I received this delightful email a few days ago and they gave me permission to share it on the blog as it might be an encouragement for other families. Steve
“Hello! I’ve written to your family before and just wanted to let you know about a momentous event in our household. Today the tv (aka, the beast) finally went where it belonged-the curb for the garbage men to pick up today. You don’t even know how big this is, and very strangely, a little scary too!(that’s our culture’s indoctrination saying that you’re crazy if you don’t have a tv). The phrase about the “beast” going to the curb stuck with me after hearing Steve mention it at a conference we attended in Plymouth, PA some time ago. Even though we only used the tv when sick and only for videos, it always turned into watching more and more. Then the children would start to regularly ask for it, and I would give in. Not anymore! I feel freedom and am excited about this!! The children weren’t so excited when we first explained it to them, but I kindly emphasized that it wasn’t a punishment, but simply a matter of what’s best for them. They are very resilient and after about 5 min. they were fine and ready to go outside to throw the football around!” A Free Family
12 thoughts on “Free at Last!!!!!”
I would love to get rid of my “beast”, but I am waiting (not always so patiently) on the Lord to tell my husband it needs to go.
I loved the Aug. 6th post, Free At Last. I am excited for this family.
My family has just been through a similar situation. For years I had seen
reason to trash our TV due to all the trash it seem to bring into our home.
Unfortunatley, I was not getting the support I needed on this decision
from my spouse. I was very burdened about this idiot(as I’ve heard it
referred) box being allowed to stay in home. I knew all I could do was
take it to my Heavenly Father. About two months ago, I came across
a book called, A TV Free Week. It is a book that challenges those in your
family to sign a pact, stating you will not turn on the TV for any purpose
for a week(It does not use KJV Bible references in it, so being a KJV
family, when it came to a Bible reference, I either just read the refer-
ence or I read the verse from my KJV Bible). We were to use the time we would usually spend watching TV, doing something with the family. It gives a list of suggestions in the back. Playing board games, going outside, etc. It also challenges you to only use your computer for educational purposes only and to only allow your kids to watch educational videos and DVDs. However, for our family, just getting the boob tube turned off permantely was a challenge and more prayer would have to go up for decisions on the videos, DVD’s and internet.. I must mention here one fact that was also involved with this challenge. We did not have cable or satellite and would be one of the houesholds who would be losing our free signal next year, we had been able to receive for so long, unless we bought a converter box. My husband was considering buying the converter box so he could continue getting the news, weather and sports. However he knew it was getting harder to watch the news and sporting events with out the kids having to see and hear things, mostly through commercials, we do not approve of. This book mentions you can always use the newspaper, radio and or internet(you must be careful here also) for your news, weather and sports. I believe alot could be said here, but, where the sporting events are concerned, each family must pray for guidance in their own situation.
Six of seven family members signed the pact. Our seventh family member is only two, so we did not require this of him, lol. There were
two who did not want to, but we said it was for a week and we gave them no choice. They thought they were going to die, but they made it.
They had withdrawl symptoms and I assured them they would survive.
I even unhooked and hid the rabbit ears to help remove temptation.
I’m thankful to say we made it. Furthermore, I asked my husband if we
could see how long we could go with out it and he said, ok.
That was June 25th(over a month ago), and praise the Lord we are still
a TV free family. I know this really isn’t that long, but for our family, this is progress. Congratulations to the Free Family. I am proud for
you. I believe being TV free can literally relieve you of some stress.
It has for me. Oakman, Al.
We have tried to get rid of our TV several times over the last year and a half, since going to one of your conferences in Virginia. We said,”We’ll just use it for DVD’s”. Even with only that capability and carefully selected movies, we used it too much. It was a babysitter. Anyway, when we moved this May to Mississippi, we decided ahead of time to make that the transition point. We got rid of our TV just before the move and never looked back! I never missed it and the kids have not missed it either. The kids’ behavior is better and they spend their time doing more constructive things. The only people with a difficult time adjusting were the grandparents, who hardly ever visit, but didn’t really believe we could do anything so drastic! Anyway, thank you for the good advice and encouragement to do the right thing. We really appreciate it!
We enjoy our TV … in carefully chosen, limited amounts.
Our ten children (ranging from 6 to 29) are all sweet, godly children who have a genuine love for the Lord and serving Him. And yet, they all have watched television from time to time.
I will give an example:
Last night we all (parents, the eight children still living at home, and our married son, his wife and our two grandchildren) watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics. While watching, we talked alot of China – its people, its culture, its spiritual needs. We enjoyed the “geography lesson” as we watched the parade of nations enter the stadium. Then when it was over, we prayed together as a family. We prayed for China and specifically for those we know who are trying to reach the lost there in that country.
That is just one example of how we enjoy our TV and yet use it as entertainment, education, and still maintain our families spiritual focus.
I respect those who choose otherwise for their family and trust that we can be respected for our choices too.
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
The issue is not whether one enjoys it. What is there not to enjoy when being entertained? The question is whether it is God’s best to feed children’s appetite for being entertained? Even if one screens the shows, it is almost impossible to protect from the many wicked, sensual commercials. Those are impressed on the minds of all who watch. The Holy Spirit through Paul says in Romans 16:19, “… I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”
Compare sitting around watching a TV show to a family getting together and having a wonderful time reading the Bible together. My experience has been that most who watch TV, even in limited amounts struggle to have a quality family Bible time EVERY night.
If TV time is according to your family goals, then that is truly between you and the Lord. However, our goal on Titus2 is to encourage families to much higher goals. Think about how much better to have a family time in the Word, and then pray for China.
We know many who think their children are being lights in a public school. However, Scripture says that, â€œThat we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive,â€ (Ephesians 4:14). Children will be affected by godless humanistic teaching in schools and on the TV.
Certainly, we respect a familyâ€™s right to choose, but we canâ€™t help feeling sad about their choice.
With love and concern,
This is such an encouraging post, and the other comments are encouraging to us as well. We have tried to be tv-free on and off also for the past 18 months or so. I have verbalized the greatest desire and have the support from my husband, but when we try to go “tv free” the children end up finding unsafe ways to play. They are 3 years, 2 years, and 4 months, and I find it so difficult to get much done around the house (laundry, cooking, anything!) because they decide during those times that I briefly try to take my attention to something else to jump off the furniture or wrestle (or climb bookcases, or chase the cat, etc., etc….I have all boys), which usually ends up in someone getting hurt. I am not sure what I’m to do about this. . . with all little ones I have felt that the tv keeps them calmer when I do my chores, so that I can look away for a few minutes without someone getting hurt! We despirately want to be tv-free, this post is encouraging, and Terry and Steve- if you have any helpful tips, they would be greatly appreciated! Congratulations to all you who are free from the beast!!
For the early years of our marriage we were without a beast until the children came down with chicken pox. We couldnâ€™t imagine how to occupy them while they were sick without being entertained by the TV so we broke down and bought one. Then once it had its claws into our family, we found we couldnâ€™t let it go, even though we were careful about what we watched, or so we thought.
All that was to say that we think we canâ€™t manage without it, but it is like someone turning to booze when feeling stressed. â€œBe not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlastingâ€ (Galatians 6:7-8). We would encourage you to look farther down the road.
Couldnâ€™t it possibly be that what you have are child training issues? How much better to deal with those now, than masking it with something that will only make it more difficult in the future? In fact, maybe you havenâ€™t considered whether some of their misbehavior could be influenced by the beast.
We would encourage you to tackle the child training without the bad influence of the beast. You wonâ€™t regret it. In addition to concentrating on the child training, you might consider having them working with you on the chores. We discuss that further in the Managers of Their Chores book. Preschoolers do well with chores and that is the time to teach them.
Also, if you have a schedule that keeps your little ones busy, to include chores, that keep the children moving from one thing to the next you will find that helpful.
In Christ Jesus,
What a wonderful testimony! I know that for as much as this family will be blessed for following the Lord’s leading/conviction in getting rid of their tv, you all must be so very blessed and encouraged as well. Just to know how your faithfulness and service for our Lord is being used to point so many back to Him as He so wonderfully changes lives…I’m sure all your hard work and labor, countless miles on the road, late nights, ect… fades in comparison to the joy of hearing testimonies such as this family shared.
Thank you Lord for your faithfulness, mercy, and grace as You continue to work in our hearts!
love and prayers,
I always feel so challenged and blessed by the teaching from the Maxwell family. Praise Jesus. Our family has had the rule for some years now, that there is no TV during the school week. Now, the children have not been permitted to watch even during the summer and it has been such a clear blessing. Maybe our TV will be at the trash curb one day. What a glorious day that would be!
I have already left one response to “Free at Last”,(Stephanie says:
August 8th) but(I don’t think Steve and Teri will mind if I add this one) it was on my heart to say something to the Christian mom’s who are convicted, and having to wait for the Lord to speak to their husbands. Been there, done that. I must say here also, I am speaking to those who have Christian spouses.
First of all, let me say, unlike some of you, for different reasons, I have never had the privilege to see and hear the Maxwells in person. Knowing my situation, God has allowed me to recieve much encourage-ment (especially from Teri), through their website, email, printed ma-terial, etc. As it has already been said, they are a wonderful and encouraging family.
With that said, mom’s, if you are one who is ready to toss your TV to the curb, but your husbands have said no, please listen. I would like to encourage you with this(this is an area in which Teri has encouraged me). If you have seen my August 8th reponse, I mention being under conviction, but I don’t go into details. The Lord began to speak to my heart about the TV, at least two years ago. I talk to my husband about getting rid of it and he thought we needed to keep it for news,weather, and the sporting events he and our boys enjoyed watching together(there’s much I could say here). As time went on, my husband and I began to notice we couldn’t even watch the news without the kids seeing and hearing things relating to sex, sexual crimes, and sometimes even cursing.
There were many times we had to turn it down or off, because of what was being advertised, or how it was being advertised, during comm-ercial breaks. Our children are ages 17, 14, 11, 7, and 2. There was little to nothing on that was safe for everyone. I want to remind everyone here, that we didn’t even have cable or satlelite (Aug. 8th reply) I got to the point that I hated our TV. For me, whinning , nagging and complaining might have got my husband to agree to chunk the TV, but, it would’nt be for the right reasons or with the right attitude. As I said in my Aug. 8th email, I took the matter to my Heavely Father. I told the Lord he knew my situation. He knew I wanted to handle this in a way that would be pleasing to Him. My husband knew I enjoyed all I could get from the Maxwells and he was always glad to know when they encouraged me. But he was never able to take part with me. Because of the hours my husband works, the Lord knew he only really has time to read his Bible. He rarely has time to look at any other book or to listen to anything recorded. He drives an older model car and dosen’t have the proper equippment to listen to anything as he travels to his job. God knew His intervening was my only hope. I continued to love and pray for my husband and the Lord did answer my prayers. As Teri has reminded me, and I will remind you. When we feel our husbands need to change their hearts and minds about something, God really does bless us when we allow Him to do it.
Teri: thank you for the encouragement you give us ladies, as we strive to be our best for the Lord. Mom who’s husbands o not share your conviction(burden): Pray for and love your husbands. For some, it may take longer than others to have your prayers answered. Never the less, I know what our family is not missing, by not watching TV, it will be worth the time, love and prayers you give and send up, for your husband. Hang in there. Don’t give up.
GOD WILL HONOR YOUR EFFORTS
Unfortunately, we have a TV and I have to admit, it is an addiction for some in my family. I hate the TV and wish we could get rid of it! I wish we didn’t have cable and would be glad if cutting that off was our first step! But, until God makes a drastic move in some hearts, I don’t see that happening. But, I am curious. Maxwells and others, how do you keep up with current and world events without a TV??? Radio, newspapers, etc? Just wondering.
PS Thanks Stephanie for your encouraging comment! (Aug 16th)
We have been married for seven years, and except for one year in the middle, we have not had a tv. We use the computer to watch dvds, and the internet for news. I can honsetly say the only times I miss having a tv is during the olympics and when public television runs a Jane Austen special!
I don’t mean to be a hog to this blog with all my comments, but, I have just read Karens comment and response to the “Free at last” post on Aug.6th and to mine “Stephanie says:, Aug. 16”. I do love encourage-ing Christian ladies in doing their best to serve the Lord, and in her comment, I think she ask a good question, concerning, if you don’t have a TV (or allow one to be used only for viewing videos or DVD’s), what sources do we and others use for news, weather, etc? As I men-tioned in my first comment, we have been TV free only since this past June and we are only beginning to learn our available options. We mostly depend on our internet. However, let me warn here again(Aug 8th comment)you must be careful with how you use the internet or how you allow it to be used. I don’t really depend on the newspaper or radio,
although others may, if either works better for them.
I personally am intersted in hearing any good options, that don’t depend
on electricity, for at least, receiving weather updates. We live in Ala-bama, and our severe weather season is weeks away. Our power is
prone to go out without the excuse of bad weather. We live in a double wide(and have to run to our storm shelter when necessary) and my husband(and I)has always felt we needed a dependable source of weather info in order to help keep our family safe. If we loose our power, we lose our internet. I know we could depend on a battery operated radio, but this usually dosen’t work well for us, especially if the power outage last for days.
Steve and Teri and any one else who is TV free: we could use some relaiable ideas of how you continue receive the important information we need, without all of what we don’t want. Anyone care to share?
A battery operated weather radio would do fine for you. For us we use the Internet for weather and don’t bother with the news. It is refreshing without it and we don’t miss anything but all the wickedness that has gone on in the world.
We are a “free” family whose adults use the internet for information purposes.
I have found even the newspaper to be unsafe. We do not subscribe, but when my 8-year old was picking up the paper for an out-of-town neighbor, 3 out of four days the headlines involved rape, murder and scandal. (And we live in a smaller town!)
One of our most important jobs as parents is to guard our children’s hearts and minds (as well as our own)- please take it seriously. Innocence lost can never be regained.
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