“I am going to bury you with that iPad.” Eric has heard this joke enough for a lifetime. He has also heard me say that I am going to bury him in the jacket he wears all the time (year-round; but that is another story for another time ~smile~). It is no secret I have entertained fantasies about destroying that device in a myriad of creative and painful ways. (Perhaps I am a little jealous of it at times?) However, if Eric were to counter with a joke of his own, he would say that he is burying the TV with me. We both have our screen of choice (his, he interacts with actively; mine, I interactive with passively) and we both acknowledge that perhaps we should spend less time bonding with each of them!
We live in an entertainment age. We do not even have to go to the bathroom without entertainment anymore! Nope, we can watch movies, play games, or chat with friends while visiting the loo! If you feel weighted down by the constant tugging of entertainment around you, you are not alone. It is everywhere – and, as nice as these “glorious” distractions feel in the moment, in the end, they leave us feeling empty. When I think back on the simpler life my grandparents enjoyed, I sometimes long for such an era – talking to neighbors and going to bed when the sun goes down. How do you feel when you spend two hours entertaining yourself? Four hours? Eight hours? Twenty-four hours? At what point do you begin to feel numb or hollow?
Entertainment is something which can bring added pleasure to a relationship, but it can easily become a couple’s downfall – especially when entertainment becomes the greatest goal. How many women do you know who feel like a gamer’s widow? How many men do you know who detest having to fight The Bachelor and other reality television for their lady’s attention?
It may not be a concern now if you are in the early stages of your relationship, but once the newness wears off, couples relax back into their normal ways of being. What is your normal? What is his or her normal? How did he or she fill the days before meeting you?
Add the Following Questions to Your Creed Notebook!
- How many hours a day/week do I spend on entertainment?
- Am I comfortable with this amount?
- Do I think it should be higher or lower?
- Is my significant other comfortable with the amount of time I spend on entertainment?
- How much money do I spend on entertainment in a week/month?
- Am I comfortable with this amount?
- Do I think it should be higher or lower?
- Is my significant other comfortable with the amount of money I spend on entertainment?
- What types of entertainment most draw me?
- On a scale from 1-10, how important are the following hobbies to me:
- Watching TV
- Watching Movies
- Going to Movies
- Video/Computer Gaming
- Mobile Device Gaming
- Playing Sports
- Attending Sporting Events
- Listening to Music
- Attending Concerts
- Eating out
- Outdoor activities
- What forms of entertainment do we enjoy together?
- Do these hobbies ultimately draw us closer together?
- Do these hobbies ultimately detract (or distract) from our relationship?
- Have I ever been confronted by my significant other, a parent, or a friend about the amount of time I spend on my entertainment of choice?
- If so, what were their concerns?
- Did I adjust my behavior as a result?
- Do I see their concerns as valid? Why or why not?
- By what philosophy of entertainment do I aspire to live, and what expectations do I have of my future spouse in this area?
What Does the Bible Say?
By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. (Genesis 2:2, ESV)
You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3, ESV)
Entertainment can so easily become more important to us than God.
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. (Psalm 101:3-4, ESV)
Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich. (Proverbs 21:17, ESV)
“And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” And they began to celebrate. … “It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:23-24, 32, ESV)
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. (I Timothy 6:17, ESV)
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:15-17, ESV)
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:13-14, ESV)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, ESV)
Just as with laughter, entertainment can be good and pure, or it can be impure. God’s Word does not forbid entertainment. In fact, the Bible is full of stories of feasts and celebrations. Trouble rises when pursuing entertainment becomes one of our main life goals and when our choices in entertainment do not honor God.
Preparing to write my personal creed and our couple’s creed puts me in mind of how much time and energy I (and we) spend amusing ourselves. Even Eric, as busy as he is, finds time (usually time he would otherwise be sleeping ~smile~) to enjoy some gaming or YouTube videos. Last night, I lay in bed in the wee hours of the morning thinking, “Why am I playing Candy Crush? I can barely keep my eyes open!” Yet, with my favorite TV show playing on my iPad, I kept moving from level to level, the buzz of my phone intoxicating. In the light of day, it feels so ridiculous, but there is something about those nighttime hours which call to us – don’t sleep, come play, play, play, play, play. One more level. You can do it. You can just drink more coffee tomorrow…. Am I the only one? (I don’t think so. ~smile~)
You do not necessarily need to add anything about entertainment to your creed unless you want to, but it is a good time to examine the time, energy, and money you and your partner put into recreation, along with the types of entertainment you enjoy.
- Am I honoring God through this medium?
- Is my time with God and serving God disproportionate to the time I spend engaged in my hobbies?
- Is my behavior enhancing my relationships or causing harm to my relationships?
These are tough questions, especially in today’s culture. Entertainment is everywhere and we are frequently told, “You deserve it. Relax. Take a break.” And, while we should relax and take appropriate, well-earned breaks, we are motivated to place a higher priority on amusing ourselves than Scripture encourages. Believe me, I am preaching to myself! Ever since I was a child, I have pursued entertainment.
- Do schoolwork… so I can get to the entertainment.
- Get through the workday… so I can get to the entertainment.
- Put off work… so I can enjoy some entertainment.
All the while justifying it in my mind or telling myself… you can just get more done tomorrow. Can you relate? Can your partner relate?
Entertainment is not bad in and of itself, but as with anything, it can become a god to us (cf. Exodus 20:3). Occasionally, we should take a step back and examine our lives and decisions to see where we need to make changes. What comes to your mind when you think about your relationship with entertainment? What, if any, changes do you believe you should make?
As you examine your life, know you are not alone. All around you people are binge-watching Netflix, spending full workdays gaming, and watching sports game after sports game. The time in which we live is filled with methods to distract us. Entertainment can be a blessing, but let us ask ourselves: Is my current level of entertainment propelling me forward or holding me back from what I truly want out of life?
The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now. – Zig Ziglar
We aren’t in an information age; we are in an entertainment age. – Tony Robbins
On the tombstone of America, the inscription will read: “They Entertained Themselves to Death.” – Leonard Ravenhill
Nothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without a passion, without business, without entertainment, without care. – Blaise Pascal
For some reason, as time gets short in life, wasting time escaping through entertainment bothers me. –Dick Van Dyke
How important is entertainment to our relationship?