Not a Sitcom
By Anne Peterson
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:2
Like many of you, I like to watch television at times, but have you noticed the way they portray relationships? Either the husband is someone who is not interested in the family and helping with things around the house, or like years ago, the wife is someone who waits on everyone but never has an opinion of her own.
We laugh at some of the lines we’ve heard, and make light of it, but I wonder how much of this seeps into our own thinking about relationships. And the shows which do portray mutual respect, well, they’re not very common.
Have you also noticed that much of humor is at someone’s expense? Maybe we’re laughing because there is some truth in these stories. Sure, our lives could mirror the ones we see each day on our television screens, but God wants those of us who know and follow him to reflect what he tells us in his Word. God instructs us to not be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. And the only thing that will transform them is God’s Word.
When we read Romans 12:10, we are told to be devoted to each other and to honor one another. That means to hold each other in high esteem.
What we put into our minds eventually works its way into our thoughts, our actions and our behaviors. Why not be selective about what we choose to think about.
Watching a sitcom where a wife continually puts her husband down can make us feel proud that we’re not at all like that wife. But it can also sting a little if we realize, we do sometimes correct our partners. And while I tried justifying my own habit of correcting Mike, the Holy Spirit showed me it was not because I cared about his making an error. It was me wanting to be right. And simply put, that’s pride.
When we correct someone we are usually doing it from a position above them. We’re glad we don’t make mistakes like that.
God gently pointed out to me that it was not my place to correct my husband. And I found something interesting when I stopped doing it. I found he often caught his own mistake. And if he didn’t I found it was possible to keep quiet. I believe each time I kept silent I was pleasing God.
Sadly, I don’t remember kind words between my parents. I don’t remember one of them praising the other. I do remember criticisms though. So I made up my mind that I would not repeat those patterns. Laughter in my house growing up was often at the expense of others. This was also something I did not want to replicate.
One day my husband and I were at a restaurant with our two children, who were ten and six at the time. Our six-year-old daughter accidentally knocked over her glass of water.
Like clockwork, we quickly passed down our napkins and helped her clean up the mess. My thoughts reverted to how the scenario would have played out in my family of origin. There would have been laughter, someone would have yelled, “Nice going.” And the person who spilled the water would have felt belittled and ashamed.
I sighed. I’m thankful we get to choose what we want our homes to look like. We can create a place where people are free to grow and make mistakes, knowing they are still accepted, and loved. Or we can make a place where it’s never safe to let down our guard.
We get to decide. And if we use the Word of God as our master plan, we can watch our children grow up to honor and respect those they interact with. I’m so thankful we have the choice. Our lives are not a sitcom.
Anne Peterson is a regular contributor to Crosswalk. Anne is a poet, speaker, published author of 14 books, including her memoir, Broken: A story of abuse, survival, and hope. Anne has been married to her husband, Michael, for 43 years. Sign up for Anne's newsletter at www.annepeterson.com and receive a free eBook. Or connect with her on Facebook. Then you’ll hear about her new writings.
Related Resource: Listen to our new, FREE podcast on marriage: Team Us. The best marriages have a teamwork mentality. Find practical, realistic ideas for strengthening your marriage. Listen to all of our episodes for free on LifeAudio.com or in your favorite podcast app!