A Heart that’s Entertained by Worldliness

Disclaimer:  I write this post not to convince anyone of the evil that is in one particular show, but to tell the story of what was deep inside of MY heart.  I do hope that each of you might examine your own hearts when it comes to your relationship with television, and allow God to show you any idolatry that may lie beneath the surface, as it did in mine.

During my sophomore year of college a dorm-mate lent me the first season of Gilmore Girls on DVD.  I breezed through it and LOVED it.  I began to faithfully watch every season as it came out on DVD, and I invested in purchasing the series.  By the time I got married, 8 years later, it had easily become my favorite show.  I watched the entire series on repeat.  I watched all 7 seasons, and when I finished the series finale, I’d wait a few days before popping season 1 back into my DVD player.  My husband watched an episode with me every few days, and he enjoyed the witty banter as well.

Over the years I had grown convicted about a lot of shows I watched, and had gotten rid of almost every movie I owned—but not my Gilmore Girls.  It seemed so much more wholesome than other shows.  There was a little worldliness in it, but compared to other shows—the sin seemed pretty light.  So I kept watching the series on repeat, year after year.

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Fast forward a couple of years, and I became a mother.  The familiar dialogue became my background for nursing sessions and tummy time.  I started to become a little uncomfortable when my baby saw a bedroom scene, so I began skipping those (rare) scenes.  In spite of those few sinful scenes, I kept watching.

That fall we had a yard sale, and as I was going through all of my things, the Lord impressed on my heart that it was time to let go of my precious, beloved Gilmore Girls collection.  I put them in the box, and then took them back out.  I moved on to packing other things, and then came back to my stack, just to touch them and ponder their place in my life.  I couldn’t even picture my life without this show.

It had become a part of me.  All things in life related to an episode.  “There are no stupid questions” always brought out a “HOW does ink come out of pens?”  Preposterous stories were followed up by an “Oy, with the poodles already!”  ‘Running late’ was met with an urgent “Copper Boom!” as I ran through the house grabbing my keys and phone before heading out the door.  I could go on and on. I had basically become a Gilmore Girl, and this was precisely the reason I knew God was right.  I had to let go.  I needed to make time for Him.  Seek Him.  Listen to Him.  Let HIS Word become the part of my life that had been so impacted by this television show.

I boxed up my movies, and priced them to sell.  They went quickly. And what happens next?

Man, the devil is good.  Oh, he’s real good.  But God’s better.

The very next week my husband brought up the idea of cancelling our Netflix subscription.  I agreed.  That $8 a month could be better spent elsewhere.  And wouldn’t you know it….A week after our subscription ended, it was announced that Gilmore Girls was coming to Netflix!  I breathed a sigh of relief that God had led my husband to cancel our subscription before it happened.

A little over a year later, we moved to a new home and town.  Our pace of life changed, as did our income.  Top that off with a month of sickness, and boredom from lying in bed, and we decided to get Netflix again.  I determined not to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls, and for the most part I only watched any sort of show when my husband and I were relaxing together after putting our boys to bed.

I heard there would be a new season coming to Netflix.  I was intrigued, but I decided against watching it.  Then one day I got sick.  {Why does sickness always lead me into temptation?}  I was lying around with nothing to do, so I turned on an episode.  A few episodes in, I figured I’d just watch the whole series again ONLY ONE TIME before the new series came out.  So I could be caught up, of course.  I finished Season 7 the SAME DAY the new episode aired.  I was over-the-moon excited to watch WINTER and turned it on!

I quickly noticed a few things about it that were ‘worse’ than the original series as far as worldliness.  I kept watching anyway.  “It’s not too bad”, I told myself.  I watched all of Winter, and then Spring came on.  At this point, I was nursing my baby and my husband was sitting next to me on my couch.

The town all files into Miss Patty’s for another town meeting.  Taylor gets up and announces that they will have their first ever gay-pride parade in Stars Hollow.  My husband looks over at me, and suddenly all of the excuses in my heart didn’t sound so good anymore.  I wanted to say something to him that would prove it was okay to keep watching, but I fumbled over my words.  I just couldn’t justify it anymore.  I reached for my remote and turned it off.  We sat there in silence for a few minutes, and then we moved on with our day.

A few days later I was up late working on some things.  Everyone was in bed, so I turned on Netflix planning to watch an episode of House Hunters.  There it was staring at me:

Gilmore Girls.  A Year in the Life.
Continue Watching?

I arrowed over to House Hunters, then back to Gilmore Girls.  I was drawn in.  I loved these characters and their witty banter.  I loved the relationship they had with each other.  I wanted needed to know what had become of their lives.  I selected the show, and on it came—right back to the place I had left off.  They were trying to find more gays to march in their gay pride parade.  I assured myself it would be a quick and quirky scene, and that it would move on.  I kept watching.  And wouldn’t you know it?  I hear my husband coming into the kitchen to get a glass of water.  I feel a pit in my stomach, fumble for the remote, smash down on the “Return” button over and over hoping my husband doesn’t see.  I select House Hunters just as my husband peeks in.  My heart was pounding.  He didn’t see.

“Good night, honey!”  (Awkward smile.)

He didn’t see.  But God did.

I felt ashamed.  Why had I been continually drawn in?  Why can’t I seem to give up one TV show for the Lord?

I knew the answers to these questions, but it’s hard to admit out loud.  The truth?  I struggle with giving it up because I love it.  I struggle with giving it up because my heart is entertained by it.  It doesn’t matter that it’s a show that consists mostly of worldliness.  I still love watching.  In spite of the adultery, fornication, divorce, partying, and language.  In spite of an overall horrible message the show sends about marriage.  In spite of the message it sends about womanhood.  In spite of the message it sends about Christianity.  In spite of the message it sends about the purpose of life.  I still love it.  I’m entertained by it.  I’m entertained by a show that is 100% worldliness.  There’s really nothing godly about it, yet I watch it as if it’s virtuous—as if the characters are good.  God says otherwise.  God says, first of all, that there is none good (Romans 3).  God says, secondly, that I should have nothing to do with worldliness.  Yet here I am, year after year, still deeply invested in it.  It has just always been what I do when I’m sick or need a break from life.

But here’s the thing. When I’m sick, I hear the Holy Spirit within me, calling out, “Come to ME”.  When I need a break from life, I hear the Lord whisper, “Come to me…and I will give you rest.

I don’t need the show.  I don’t need the superficial relaxation that I get from these characters and their witty dialogue.  (I’m speaking to myself here!)  I don’t need it.  Instead, I need TRUE rest, and that’s only found in Christ.  I don’t need to finish watching Spring, or Summer, or Fall in order to satisfy my own curiosity about the “last four words”.  I can move on with my LORD—in the freedom that He gives over the bondage of sin.  I can walk away from characters that I used to love. I can turn from them to a God who is truly virtuous.  To a God I can depend on to walk with me daily, and to be with me just as this show has been for the past 13 years.

moments-remind-me-of-a-tv-showThis show had once been a part of my heart, the guiding principle for my every thought, and the relating point to every moment.  God wants that position now.  He wants my heart to be focused on Him.  He wants His Word to guide my thoughts.  He wants the moments of my life to remind me of truths from His Word—not of a quote from my favorite TV show.  He wants my heart—not just during my quiet time, but all through my day.

He wants a heart that is not entertained by worldliness, but is enraptured by His love, above ALL else.

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day.”  -Proverbs 23:17

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Rachel  🙂

5 thoughts on “A Heart that’s Entertained by Worldliness

  1. Thank you for stopping by my blog today, commenting and sharing my post! It’s so easy to have tv and shows become an idol without realizing it. It’s good to hear you overcame it and are sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! It seems so silly that I would let a TV show be an idol, but you are right–it’s so easy to let it happen! I loved your story, and the question your husband asked you. He hit the nail on the head!

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  2. How timely is this! I’d been planning to start watching Gilmore Girls (I’ve never seen it) with my daughter, Maggie soon. Our library has the seasons available for checkout and I was going to get the first one soon. I know your post and point here are not that GG is awful and all should avoid it, but it is interesting to me that it happens to be THE show I was going to watch it with my impressionable teen daughter!
    I love what the Holy Spirit had shown you about taking rest in Him instead of things of this world. What a beautiful truth!!! ❤

    Like

    1. It really is one of the better shows out there in comparison, but the overall messages about marriage & sex are definitely worldly. That is crazy that I would post about it right as you are looking into it though!

      Like

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