Thanks to some special friends, I have borrowed the entire Little House on the Prairie television series and I watch them while I run on our elliptical trainer. I’m almost finished with season two and I’m thoroughly enjoying them, even if most of them do make me tear up! What I am drawn to most about this program is the simplicity of life depicted then as compared to now and how much the Ingalls family cherished each other. (Another blessing of this series is that it is wholesome and suitable for the whole family. We’ll probably end up getting our own set some day – you may want to get one too).
Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot of things were much harder to do in the late 1800’s as compared to now due to the lack of technology; but, the lack of technology gives the era a peace and stillness that warms my heart. Yes, they spent hours a day doing chores – and making dinner took them much longer than it takes us today, but they still managed to get more sleep than we do now, even with all of our conveniences.
Dinner is a family event on the show and entertainment consists of listening to Pa read or play the fiddle after dinner. No matter what hardships they faced, they clung to each other, and they took up for each other when situations warranted their attention. Yes, I know that Little House on the Prairie is a television show and that life back then did not always work out for settlers the way it did for the Ingalls, but there is still a lot to gain from watching their family interact.
I told Eric the other day that Charles Ingalls gave husbands an impossible example to follow. He was strong, loving, and always came to the rescue. Most shows today portray the father in a family to be stupid, weak, and easily fooled. So, I would prefer to see men follow in Charles Ingalls’ footsteps any day! And let’s not forget Caroline Ingalls. I feel lazy just watching all the things she had to do to keep the house running. Thinking about the way life used to be, it seems silly for me to complain about having to load the dishwasher! Sometimes while watching the show, I feel myself craving that lifestyle (only with air conditioning) and the closeness of their family.
Is it possible to recapture family time the way it was before the distraction of televisions, computers, cell phones and video games? Yes, but it takes planning (and commitment). Dinner can still be a family event and it is easier to do this if you begin your marriage by eating around the table with all distractions turned off. Don’t limit your family time to dinner, but find other forms of entertainment that require interaction and family connection.
Besides, when you’re having a difficult day, and you are unsure of yourself, there is a blessing that comes from knowing a warm family (even if family consists of one person) is waiting to take you in and encourage you. This is a cherished love that no TV show could ever give you.Time spent connecting with each other is not wasted, even though our go-go society might not understand it. At the end of the day when computers crash, your cell phone is lost, and you’ve beaten every level of your video games twice, family remains new and exciting. If you don’t think your family or significant other is exciting anymore, spend more time with them. There is always something new to learn or to talk about as your worlds and experiences collide.
As you prepare to move into marriage, make plans to spend time cherishing each other daily. Treat each day together as if it was your last, and don’t let the cares and complications of this modern world rob you of your biggest earthly blessing: each other.
What lessons stand out to you while reflecting on a slower pace of life?