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One of the favorite posts I’ve ever written was Wisdom from Children’s Bible Songs. In it, I mention the lyrics, “Oh be careful little eyes what you see.” It’s a song about guarding your heart by guarding your eyes and I think there is so much wisdom in that advice.
As adults, when we finally get old enough to watch whatever we want because our parents aren’t around to filter our options, we learn that watching a scene of people doing drugs… doesn’t suddenly make us want to run out and do drugs. And for me at least, it took a long time before I realized that just because I could watch something, didn’t mean that I should.
My criteria for what my husband and I watch is much stricter than it was when we first got married. I see now how easy it is to become a fuddy-duddy in your older age. It’s not that you’re confused about what’s cool or you feel like sinning is a disease that you can catch from your television, I think you just realize that life is short and you don’t need to be exposed to more ugliness in the world.
There is already enough actual violence and ugliness in the world. I don’t need to process and live through scripted violence. This is especially true for me when it comes to rape, kidnapping, or any harm befalling children. I have a hard enough time guarding my heart and not falling into endless worrying about my own children, I don’t need to add fear coming from a made-up, cinematic world on top of real world issues.
It’s also important to recognize our own weaknesses. My husband went to college when porn was prevalent in the dorm rooms and treated like a casual occurrence. After he became Catholic, he had to work hard to deny the impulse to click around in the murky waters of the internet. I’m glad that he was able to manage that issue before we got married but I know that I have to be sensitive to this issue for him.
Even though I can watch sex scenes or topless women and feel completely unaffected by it, he cannot. He says those images linger in his mind and then he feels guilty every time they pop up. That sounds awful to me and I don’t want to contribute to that struggle for him, in any way. We use VidAngel in our house to cut out sex scenes and nudity.
In marriage, you’re a team and to support my husband, I don’t watch any sex on television. Yes, that means I cut out all the steamy scenes from Outlander that I hear people talk about. We sensor Game of Thrones too. I’m thankful for VidAngel because there were a lot of shows we avoided altogether previously that we are now able to watch.
The other big category of shows that we censor are what I like to call “Make Me Want to Move” shows. You see, the thing about censoring television, is you have to guard your eyes against things that are bad for your heart. When I watch shows like Fixer Upper or something with Property Brothers, I find that I am often suddenly unhappy with my perfectly good home.
I want beautiful white trim or built-in bookshelves. I want to remodel my kitchen or have different furniture. For me, this is just as dangerous as nudity can be for my husband. I suddenly find myself feeling ungrateful for what I have and feeling greedy about what I think I “deserve.”
If you can watch a remodeling show and not feel bad about yourself or your home, watch it. If you can watch sex scenes in Outlander and not grapple with sinful thoughts, go for it.
Everything I write about always incorporates self-awareness. You need to know what you can and can’t handle. Do not watch any television show or movie that makes you feel unhappy about your life. If you can’t watch hallmark Christmas movies because you suddenly feel that your husband isn’t romantic enough, then stop doing it.
Ladies, we need to guard our eyes.
There are many ways that we need to exercise this other than just what we watch on our television sets. I don’t often go to Nordstrom anymore because I feel really inadequate walking through those aisles of expensive and trendy clothes. I don’t feel that way about other stores so I just protect myself in the ways I know I need to.
Work on identifying the shows or movies you tend to watch that make you feel bad later. You may even enjoy watching them but if you find that after a Master Chef marathon, you start beating yourself up for your simple dinners, that might not be a show you can watch anymore.
I also suggest talking with your husband about what kind of shows you’re willing to watch together or separately. Be a team and fight for each other. Your job is to get your husband to heaven. Don’t let trendy shows make his path more difficult.
Guard your eyes. Nothing is worth sinning even one time. Don’t lie to yourself that some sins are small and so they don’t matter. All the moments we turn away from God are hurtful. There are always consequences when we don’t walk with Jesus.