We Dare You...

"I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless." ~David, Psalm 101:3

It's not often we throw down a challenge from this blog (actually we're "people-pleaser's" so it's not often we throw down a challenge anywhere), but this month has been labeled "Turn off the TV month" by our boss, Dennis Rainey. So the challenge actually came from Dennis, (don't be mad at us, we're just saying what he said) but we believe it's a really good idea. I recently saw a Eurodata poll that had some pretty staggering results-

Amount of television that the average American watches per day: Over four hours*
Average number of hours per week that American one year-old children watch television: Six*
Number of hours recommended by the American Pediatric Association for children two and under: 0*
Average time per week that the American child ages 2-17 spends watching television: 19 hours, 40 minutes*
Time per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 38.5 minutes*
Percentage of children ages 8-16 who have a TV in their bedroom: 56*
Percentage of those children who usually watch television in their bedroom: 30*
Percentage of television-time that children ages 2-7 spend watching alone and unsupervised: 81*
Percentage of children ages eight and up who have no rules about watching TV: 61*
Percentage of teenagers 13-17 who can name the city where the US Constitution was written (Philadelphia): 25*
Percentage of teenagers 13-17 who know where you find the zip code 90210 (Beverly Hills): 75*
Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked, would rather watch TV than spend time with their fathers: 54*
Number of violent acts the average American child sees on TV by age 18: 200,000*
Number of murders witnessed by children on television by the age 18: 16,000*
Number of TV commercials seen by the average American by age 65: Two million.

Obviously, not all TV is bad (Monday Night Football, Sportscenter and Flip that House are three excellent examples of high quality programming), and of course not everyone has out-of-control watching habits...but at our house we do realize how often the TV becomes the first choice for a free time activity. I bet the TV is on for at least 2 hours each night and we watch about 1 1/2 hours of it.

We've been doing this "Turn Off the TV" thing for a few years now and we're always amazed at how much earlier we go to bed, how many more books we read, how much more relaxed and unhurried our lives feel, and how much more quality time we spend as a family.

If you asked 100 people one thing that would make their lives better, most of them would probably answer more time (or more money, which is really just used to buy more time or better time). So look at this challenge as an opportunity to get the one thing that everyone wants more of. If you're thinking to yourself "what on earth would I do with all of this new found time?" Well, you could play with your kids, call a friend, play a game as a family, or read one of those books you've had on your bookshelf for years. FamilyLife has asked some of their former radio guests such as Coach Tony Dungy or artist Sara Groves to list their favorite books. You can find the list by clicking here

So there you have it- a rare challenge from Ross and Taya. Are you up for it? We Dare You...

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.


Anonymous said...

Hey you guys! Your blog looks great. What an awesome way to keep everybody up to date on what's going on in your lives. Ross, I really appreciate how transparent you are with sharing both the highs and the lows of what your experiencing. It's pretty easy to see that even through the lows God is using you to do some incredible things. You two are an awesome example and sure set the bar high. I love you guys and miss you a ton. -J

Anonymous said...

Good challenge....Am I up for it???? hmmmmmmm......good challenge!!! Way to take a risk you two!!!! we are proud of you!!

Love Mom and Dad

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