Sunday, February 20, 2011

Feeding Discontentment

broken tv. Pictures, Images and Photos

Did you know that the most conservative statistics say the average American is exposed to 247 advertisements per day (from Consumer Report)?   This morning my pastor articulated what I have been feeling for a few months about our society and advertising.  What is the purpose of advertising?  Feeding discontentment.  We have 247 voices telling us each day that we need something else for our lives to be more complete.  If you had this or that you would be much happier (thinner, stronger, prettier, more organized, whatever).  Of course, he relayed it back to nothing solving the problem of contentment but Christ.  Go read Philippians 4: 10-14.

In December we canceled our satellite.  Our TV is 10 years old so we get NO channels.  The kids still watch some movies and cartoons on DVD but with NO COMMERCIALS.  This has made a huge difference in our lives.   I would hear about all the stuff they saw advertised on TV.  We had to talk about their immediate reaction to these things.  It was often, "I need that!", or "I want that!", while I tried to let them know it was OK to like the things they saw but none of it was a need, and to think if they really did want it and why. 

I don't want to raise kids that want a lot of material things
 but raise kids that know they don't have to have a lot to be happy. (And yes, I try to model this myself :)

Our oldest daughter's birthday was earlier this month and do you know what she asked for?  Nothing!  It was plain and simple.  She hasn't seen commercial after commercial telling her what great toys are out there that she just had to have.  When asked, she couldn't really think of anything that she wanted.  What is that?  Contentment. Beautiful!

When we recently went over to my in-laws the girls turned on the TV and not five minutes later I heard, "Mom!  Mom!  You just have to come and see these (insert cute toy marketed for my wee ones)....".  Sigh.  I know I can't shield them from it all.

You know what works for me?  No TV on a daily basis.  What a blessing!

Go visit We are THAT Family for more Works for Me ideas.


  1. Good for you! We do get television signals, but no cable or satellite. (Amazing how many friends are horrified by this!) The only channel I let my littles watch is PBS, so not as many ads. And yes, you are right about the contentment. You know, I think a lot of magazines are just as bad as the kids' shows. Some are so full of beautiful pictures of amazing houses that make me feel discontent with the wonderful home I have. How insulting to my husband (who works hard every day to provide for me) and to God. I am so richly blessed... Too richly blessed to feel such discontentment!
    Guess we all have to be on the lookout for this.

  2. Totally agree with you. Our girls are only allowed to watch Nick Jr. which has no commercials. They have never asked for things for b-days or Christmas. We don't have them write out lists or anything. One Christmas I continued to ask Ashlyn what she would like and finally she said, "I guess I need a new shirt and a pair of shoes bc mine are getting tight."

  3. I never thought of it that way!

  4. That is so awesome of you! To this day my parents dont have cable. I def don't want to raise my kids with their noses in front of the tv. I went over to my friends last night and her 3yr old son just sat in front of the tv for hours and even while the tv was on, he was playing on his DS! Ain't gonna happen in my house! I would def have to do some major work on not being do materialistic (my downfall)!

  5. Found you through Works for Me Wednesday, and I totally agree. We just turned our cable off (again) and that means we watch almost zero TV. Bliss.

  6. I'm so with you. Growing up we were allotted two hours max of TV Time only on the weekends. I thank them for that.