Greetings: In case you were wondering, I did not fall off the writing wagon. I’m still getting my sea legs in my new teaching job and so time–even writing time–is a luxury. But I did have a day off and thought I would sneak in a post. You may not see me again till Thanksgiving though.
Since by choice my family and I don’t have cable TV, I love sitting down before bed to catch a commercial-free episode of some new show on Netflix. It’s gotta be something supernatural because I already deal with too much reality on a daily basis.
The nights I don’t digitally catapult myself into someone else’s life, I indulge myself in another supernatural experience—I read spiritual books. This week the latter helped me recognize something about the former.
As a writer, I know you can’t have a story without conflict. The whole point of a story is the resolution of conflict. [Warning: I’m going to go off on a small tangent here] So if Adam and Eve would never have sinned and created the first conflict between themselves and God, there would have been no inception, no purpose, and no fuel for the modern-day thing we call “story”. That’s something to ponder.
What I realized once I boomeranged back to Earth from my tangent is that all stories tend to have a common element—complicated relationships that continually overcome challenge and conflict. Sibling to sibling, parent to child, friend to friend, etc. So much conflict, so many stories to tell.
As a woman, I’m repeatedly drawn to the romanticism of the male-female relationship. It’s, well…it’s like an addiction. And I don’t use that term lightly. On reflection of all I’ve written in the last couple years and all I’ve dealt with regarding addiction in my life and in the lives of others, the term couldn’t be more appropriate since addicts aren’t ever really cured—usually we just trade one addiction for another that’s more socially acceptable.
Like most people, I excused the night-time TV viewing as my decompression time—I have a very stressful job as a 7th grade Language Arts teacher in a Title 1 school, a second job as a fitness instructor, three kids (two with special needs), and I’m trying to be patient while God reconstructs the shattered remains of my marriage.
So yeah, I’d say a little decompression time each night before sleep (if I want to sleep) is beneficial.
But in one of those spiritual books I’m reading, Robin Weidner (Secure in Heart) challenged me with this: Satan knows that as relational beings, women crave relationships such that he is often able to sell us a cheap imitation of romance simply to relieve our pain or allay our fear of being alone for the rest of our lives. Some women buy the li(n)e so completely that they plunge full-bore into multiple immoral relationships.
With women who know God’s Word though and who won’t deliberately dive into the deep end of the pool, Satan uses a more acceptable alternative for buffering our pain or fear—the morphine of media. The problem with any type of pain reliever that’s not closely monitored is that it’s—yes, I’m going to use that word again—addictive.
We can’t turn off the chick flicks or stop reading the romance novels. We fanaticize because we desperately need to avoid the pain of being alone.
But like Eve, it’s all a lie we buy.
Jesus said he would never leave us (Matthew 28:20). Is that just some spiritual mumbo-jumbo or do I really, really believe that?
Is watching a romantic television series a sin? That’s something between you and your own conscience. But just like Eve in the garden, I have to make a choice about who I will invite into my head and heart. I have to make a choice about who I will listen to. And I have to decide who is lying to me:
“You are alone and you need someone else to declare your worthiness”
“I will never leave you and I am always enough for you.”
Question: Whose goods am I buying?