Monday, October 01, 2012

Little Eyes, Soap Operas, and Me

"Oh Be Careful Little Eyes what You See,
Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See,

For The Father Up Above Is Looking Down With LOVE,

Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See."

Have you ever heard this old Sunday School children's song?
It goes on to say,
Oh Be Careful Little Ears What You Hear
Oh Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say 
and then back again to the Eyes.
It's a classic Sunday School song that has always stuck with me.
This past week I was reminded of this song two times. Once with a boy child, and once with a "woman child in a state of Grace."
You see, I had one of those profound moments as a parent where you live out a lesson you yourself learned long ago, only now you are on the other end of the lesson.
 When I was a young girl I used to watch Soap Opera's.
Yes, Soap Opera's were my vice.
My all time favorite was Days of Our Lives, and later it was All My Children.
I would come home from school everyday and turn on the TV to my favorite Soap, eat my after school snack, and dream about the day that A Knight and Shining Armor would come whisk me off my feet and make passionate love to me.
That was me.
Until one day I realized that Soap Operas to a woman are kind of like what Porn is to a Man. 
Don't act so surprised, you know it's true.
We love the story, the romance, the ultimate drama, and not so much the reality.
Ok, now hold on right there.
IF you are a grown woman who watches Soaps I mean you no harm. 
To each his or her own.
But for me,
there was a point in time that I distinctly remember realizing that Soaps would no longer be healthy for my life, and for the realities in life so I gave them up.
So fast forward almost 20 years and I find myself having to teach my children this lesson of being careful about what they spend their free time watching, reading, and looking at.

You've heard that saying, 
"You are what you eat."
Well, to me watching and reading is kind of our soul's way of eating.
What we watch we digest.
What we read we digest.
And so I realized that I didn't want to digest SOAP anymore.
Are you tracking what I'm laying down?
That kind of fantasy life only leads to discontentment with reality. 
I wanted contentment.
I wanted reality.
So I gave up Soap.
(I didn't give up soap, like real soap silly. I promise I'm still fresh smelling)
I have to admit was a strange thing to return to this lesson as the one on the other side of the fence. 
When my children had the reactions they did I was surprised at how attached they were to what they were watching/reading. 
There were tears.
There were hugs.
And ultimately,
I hope I portrayed the true heart of God which is that although we won't go to "HELL" for watching things like Soap Opera's it's just not the best use of our time.
And, it's kind of like...
"Garbage in, Garbage out."
(I hate even using that cheesy phrase but it really is so very true)
I'm glad that song says,
"For the Father up above is looking down with LOVE" because that is also the truth.
He doesn't condemn us for these kinds of things that eat up our free time, and are frankly a nice distraction sometimes.
I think, He just really longs for that time to be spent with Him.
It's a good lesson.
It's a good reminder.
It's all good.

Happy Monday Beloved Reader.


kendra kay said...

and what pretty little eyes your littles have!

Bernadette Veenstra said...

So true.

Noel Scofield said...

@kendra- thank you they get those from their dad mostly.
@Bernadette- ya know, it took me a long time to get this, and I still can be in the middle of watching something as a grown adult and feel I should close my eyes so that I don't digest the platter of yucka that's set before me.

Kimberly said...

I agree that being mindful of what we pay attention to helps us stay focused on the things that bring us joy. When I was in High School I loved soaps after school. They can be so addictive...the makers knew their craft. And you are one's "love life" can measure up to the fantasy of soaps. Luckily I had stopped watching by college so I had time to have real (better) expectations. :)Nice post.

Brittany T. said...

oh i used to watch soaps all the time...starting around the age 6. my nana L. got my hooked..i was sucked into them esp in my teenage years...your comment here: "Well, to me watching and reading is kind of our soul's way of eating.
What we watch we digest.
What we read we digest." is a reason why i too dont watch soaps or scary movies ( i tell ppl who ask my why i dont want to watch a scary movie--i tell them it scars my soul..and they jokingly laugh at me, but i mean it) OR why i chose not to read 50 shades of grey, despite it's huge popularity

No(dot dot)el said...

@Britt- I didn't read it either. I am pretty sure we aren't missing out ;)

Laura /Bennet said...

Noel, I found your site because the van driving social man who is staying with you was once one of my kid's best hockey buddy. Our families spent some great years together. I'm so glad he linked to you in his last blog. Your family sounds amazing and I'm inspired by the life of love I've read about on Ryan's site. Amen is all I can say. And I so agree with this post. Thanks for writing it - truly, I mean that. Sometimes I feel a little lonely in my convictions like this - I had the same epiphany about reading romance novels many years ago. It's so, so encouraging to know there are others out there who care not only what we fill our bodies with, but what we fill our souls with as well. I get the comment from Brittany! May the Lord bless you and your family. Thanks for sharing!

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