Randy Alcorn goes after guidelines to keeping your TV a servant rather than a master. You can read the full post including the motivations he gives here.
These are the things he lists:
1. Keep track of how much time you spend watching.
2. Decide in advance how much TV to watch per week.
3. Use a schedule to choose programs for the week (perhaps at family time)— then stick to your choices.
4. Keep your television unplugged, store it in a closet, and/or put it in a remote part of the house .
5. Periodically “fast” from television for a week or a month. Notice the “cold turkey” effects.
6. Choose programs that uplift rather than undermine biblical values.
7. Use the “off” switch freely. If it’s wrong and you keep watching, you’re saying “I approve.”
8. Use the channel changer frequently. Even decent programs often have explicit commercial clips of the latest adultery-rape-murder-madstalker-child-kidnapper movies.
9. Watch and discuss programs together as a family—to avoid passivity and develop active moral discernment through interaction.
10. Don’t allow young children to choose their own programs—that’s the parent’s responsibility. As they get older, they can choose, but parents should always have veto power. Use it with sensitivity, but use it.
11. Don’t use television as a baby sitter. Provide healthy alternatives, such as reading, projects, play and interaction with parents, siblings, and friends.
12. Spend an hour reading Scripture, a Christian book or magazine, or doing a ministry for each hour you watch TV.
13. Consider dropping cable, Showtime, HBO, or any other service that you determine is importing ungodliness or temptation into your home.
14. If you find you can’t control it—or you’re tired of the battle—get rid of your television.
This a great post! I used to work with a guy that didn't have a television in his home. At first, I thought that he was crazy…after all, who can live without?
He explained to me that there were many better uses for his/his wife's time, and that they typically choose to do other more productive things such as study, exercise, or read.
He mentioned that if they need information, such as news, etc…that they look it up online.
What a way to control the content that you are exposed to!
Glad you found it helpful. Randy Alcorn is a gift to the body of Christ.
When I stopped watching TV I was amazed at how much time I had for worthwhile things. I only watch a couple hours when I'm at my sisters house, every other weekend or so. I hope people take this post to heart and if not get rid of the TV at least severely limit the time it's on.