Proverbs 4:20-27 : “Pay attention to what I say, listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and talk only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left, keep your foot from evil.”
In these verses God is saying: “Now listen closely. When I say ‘listen’ I mean listen and live out what I am telling you. I am saying, do not listen and walk away and forget. My words and my ways are truly life to those who find and practice them and health to a man’s whole body. How can they be health to your whole body? I am giving you ways not to tangle your life up in things that make you feel defeated, depressed and purposeless. My way is life.
When I tell you not to step out on your spouse or sleep around before you are married, that is life because you do not end up spending precious months and years tangled in relationships that are unhealthy, hurt you and damage those around you.
When I tell you to ‘guard your heart’ because it is the wellspring of life I also go on to say that you should put away perversity from your mouth and keep corrupt talk from your lips. Perversity is purposely deviating from what is good, proper and reasonable.
If I tell you to ‘guard your heart’ from these things, why then do you feel that you can bring them into your living room? Do you somehow deceive yourself into believing that if you bring them into your home you are not participating in them?
Was there a time when more offended you than now offends you? Do you watch (or participate in) worse things now than you did a year ago or ten years ago? Guard your heart…it is the wellspring of life.”
Here is a challenge that could rock your world: Turn off the television for six little weeks. Require that all electronics are off from dinner time until a set time each evening. Be sure you have at least three hours of electronics-free time together. Notice at what loose ends you are and how bored (frustrated?) your family is. That frustration is a clear indicator that your life is being used up by electronics…hearts are being hardened, relationships diminished.
Six weeks later, when (if!) you turn the television/electronics back on, you will be shocked and appalled at what is on the screen and how little quality time you have really had previous to this experiment. If you have chosen to spend your time in meaningful ways, your children will feel more connected to you and each other. God will make more sense. Life will mean more…will have a clearer purpose. In six little weeks your family will be more deeply bonded because your time has been spent communicating…living in ways that nourish mind, body and spirit.
That… is life!