My Lent Without TV….Well Not Really…Just Less TV

I didn’t grow up in a religious home. When we did go we were holiday Lutherans. When we did go to church I was more interested in the cute girls that were there than anything else. When I started going to church it was not within a traditional denomination and for the last 10 years I’ve been working at a non-denomination church. I’m not used to liturgy and the more formal church traditions.

But Twitter and other social networks has allowed me to meet people from different religious backgrounds. And for a lot of Christians they find meaning and personal growth in liturgy and other traditions. I heard a lot of talk on Twitter about Lent so I thought I’d give it a try.

First off I started late. I was about 3 days behind the start of Lent when I started. But I was realizing that I was spending way too much time watching TV. On an average week I was spending 14-24 hours a week watching TV. While I was watching that much TV I felt like I never had enough time to tackle projects around the house, to read as much as I’d like, to grow professionally and creatively. But I had enough time to spend 1 to 2 working days watching TV a week.

So I decided no TV for Lent. Then I talked to my wife and we decided less TV a week. Knowing me I didn’t think I could just go without TV at all. Even though during my last year of college and for a year or two afterward I didn’t have a TV in my apartment. So we decided on less TV.

We record the few shows or so we want to watch a week and that’s what we watch. In case you’re wondering the shows I’ll watch most weeks are: Heros, Top Gear, How I Met Your Mother, Lost and The Office. I’ve cut my TV down to about 3 hours a week now. I’m not perfect and we’ve deviated from time to time. We had 1-2 weeks where everyone took turns getting sick. And days we just want to veg and escape. But most nights now the TV stays off.

But I have to say reducing the amount of TV we watch has changed our lives. My wife and I spend a lot more time talking and really connecting with each other. We’re more patient with the kids. The house is calmer, well as calm as it gets with a 2 and 4 year old running around. And we’ve been reading. Taking the time to read and then process through with my wife what we’re reading and how it applies to our lives has been huge!

I don’t know if we’ll get rid of the TV all together. I know boxee.tv, hulu.com and netflix.com streaming is pretty cool. But for now I’m happy to have more time to grow in my relationships. With my wife, my kids and spending more time with God.

I’m planning on writing about some of the books that I’ve read that I think would be helpful to those in the church/tech/media world.

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April 17, 2009. Personal Growth.

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