (hey - maybe there's a little redemption in that, the dads a preacher - LOL) but I can really waste some time in magazines.

To be perfect and to have no faults, wouldn't that be nice?!?! But here's the thing - we aren't. We will continue to fail from time to time.... but you are right - GOD STILL LOVES US THE SAME!!!!

Though I like to ponder now on the thoughts you tossed out about Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore,E. Eliot and more -- what are they doing with their time. I suppose that their time is well spent with the Father, enabling them to be the women they are! :)

Thanks for the thought provoking post Amanda - that's the way to keep it real girl!!! :)

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Tiffany said...

VERY timely and convicting!!!

I had stopped getting the "In Style", "O.K." magazines for a couple of months and then fell off the wagon the other day! :( I have recently thought that if I would just spend as much time in the WORD as I do those magazines and Entertainment shows (EXTRA, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD) much RICHER my soul would BE!!!!

I heard a sermon the other day and it really made sense, "All of those 'worldy' things that we allow into our lives are not 'dirt to be washed off', but 'SEEDS being planted in the heart.' And whether we like it or not...they WILL GROW!!!

Oh Jesus, help me truly make YOU the LORD of my life!!!!!

Good word, Amanda!

At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Wendy said...

Thanks Amanda, great things to think about.

I have always liked magazines like "In Style" and home magazines and decorating catalogs. I have noticed in myself that the more I look at these-the more discontent and unhappy I am with my looks and my house. Like you said, we are not all bothered by things to the same degree, but the big question is...Is making the most of my time? Obvious answer...NO.

I don't watch much TV anymore, but I know how much wasted time can be spent on that. I watched so much TV as a kid and can quote probably every 80's movie.
I read once that the average 70 year old has spent 10 years of their life watching TV. YIKES!

With 3 kids now and no TIVO it is much harder for me to watch TV, which is a good thing, but of course there are other things that we can waste our time on, like blogging.

I'd say I'm addicted to that and am trying to figure out different ways to find the balance. I'm not sure how long I will have a blog. I need to reevaluate these things all the time. I can see many benefits to it, but if I am letting it come before other more important things that is where the problem lies.

Wow, there's my novel, huh. Sorry. Obviously, I could go on, but I'll stop now. Thanks for reminding me about idols and being aware of these things...not just aware, but making changes too.

May we all grow more and more into His likeness everyday.

At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've struggled with the tv thing for a long time, and although we have seriously cut back esp during the day, it still has much allure. I limit myself to four shows--but they aren't the best ones for me. GA esp. Good post!


At 2:03 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

That is a great point Wendy. It can be more than TV. Many things can be a time waster.

Robin, thanks for stopping by. Yes, GA is so great and a definite show that will suck you right in. It only took one episode for me!

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Christy said...

I can understand this completely. I used to not be able to leave for school without taping Days of our Lives! I still watch the Bachelor.. there was a time when I'd have to watch it every week and now I forget it is on 1/2 the time! When I began to pray about my spiritual walk this is exactly the area he asked me to clean up. I was living just on the line... I was so far from the world (in my eyes) because I didn't do this or that but then I was so close to the world (just close enough to know I wasn't wrong so I thought). Just because I wasn't the one committing adultry it was okay... wrong! I was watching others do it. Just so I wasn't the one drinking wrong... I would be around it. It may not be this way for everyone but it is for me - it is either black or white .... no grey. I am a firm believer that what goes in comes out. The magazines.... oh that is me! I'd get one every single time I walked in a store! I had to repent and I haven't picked one up since... again, this may not be for everyone but this is when my life really changed! Honestly, the magazines were something he showed me to rid immediately the night I finally turned the situation over to him about having a baby. I was praying and asked God to reveal anything in my life that was keeping me from his blessings.... I longed to have a child.. several things I had to confess and haven't done or picked up since! I am not saying this is why he answered my prayer but I believe he does bless obedience! I have to say I was pregnant the next month! I like what you said about the check in your spirit... he knows we are human.. he just wants our obedience! I love your post and yesterdays ROCKED! I am waiting for your word - I've been praying too b/c I know once I get it it will be from heaven and it may not be what I 'want' to hear concerning my mother in law. Ha Ha!
Thank you for sharing your heart!

At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an awesome post Amanda! Thank you for your courage!!
I gave up magazines a few years ago for the same reasons you expressed in your post.

I think God has been whispering to me about TV too. I LOVE this seasons hits: brothers & sisters; men in trees; grey's anatomy; deal or no deal; and desperate housewives (yes, you heard me - this is, after all, true confessions)

So, I have to really figure this out but I want to come up with a schedule for myself. I don't want tv to ever come before my family or my prayer life or any other way I could or should be blessing my family. In all honesty, that is the extent to which God is convicting me (at least when it comes to tv) right now.

Thank you for calling us on to holiness sister!!!

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Michael Tompkins said...

The real problems with magazines and television is that it replaces life, the act of actually living and experiencing things. And the truth is that we can probably see more ABOUT life by watching a show about doctors in seattle then watching 8 strangers in New York City. But there is still no substitute like actually being out there, seeing and doing. It is the act of vicariousness through which we mind emotion and feeling.

It is far easier to be passive through all these easy means than take it upon ourselves and make life as we want it to. The inevitable risk is failing when we try. Fewer and fewer people are taking that risk.

There's a book called "Bowling Alone" that documents this throughout our entire culture, independent of religion or Christianity. And realizing it is teh first step in changing it; it's not sufficient in itself.

At 8:31 PM, Anonymous kilikina said...

I agree. Dumb air-brushed lives of holywood. Believe me I am NOT air-brushed. My husband grew up without a television, and he's helped me not have it on as often. We really don't watch it. We have considered getting rid of it but I just can't do it. :( However, we don't have cable or anything, the basic channels are all.....

At 9:37 AM, Blogger {Karla} said...

The tv thing is not my addiction -- don't watch it much.

But the magazines... ah, yes the magazines. If I was reading one, the house could fall down around me and I wouldn't notice.

I am doing the Daniel bible study (Beth Moore) and the first week she encourages participants to give up something as a reminder of seeking lives of integrity.

These magazines were my "give up" thing.

I LOVE that I can feel those ties being broken. That I don't have to have those magazines.

This was a great topic to write about.


At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was good.
I was actually watching a special on TV the other night about people who have struggled with Anorexia and they showed this clip of the Dove Campaign here. I sat and watched and I was shocked - I mean I have always know they airbrush the pictures but - they lengthen her neck and widen her eyes as well! That part shocked me - it is sad that this is what we compare ouselves to and try to live up to - b/c it is impossible.
Again - good post! Hope it was ok I pointed out the little extras they do the model - again I just remember being shocked they go to those lengths!

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Oh girl. I've got lots to read and catch up here... been a long busy week. I will email you... I do know just where you are on this. Boy do I know! Hugs and kisses to you! XO

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your blog today and just had to comment. You hit the nail on the head! This is something convicts me also. I haven't been a big magazine reader in a long time, but I can really be a couch potato. I've just had to make a decision to cut out shows that I really don't need to watch. I just have a few now and of course Grey's Anatomy is one of them.

I love your blog and I'll be checking back in.


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Mommy, Mama, Mandi, Amanda, Babe and whatever else you want to call me! How do I have time to blog with three kids under the age of four? I'm up until midnight and usually later!

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