Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. –Titus 2:3
While flipping through the New Testament this afternoon, looking for good blog material, I came upon the Book of Titus (it’s one of those teeny booklets close to the back). I started skimming through it, when this verse popped out at me. It made me chuckle a bit, because instantly my mind went to one of my favorite guilty pleasures–the ABC hit TV series “Desperate Housewives.” If Paul was alive now, I could see him collaborating with Titus on some kind of women’s video sermon series where they show clips of the ladies of Wisteria Lane, then afterwards flip on the lights, shake their fingers at the roomful of women, and say, “See that? Don’t do that.”
Initially, my thoughts were, “How lame would that be? What kind of cornball person would go out and mimic something they saw on a prime time soap? Aren’t most adults intelligent enough to realize that this is fiction? Real life doesn’t work like that!”
Theoretically, and in a perfect world, that would be the case. Now, I promised you that I wasn’t going to turn this into some sort of political forum where we discuss things like whether or not listening to Slipknot will make kids shoot their peers, or if Miley’s “pole dance” on an ice cream cart is going to turn your 8-year-old on to a career as a stripper. That’s not what this is about.
We as adults are prone to the “monkey see, monkey do” syndrome as well. How many of us have used the phrase, “That’s what she said?” in response to an innocuous comment? How many ladies out there went out and got “the Rachel” haircut in the mid-nineties? And those previously mentioned Housewives? They’re onto you. Hallmark has a scrapbook kit that they sell that is endorsed by none other than Marcia Cross, who plays the appearances-are-everything, Susie-homemaker character Bree on Desperate Housewives. Come on! With all the things she is involved in, do you really think she sits around scrapbooking in her non-existent spare time? I doubt it. Yet you know there are women out there that will choose that scrapbooking album, just because Bree…ahem, I mean Marcia Cross is on the front of it.
Reality television is a whole other monster. How many ladies out there have started dragging their spouses out to Thursday night samba classes since “Dancing With The Stars” has hit the airwaves? “The Biggest Loser” has inspired thousands to get off their couches (after the show) and shed some pounds. Are either of these things inherently bad? No! In fact, I think that being motivated to become a better person is rarely a bad thing. On the same hand, I know a lot more about drug culture than I ever thought I would just from watching “Intervention.” And at times, I’ve considered dabbling in it, using information from the show to determine what kinds of drugs I could do, given the opportunity…
My point is that whether we want to admit it or not, we are influenced by what we watch. The trick is to be aware of the fact that even though we’re not children anymore, we’re still very much impressionable. I want to know what’s going to happen on “House” next week just as badly as you do; it’s when I start implementing things from the show into my everyday life that it gets slippery.