7 [Book In Review] Chapter 4

Basic Review
How many screens did the Hatmaker family have in their home to fast from? Um, a lot, 18 but we have 7 and who’s to say?

Chapter four is all about media reduction; from gaming systems to TV and computer screens, and the entire family fasted from all of it. She says that this is not a revolutionary concept, we all know media has taken over our family life and our boundaries are becoming less and less.
Researchers say there is an evolutionary rationale for the pressure this barrage puts on the brain. The lower brain functions alert humans to danger, like a nearby lion, overriding goals like building a hut. In the modern world, the chime of an incoming e-mail can override the goal of writing a business plan or playing catch with the children.
 I think my primitive brain is functioning just fine, isn’t that the way God created it to work? Why do I need to rewire it and confuse it with non-priorities?

I invite you to fast with me. Turn it all off for a week, and walk humbly.

From this media fast the Hatmaker family found new rhythms like cooking together, reading, taking walks, and porch time with friends. Sounds nice right?

In January 2011 my husband and I gave away our TV. We did it in hopes of benefitting our family time. I also felt super convicted by God to stop the input of fornication into my mind. So, my husband and I went cold turkey while the kids lost PBS (we’ve never had cable) and they continued watching their cartoons on Netflix on our desktop. At first it was hard, and like we’ve learned from the first three chapters in this book, I learned what was important to me after it had been taken away. I went through a slight Grey’s Anatomy widthdrawl. I considered going online just to read the plot story for each episode, but I resisted. It was the best decision I have ever made for my marriage. At the absence of fornification, I found more freedom in intimacy in my marriage. Hmm, strange correlation huh? When we make room for God and His ways and create healthy boundaries in our lives set by Him, we recieve more fully what He has always intended for us.

In November 2011 we bought a TV because we really missed renting movies and watching them at home. Oddly enough, I did not miss the regular TV programming. We had the TV for 3 whole weeks before our 2 year old broke the plasma screen. (Yes, we had to breathe through that one.) After regretting a gigantic waste of money we vowed to never buy a TV again and some friends of ours offered us their used one so at least we have our movie option back. I tell you all of this to say, going on a media fast for a week, a month, a year is worth it. The benefits will outweigh the sacrafice.

Favorite Thoughts From The Author
We have to deal with rather than anesthetizing tension with TV or video games. It’s easier to bypass relational snags with a convenient distraction, forfeiting the chance to improve problem solving and listening skills. I don’t want my kids to be more comfortable interacting with a computer screen than a human being.” I am so guilty when it comes to this. My kids fight, like all normal siblings, and I have found (especially when Daddy is out of town) that it is way easier to deal with life, squabbles and tension between them if I anesthetize them with a media outlet. Pray for me friends. If I can change my value system to making problem solving, forgiveness and communication a higher priority than peace, it will benefit them in their adult lives.

Without noise and static, I’m learning about that walk humbly part…It’s in the walking humbly part that God trains me for acting justly and loving mercy…Plenty of people enact justice without devotion to Jesus. I’ve really been aware of this lately. There are A LOT of justice movements and anyone with a compassionate heart would agree this is good. But, to walk humbly, enact justice and love mercy because of what Jesus did for us on the cross is a completely different motivation and mission altogether.

Word(s) that Last
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

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