Thursday, April 26, 2012

How To Be A Man: Taking Out The Trash

Garbage In...Garbage Out. It's a daily chore.
I have often wondered how a small family like mine (we're only four people) can produce so much trash! Our trash pickup is only once a week, and boy do we fill those bins from Monday to Monday! Each bedroom has a trash can; both bathrooms, the kitchen, and even the den have trash receptacles; but despite all of this, I still find empty pizza boxes, squished soda bottles, and used muffin wrappers piled on tables, besides chairs, and lying on the floor, constantly needing to be picked up, thrown away, and carted out to the bins for trash pickup! And that job always seems to fall firmly in my lap.

Where does it all come from? How did it get there? The short answer is the kids, amiright? But's my wife and I. We do the grocery shopping...we buy all the items that come into our home, and those items leave waste that must be disposed of. Of course, we're not a "green" family, per se, but we do care about our environment and recognize our role in being good "caretakers" of what God has given us.

So, in an effort to reduce the amount of trash we generate, we look for "reduced packaging" items, reusable materials, and try to be conscious of what comes into our home. But do we make the same effort to watch what comes into our homes spiritually? As men, we are called to be the "spiritual head" of our homes. As we've discussed in previous posts, that does not mean that you rule the roost with an iron fist, beating your wife and demanding a beer. It means doing all you can to provide an environment that encourages spiritual growth and health for you spouse and children. Just as taking out the physical trash falls to does taking out the spiritual trash.

"Hey you know what time it is?"
If we're going to "take out the trash", we need to know how it gets there. Probably the most prevalent and obvious source is...the 'boob tube'. Sit back and evaluate how much TV your family is watching...and what. Hey, dad...sit down with your kids and watch their cartoons with them. Is the message, characters, and behaviors of their favorite shows creating a good spiritual environment? More than likely, you might find that those "silly cartoons" are actually encouraging your kids to be disrespectful, rude, and know more about things than is appropriate for their age.

Now, I'm not trying to tell you what to watch. I wouldn't dream of giving you a list of programs to avoid--simply because I don't want you doing that to me! But I would suggest that as a parent, and as a father-the spiritual authority in your home, you need to be aware of what is coming into your home through your TV. Likewise, pay attention to the musical choices your children and teens make, as well as their video game selections. Be attention...and take out the trash that is trying to come into you life!

Now that you've identified the source of the "trash", you need to find alternatives. I'll be the first to admit that most Christian TV is boring. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. But, and here's a thought, do we have to replace BAD TV with WORSE TV? Do we have to replace it with TV at all? How about spending that time outdoors? Maybe take a day hike, or play a rousing game of catch...anything that will replace the bad with good, moral, spiritual, and loving family bonds!

Okay, the "kid's room" is cleaned. about your wife's domain? What can you help her with that will "clean out the trash" in her life? Approaching it delicately, maybe you could suggest that instead of spending the evening on and she could have a "couple's devotional", or play a couple of hands of "trash train" after the kids go to bed...or better yet, go out on a clear, cool night, snuggle up on the patio set, sipping coffee and watch the stars, concluding the evening with a genuine time of prayer together and a passionate kiss goodnight? She'll be so surprised by your sudden and genuine interest in her, that she may "swoon" in your arms!

"Frankly, my dear...I DO give a darn!"
Alrighty then. Now that you've won "brownie points" with the wife, let's take a look at the trash in YOUR life! Where's it coming from? Those "late night" television shows that are really inappropriate for a godly, married man to be watching? Those internet sites? I won't belabor the point, since I've already dedicated a whole post to making a covenant with your eyes. But what are your alternatives?

My mother, sainted woman that she is, has told me this a hundred times, "I don't care if there's a fresh T-Bone steak at the bottom of the dust bin, it's not worth digging through the trash to get it." Find alternatives to that "trash" that seems to fill up your life. Whatever entertainment, value, or macho verification you get out of that's just not worth it. Spiritually speaking, there is nothing greater than being the true "spiritual head" of your home and see your wife and children grow and blossom into what God wants them to be.

I know. It's's's boring. But, like a clean home is worth the effort of getting those old, moldy bread heels out to the kitchen and out to the curb. Then a spiritually clean home is worth the effort to make decisions, even hard ones, to make sure that your home is pleasing to God. I'm not talking legalism here. I'm talking a genuine desire to serve God, and raise your family to do the same. That means "manning up" and get it done. It's time to take out the trash.

No comments:

Post a Comment