The Super Bowl is this Sunday, a day when millions of Americans glue their eyes to the TV to watch a football game and commercials. Already people are planning their menus, inviting friends and buying big screen TVs.
I remember as a child we always attended church on Sunday evenings, even on Super Bowl Sunday. We would make it home just in time to watch a little of the second half. There was never any question whether we would go to church, we were going. We knew that in the long run there are more important issues in life than watching a football game.
When I got married we had a little 13 inch black and white TV we kept in a closet. We would occasionally take it out to watch a game, sitting close enough to see the small figures running up and down the field. One Saturday we decided to splurge by buying a 19 inch TV with a remote control. It even stayed on a table in the family room rather than being stored in a closet. Twisting rabbit ears we could dissolve the static enough to see a game reasonably clearly. There was no need to get cable when the rabbit ears functioned with little turns.
Super Bowl Sunday was coming up in 2003. We invited our small group at church to watch the game at our house. We even rented a 36 inch TV to watch the game, realizing that most of the guys would balk at watching the Super Bowl on our 19 inch that seemed so large to us. The day of the big game came, and the group filled our kitchen, family room and dining room. The guys fired up the TV only to stare in disbelief at the static waving across the screen. The rabbit ears stood erect on top of the TV waiting to be manipulated. “Is your cable working?” one guy asked from across the room. My husband casually commented, “We don’t have cable.” There was complete silence in the room as the guys grasped they would have to watch a Super Bowl without cable. For the rest of the night a group of guys huddled around the TV turning the rabbit ears desperately trying to produce a perfectly clear picture.
We have a big screen TV now, but only basic cable. Rabbit ears are impossible to keep balanced on such a thin ledge. We still don’t watch much TV, there are simply too many other valuable activities besides staring at a screen. We are planning to watch the Super Bowl, at least part of it. My game plan is just as important as any taking place on the field. My husband and I have a team that includes three precious children we are striving to train and protect.
Lean in closely and you can catch our game plan. It’s worked well for eleven years and we’re still adding new plays, keeping life fun and interesting. Our kids need to understand the big Xs and Os.
Do Serve Delicious and Healthy Snacks
Don’t Watch Harmful Commercials
Companies pay millions of dollars for 30 seconds to convince us their product is undeniably the best money can buy and we cannot live without it. Beside innocent items stand scantily clad women begging men to look at their bodies. I understand these women are getting paid big bucks and they don’t understand their value beyond their body. The sad part is the audience fixating on the women and purchasing the products. Companies know what works so the clothes keep dropping off.
Our family has a great solution…we turn off the TV when “bad” commercials come on. Our children know when they’re even starting and push the off button. This communicates to our girls what is on the inside is much more important than their looks. It also shows them God gave us our bodies to be used for His glory, not to make men clamor after us. With the TV off our son knows protecting his eyes is a choice he must make every day. As a wife I feel protected and loved by my husband who chooses to look at me rather than other women.
What do we do when the TV is off? This year our children are making their own commercials. With my digital camera set on video our children come up far better entertainment than what is on TV. We laugh and we can watch the videos for years to come. Saying no to the bad, means saying yes to the good.
Do Have Fun
We spend the Super Bowl night having fun together. I make up Super Bowl trivia games with prizes, we write down long numbers using the Roman numerals, eat, and remember it’s not about the game. Our children need to know they are much more important than any game.
Don’t Watch the Halftime Show
I don’t even know who is performing this year, but I do know the show will have women with minimal clothing moving their bodies to attract as much attention as possible. There will be music that has no true significance.
We turn off the TV and play Super Bowl Bingo. Using a free online Bingo maker I make Super Bowl Bingo. Everyone loves it, especially when there are prizes. I make a new game every year to include the teams playing and landmarks in their cities.
There’s usually enough time for everyone to win, more snacks and decorating cream cheese cookies. Our children never even ask about the halftime show. The secret is finding the right things to do so the wrong things are not even missed.
We’re looking forward to Sunday, with a game plan that will allow us to have fun longer than just Sunday. Many people will have deep regrets on Monday morning simply because they were looking for fun on one night. We desperately desire that our children look down the field of life rather than just one step in front of them. God can use them in amazing ways if they understand the big picture of life.
Copyright © words and photographs by Jane Carole Stein