To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Homekeeping Mission

From time to time there are cultural issues that come up that bubble in my brain and I need to express them in some tangible way. From time to time these cultural issues crop up and I am compelled to join in the conversation. And from time to time this gets me in trouble. Deep, profound family dynamic shifting, friendship altering trouble.
So why do it? Why comment at all if it could possibly cause strife? Because sometimes strife is good for us. Sometimes a difference of opinion needs to be heard so that we are forced to evaluate our own make it more than an abstract, conceptual tide that carries us along. The norm in our thinking needs to be challenged periodically even if we end up in the same place. We need to be reminded that there must be deliberate thought behind our actions because somebody, some day can and will ask us why we do or don't do what it is we do or don't do. We are to sharpen each other the way iron sharpen irons. (Have you ever considered that? Not the idea because as good Christians of course we have, but the actual process of sharpening? Blades clanging against one another...scraping along the gentle, soft pressure but deliberate, forceful movement. Not with the intent to cause harm but to improve the performance and increase the usefulness of each blade.) While I don't mean to cause trouble or offend, I do hope to stir up your thinking and offer a different view point for you to consider. Sooooo...

Jon and Kate Plus 8.

Yes, this is the big cultural issue that has me antsy. The family who already had twins but had six babies (!) at once several years ago. The family the country fell in love with and bought up their books and made their reality TV show a success. The ones that Christians raved about because of how they were so vocal in their faith. The same family that has become radio poll topics as to whether their marriage will last. The same family with pictures all over the tabloids of him clubbing each night with someone other than his wife and her looking a little too friendly with a body guard. The family so many people seem to be discussing at the water cooler choosing sides, declaring their sympathy, support and ill will toward one side or the other. The family whose season premiere aired to millions of viewers as a husband and wife basically squared off against each other. The same family that gets paid $75,000 an episode to let us...the American them live real life.

That family. Somewhere Jon and Kate professed faith of some kind and suddenly TLC has a new, family friendly hit show that believers everywhere were enchanted by. Family friendly? Really? Looking at where they have ended up it doesn't seem to family friendly to me. At least not real friendly for their family.

Why did it seem okay to let the life of this family become our entertainment? When all the overwhelming publicity began for this family with the birth of their children why did the Church not tell them to run away? Protect your family! Don't be swayed by the bright lights and attention. Don't be blinded by the money and prestige. Don't be deceived! This is not how God intended for a family to live...your every move filmed and recorded and on display for the world to see. The order God established for family completely violated as the things best left between a husband and wife became a discussion with producers and directors? That the head of the home left his job so that she could begin touring and giving speeches about their family?
What about the kids? Can you even comprehend the trauma that has been done to those children? What will happen to those children? How many will tune in this season and "Tsk, tsk, oh, what a shame! They were so outspoken about their faith." Could your faith withstand the kinds of pressure that family has faced? That family needed believers to intercede and show them Truth. And what they got were consumeristic voyeurs.
Sounds harsh doesn't it? I'm sorry if I hurt any one's feelings. But I'm tired of unthinking Christians. I don't care if you watch Jon and Kate Plus 8. Just think about what it means. Think about why. Think about whether you should. Think about why you Facebook, blog, scrapbook, take pictures. Think about why your kids play Little League or music instruments. Think about the way you are educating them. Think about why you go to church. Think about why you exist...and then live accordingly.
Like I said this has been bothering me a great deal. And I came across this passage in the first chapter of Haggai that helped make some sense of it all...
"Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled house, while this house lies in ruins? Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them in a bag with holes. Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? Declares the LORD of host. Because my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house."
We are a busy people. But are we busy about the right things? Are we busy about the right things for the right reasons? Are we busy building a house where He finds pleasure and is glorified?
My homekeeping mission this week is to think long and hard about these things.


Donna said...

You ask: When all the overwhelming publicity began for this family with the birth of their children why did the Church not tell them to run away?
I believe they sincerely could not have comprehended what this would entail. Not the church, their families nor Jon and Kate. I doubt anyone in their circle had an inkling as to the depth of intrusion this would have on their lives. Obviously seemed like a good idea at the time. Most of us have been there in some sort of fashion. Regardless of what brought them to where they are now, they have a very SERIOUS problem. Millions of people will tune in to see these two ambassadors of our Lord and Saviour walk out their professed faith. They need our prayers.

Marty said...

I think you're right Donna...they do need our prayers and they need to focus on their family. I just don't think it should be a spectator sport or an evenings entertainment.