Television is one of the most common appliances to find in any home today. According to a survey conducted by the Parents Television Council organization, 2% of U.S homes owned a TV set in 1949. 66 years down the line, more than 99% of U.S homes now own at least one television set . Over the years, it’s become quite impossible to stay out of the TV’s reach especially when every bedroom in the home is welcoming one, even the kitchen. There’s no question that the TV plays a very significant role in our lives if we spend five or more hours glued to its screen every single day.
My problem though isn’t really with the fact that the TV or any audio-visual is an easily accessible device but for the mere fact that these things come in handy means their impact on us cannot be overemphasized. If we were to ask say 100 parents that ‘on a scale of 1 to 10, how influential is TV on your children?’, I bet 95 out of the 100 will shoot their hands up for 10! But that’s supposed to be good news, right? Well, that depends on the content of the programs that hit the screens. If they are educative stuff, great! But here is the case where majority of the media’s content today is laced with so much obscenity and indecency. Homes are flooding with violence and nudity at an alarming rate! Some years ago, it was a very big deal to broadcast the naked bodies of men and women on our screens. Sadly, that’s not the case anymore.
In our time, it’s not uncommon to see an element of sex in any movie you watch. I’ve even lost count on the number of times I’ve seen unmarried people engage in unhealthy sexual activities on TV. I remember reading a book where the author stated that the average American before he or she turns eighteen may have probably come across about seventy thousand sex images. That’s unbelie—no wait a min—in this day and age, that’s totally believable! This means he or she has viewed thousands and thousands of sex scenes where most of them probably occurred between people who aren’t in a committed relationship in any way. It seems to me that the media’s definition of sex is spending some minutes with your lover in some corner and pleading for forgiveness in high-pitched voices. Really bruh? Is sex just another voice training session? Thank you very much MEDIA for the misguidance. Thanks to you we are hardly filled in on vital information with regard to Public Health concerns. You seem to be shying away from educating us extensively on the prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Infections and how they are potential causes of child deformity, infertility, sterility and even death. Your programs on TV these days fail to stress on the physical, psychological, financial and emotional effects of pre-marital sex on teenagers. Dear reader, how many times do you learn of the emotional trauma a young girl goes through after she’s slapped in the face with a ‘hit and run’? Or the percentage of women who commit suicide following a painful abortion or learning about infidelity in their marriages? Tallulah Bankhead was right when she said that ‘television could perform a great service in mass education, but there’s no indication its sponsors have anything like this on their minds.’
Just recently I saw a very disturbing video of a beautiful young woman who met her demise after hurling herself off the topmost floor of a building onto the ground. I really wish I could attach the video to this post but the graphical content is just too disturbing for the eyes. Apparently, her husband had gone behind her back to have an affair with her mum. Guess what? He had impregnated both the mother and daughter. Such disturbing news. And at this moment, I’m sure many of us may be wondering why she didn’t walk out of the marriage but instead took her own life. I want to say something here and I’m not in any way trying to justify the lady’s reaction to her husby’s despicable act. Taking my cue from people’s personal experiences (since I’m currently not married), the outcome of infidelity can be very devastating so much so that one can easily develop what we know as depression. Depression is a form of mental illness and it’s known to be one of the major factors that move people to commit suicide. This is why I can’t make heads or tails of the entertainment industry when it tries to feed our minds with a false image of reality. Don’t make me feel as though these victimized people are ‘okay’ and happy with their current situations because as a matter of fact, they are not. God save those of us who take life’s lessons from lies such as these. We never see the ladies and guys in the movies go through the hustle and bustle of life like what happens on our streets today. Just a few do. For some reason(s) unknown to us, those scenes are skipped. Perhaps such a thing never transpired in their lives. Personally, I never see these people to be happy about what’s going on around them. I rather see angry, hurt and bitter people who wouldn’t hesitate to curse the day they got entangled in their mess. Most of them have lost their self-confidence and have become so highly insecure in life. It really hurts to know that they can’t even trust anybody anymore. This residual effect can perpetuate for so many years and if nothing is done about it, it could lead to untreated mental disorders and we have a fair idea of what the resultant effect could be.
The media is a very powerful means of mass communication. I just mentioned ‘power’. I don’t fear power in any way. What I really fear is the hand that wields it. And in this context, it’s the media I fear the most. If the media is pumping obscenity and violence into our homes every now and then, why wouldn’t I freak out when I know perfectly well it has the propensity to shape the physical and psychological state of our society just by what it feeds our senses with?
Amazingly, we treat sex as though it’s a biological process coughed into existence by some random manifestation of nature. If that was really the case, nobody would even bother about what the entertainment industry broadcasts or not. After all, an accidental occurrence would mean having no purpose at all to begin with. And of course, anyone could subject any kind of meaning to it per their own personal preferences. But sex according to the Christian worldview (the lenses through which I see and interpret life) firstly is God-ordained. Simply put, everything about sex starts and ends with God. He sets the rules that governs all of our sexual activities. According to the Bible, sex is established by God Himself for the purpose of procreation, pleasure and comfort. And I’ve got some News Flash for you: sex is for married couples ONLY. I personally believe that the main reason God approves of sex only in marital homes is because of how deep the covenant is. Sex goes beyond mere physical touches. God designed it in such a way that it engages the body, mind and spirit of the man and woman where the two spiritually become one flesh through the physical bonding process. If this mysterious union can threaten the arithmetic laws of mathematics by saying that one plus one equals one, it should tell us that sex isn’t something to toy with. This is why most people find it difficult to let go of their sexual partners even if the odds are against them. You forge a connection between your entire human faculties and the person involved. So you see, you shouldn’t expect sex to happen casually along the way just because a male and a female are together like our movies and music videos teach us. I understand that we are flesh and blood and as such we have strong sexual desires within us. But that isn’t license for us to go about setting people’s hearts ablaze carelessly. I believe you have a fair idea of what raging wildfires are capable of. FYI, trained firefighters sometimes lose their lives in an attempt to control their outbreak. What I’m trying to imply is even couples who are known to be professionals in the business struggle with the issue of sex once in a while. Sex is very sacred and that’s why it’s in God’s best interest that it exists only in marital homes where marriage is honored, and the sacredness of sexual intimacy between the husband and wife is properly guarded.
When the Bible speaks extensively about God’s rules governing sex, it isn’t because an old beardy man upstairs is on a mission to make his children sexually repressive. On the contrary, God wants to prevent us from using our freedom to distort His original design which can eventually destroy us in the process. God has a very good reason for drawing a firm line against casual and illicit sex because He loves and cares for humanity (Hebrews 13:4). It’s for our own good. It doesn’t surprise me at all to learn that Paul wished all men had the spirit of continence just like him. My dear friend, there’s a high price to pay in trying to attain sexual freedom outside the moral boundaries of God. Go check the statistics out there. No one will have to tell you that a huge chunk of evidence points to the fact that God’s standard on sex is the best to adhere to.
We may not be able to escape from the ubiquitous nature of the media but we can filter the materials it pumps into our homes. Thank goodness we are intelligent beings with the capacity to observe what happens in nature and learn from its ways by reasoning and understanding. So that when we are being told via the media that casual sex is ‘normal’, fornication isn’t a big deal and fidelity is old-school, we can be discerning enough to fix those blurry images of reality. I know SEX IS GOOD because it’s one of the PERFECT gifts that comes from the Father of Lights. Let’s seek to enjoy sex to the fullest in its proper context and relation to God’s moral principles and God will glorify Himself in our lives.