Monday, April 18, 2011

Portrayal of Husbands and Wives on Television

    Does television programming dictate our cultrual norms or do our cultral trends determine our programming? I surmise the two approaches are likely intertwined. I believe are we are influenced by television in some way. Feeling unsafe or that anyone could have intentions to harm you? Turn off "NCIS," "Law & Order" and all other detective shows. Feeling lilke your wardrobe or social life are lacking? Turn off "Sex in the City," "What Not to Wear," and any other similar show. Feeling like a silly little wife or your husband a fumbling man? Turn off every show which may depict a wife, husband, or marriage.
     My husband commented in disgust on how husbands or men are shown to be inept on television shows. It wasn't until I began thinking more critically on shows and the characters they display that my eyes began to be opened as to see through his. I noticed some commonalities across several programs. For instance, husbands are shown to be: ignorant of the needs of the wife, kids and home, fumbling and clumsy, unassistive to the wife, to answer "yes dear" to whatever is said to him, prone to entertaining attractions to other women even if just mentally, in desperate need of a "man cave" or time to escape the wife, always in trouble with the wife , etc. etc. Similarly, I noticed wives to be: the one "really in charge," nagging to the husband or constantly reminding him of her wishes, spend thrift and prone to shopping sprees, condensending in words or tone, argumentative, holding to unforgiveness as evidence by a repetitive reminder of the husband's faults or unaccomplishments, lacking of respect and loving consideration (especially during those "man meetings") etc etc.
     Is this not ridiculous?! Sadly, as I compiled these lists I recognized many that resounded as familiar within my own thinking. I've caught myself entertaining a few of these false ideas, and my husband will gently correct me to see him or God's Word, not a popular portrayal. I'm astounded to come to the discovery of the origin of my notions being television (or witnessed behavior modeled in others which is likely from the same root) because they are completely false.
     Whether we realize it or not, in subtle ways marriage and the roles of the husband and wife are being poisoned on the television screen. Sure, the shows may appear as harmless and fun entertainment, but the messages transmitted are not those of God's presence or design. I believe it's due time to limit or turn off the television influence in our homes. (Future post on "Unplugging") The Bible and many other books are excellent sources for learning God's intentions for marriage and roles. It is wise to seek counsel from others, and that advice ought to be from ones with a heart for Jesus (Psalm 37:30). Furthermore, we need to be the ones actively teaching younger ones the truths of family, home and marriage. (Proverbs 22:6).

21Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.
 22-24Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
 25-28Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ's love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They're really doing themselves a favor—since they're already "one" in marriage.
 29-33No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That's how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become "one flesh." This is a huge mystery, and I don't pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.

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