Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Bob DeMoss: I am more concerned about “ Survivor Island” than my neighbor who’s not surviving next door to me.

Leslie Basham: Bob DeMoss disagrees vehemently with people who say television doesn’t affect their spiritual lives . . . and don’t get him started on the Great Commission.

Bob DeMoss: So I’m not going to Jerusalem first and then the rest of the world. I’m not even going out my driveway because I’ve got so much television I need to consume.

Leslie Basham: This Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Friday, July 28th.

Don’t forget that we’re challenging you to make this August your TV-free month. Stay tuned for more information. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Our guest all this week on Revive Our Hearts has been my first cousin, Bob DeMoss, and we’ve been talking about his book TV: The Great Escape.

Bob, again I just want to thank you for not only writing this book but for coming on Revive Our Hearts to tell our listeners about this 30-day TV turn-off challenge.

Bob DeMoss: It’s been my pleasure. For twenty years, Nancy, I’ve been listening to fellow believers say, “Bob, it just is not that bad. The TV does not influence me at all or my family.

Nancy: It influences everybody else.

Bob: Everybody else, but not me. There’s this sense of denial that “somehow I can handle this. I know what I believe. I know right from wrong.” So, for instance, the fact that I’m sitting here watching the latest dancing transvestite come on to the popular talk show and espouse same-sex marriages or rights for this or that or whatever you have—somehow it’s not going to influence me to start thinking differently about the sanctity of marriage.

When I think about that kind of argument that I hear over and over, it takes me back to the story of Samson in Judges chapter thirteen.

One of the things, as I was doing some Bible study, that just struck me like a bolt of lightning was when Manoah first received the knowledge that they were pregnant. It came through an announcement by an angel.

Now, how many births in the Bible are announced by an angel? There are only six! So that means this is big news! Samson’s birth, just like John the Baptist, just like Jesus, was foretold by an angel. In fact, it was two times!

So Samson had marching orders. There was a call on his life to be a man of God.

What do we find two or three chapters later? He’s over with the Philistine, Delilah. He’s in bed with the enemy. She’s stroking his hair. He’s just toying with her. When she’s saying, “Oh Samson, tell me the secret of your great strength,” three times he pulls a fast one on her.

Then she ends up saying, “You’ve deceived me these three times. Why don’t you tell me the real strength? If you love me (she pulls the “if you love me” card), you’ll tell me.

Then he breaks down and tells her. If I could just read in chapter sixteen verse twenty: “Then Delilah called Samson, the Philistines are upon you. And he awoke from his sleep and thought, I’ll go out as before and shake myself free but he did not know that the Lord had left him.”

Here’s the thing. He is so arrogant as to think that he can lie in the lap of Delilah and flirt with her—the sworn enemy of the people of God.

He thinks he can lie there and be untainted by that situation. He doesn’t even realize that the Spirit of God has left him.

That’s what we’re seeing. I think that that’s why the church today is so stagnant and why we’ve lost the power that we could have to bring revival to this country that desperately needs us.

I’m more concerned about “Survivor Island” than my neighbor who’s not surviving next door to me. I don’t even know their name. I don’t even care, so I’m not going to Jerusalem first and then the rest of the world. I’m not even going out my driveway because I’ve got so much television I need to consume.

Nancy: And as we heard yesterday from your wife, Leticia’s, friend, Pam, who shared that powerful testimony—there is a Christian woman who admitted that her theology, in effect, was being shaped more by Doctor Phil and Oprah than by the Word of God.

And think about those three precious little boys God has entrusted to her. She was raising them on the world’s wisdom, the world’s thinking. It took a dramatic challenge, like this 30-day challenge that you’ve given, where they’ve turned off their TV for actually six weeks. It took that for them to realize how far they had gone in their thinking and how much they had been co-opted by the world’s way of thinking.

Bob: I think that’s why Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life” (NLT).

Nancy: How do you guard your heart?

Bob: You don’t guard it by inviting the enemy into the center of your house, the most intimate quarters, your bedroom, where you invite them to bring images to celebrate the kinds of things that God calls sin. They call evil good and good evil.

So that’s where going TV-free for 30 days. . . . The goal, ultimately, is to gain a sense of balance and a tune-up. You might have to say, “I was better off without this thing.”

Nancy: Now, I can hear as you are giving this challenge, Bob, you’re saying 30 days with no TV viewing. . . I can image some of our listeners, wives, moms, thinking, “That’s what we need in our family. My husband’s the TV addict; he’s the couch potato. I’m sick and tired of the TV going on in our home.”

So he walks in the door tonight and his wife is there to say to him, “We’re turning off the TV for 30 days.

(laughter)

Nancy: Right or wrong way to approach this?

Bob: Probably not the best idea. I think you want to come along side of your husband and say, for instance, “You know, honey, I’ve been convicted in my spirit that something’s got to change. I don’t feel as close to you as I’d like to be. I think I’d be a lot more productive for you and for our family and we together would enjoy and savor so much more in life if we could just maybe get rid of that [television] for just a period of time. Why don’t we just try it?”

Nancy: That’s likely to motivate him.

Bob: You find him start to say, “Well. . . .” But you’ve also been praying about this, too.

Nancy: Yes!

Bob: So this is not just an effort to talk him into it.

I’ve got a story in TV: The Great Escape where the husband wrote me and said, “Bob, we have a disagreement. My wife refuses to go without the television. She says that’s what keeps her company all day long. So we’ve got into a disagreement, and I don’t know how to do this TV thing.

The idea is to do it together. If you have to go solo, then set the standard. Go for it. But don’t say, “Okay, over here I’m reading all of Plato and Shakespeare and Homer and John Calvin’s works while you’re watching TV.”

The last thing to do is to lord it over them or make a big thing out of it. If your husband’s not on board yet, consider you and the children going TV-free. If your husband wants to watch TV, then go for a walk with the kids.

Start to quietly, gently win him over.

Nancy: Some of our listeners (like the story we heard from Pam yesterday) are going to sit there the first day looking at each other thinking:

Nancy and Bob:What in the world are we going to do?” (laughter)

Nancy: One of the things I should have mentioned earlier this week that I appreciate about your book is that the whole second half is really a 30-day devotional. Is that what you call it?

Bob: Yes. In fact, I designed short chapters that you could read at dinner, now that you are not racing to go watch a TV show or you’re eating dinner while the TV’s cackling away.

Nancy: There’re actually thirty of these?

Bob: There are thirty of these—one for each day. It’s sort of an inspiration, motivation. I’m your coach. I’m your cheerleader. I’m the person coming along side of you each day to give you some perspective on different topics: about proper speech, about the use of time, about thinking critically, about the kinds of skill development that make you a visually-literate person.

There are some alternative activities. Each day we give you some scripture and some practical ideas and some fun stories. But they’re very short, the kind of thing you can work together with after dinner or maybe talk about on your walk (that you now have time for).

Nancy: What are some of the things that people may find they have time for that they didn’t when they were addicted to the TV?

Bob: Well, extra sleep is a big one. I don’t know how many people in the surveys think that this is not a big deal, but people say they are so tired. They say they unwind with the TV, but in reality TV is not a relaxing medium.

You’re being flashed with all kinds of temptation, rapid movement, loud sounds, car street explosions, all this other stuff. So when you turn off the TV, you find that now you’re actually getting your chores done, and it’s still 9:00 pm—I can go to bed.

You can read a book and drift off to sleep. You’re getting eight to nine hours of sleep. You’re more rested.

Nancy: You can get up and have more time with the Lord in the morning.

Bob: And be refreshed with the Lord and have more time with the Lord as a couple. I mean you see a lot of new things happening that you didn’t see before because TV drains us on more levels than we ever would consider.

Nancy: Well, there are a lot more aspects of this that we could discuss and the week has gone by so quickly. Bob, I want to thank you for this book and for challenging our listeners as you have, and I just want to add my word.

I hope that every one of our listeners will seriously consider taking this 30-day challenge to turn off the TV, unplug it, and if you need some help knowing how to do that, and what to put in its place, here’s a great tool that Bob DeMoss has written.

It’s a book called TV: The Great Escape. You can order that through our website. You can call our 800 number (800-569-5959).

But you know, it really comes back to the heart of the matter. I think there’s perhaps no better place in the Scripture that states that than Psalm 101:2-3.

“I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh, when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.”

That passage goes on to talk about how this writer says, “I want those people who love righteousness, those people who are pure, those people who speak the truth to come into my house to be a part of my lifestyle. I don’t want strangers who are telling lies and being deceitful and have perverse hearts to be a part of the fabric of my life” (paraphrased).

Is it possible that you’ve been allowing evil, wicked, ungodly strangers to walk in your house, to play with your children, to entertain you during the day through the means of the television.

Well, it may be time to make a break, to break the habit, to start some new habits.

You may think right now, as our guest Pam told us yesterday, “That seems impossible! I don’t think I can do that!"

That’s why the challenge is not “do this for the rest of your life.” The challenge is take just 30 days and pull the plug.

Bob’s got some great practical ideas of what you can put in the place of the TV for those thirty days. I really believe that if you’ll take that challenge, you will see some lasting transformation in your life.

As you see those changes, write them down; and then I hope that you’ll write us here at Revive Our Hearts and let us know what God is doing in your life as a result of this TV-free challenge.

Hopefully, it will be a challenge not just to turn off the TV but to develop a whole new level of intimacy—perhaps in your marriage, with your children, and most importantly in your relationship with the Lord.

Leslie: That’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss speaking with her first cousin, Bob DeMoss.

Bob wrote a book called TV: The Great Escape. We’d like to send it to you along with a couple of special TV screen clings you can put up to remind yourself and your family of the 30-Day TV–Free Challenge.

The book and the attractive clings are available for your gift of $20.00 or more when you contact us here at Revive Our Hearts. We exist to call women to freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. Your gift helps us do just that.

Have you signed up to take the TV-Free Challenge yet? You can do so at http://www.ReviveOurHearts.com/tvfree. It’s a great place to share your experience with others who are also talking the TV-Free Challenge and get creative ideas on what to do instead of watching TV.

Once again, our website for Bob’s book or to sign up for the challenge is http://www.ReviveOurHearts.com. If you’d rather call us, our number is 1-800-569-5959.

Next week we begin a series from the book of Proverbs called The Way of Wisdom. I hope you can join us for Revive Our Hearts, and have a great weekend.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

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