Back in 2007, I came across a program on Bravo called “The Real Housewives of Orange County”. At that time my life was stuck. I was just living in darkness or let’s put this way: I existed and this show was my escape from my own reality. It made me feel good watching other lost souls destroying each other in public.
The real housewives show is basically about the lives of a bunch of gated community women identified as ”The Housewives” even though not all of them are married. These women are put together in one room so they can gossip, slander, malice, flip tables, spit at each other until the show’s season is over. At a time, I found the show to be seductive like many other Americans who watch it on regular basis.
One survey estimates the number of Reality Television went from 4 in 2000 to about 320 a year today. The truth is Reality TV is just another destruction in your life. Desperate people do desperate things including enjoying this kind of TV. Sadly I was (past tense) one of them. Both audience and cast members of this type of programming have profound problems than what appears on the surface. I write this with confidence because I know what I was going through when I was indulging in this kind of destruction.
According to research, Reality TV fans place a higher value on vengeance than those who don’t watch them. Let’s think about this squarely; who in the world takes pleasures in watching people assault each other. What good will come out of seeing one woman’s hair being pulled out of her head by some other angry woman? The only person who would get a kick out of it is someone who is as confused as them. Talking about the lost sheep–this is it.
Anyone with the right mindset and conscience gotta have compassion for not only the audience but also the cast members. These adult women are neither paid actors nor paid athletes. They are not professionals rather that is their day-to-day real life action displayed on national TV for money and fame (that’s another subject we will discuss later). You gotta have a heart for them because they are mothers, sisters, wives, neighbors, and some of them are grandmothers yet they are on national TV acting like a bunch of high schoolers. It’s pretty sad when you think of it.
Our culture is flooded with shows similar to that and they are celebrated. Turn on the television. Browse through a few channels and the majority of programs are reality-based television. And it doesn’t stop on TV, it continues on social media, youtube, magazines and every other media you can find. All this exist to destruct you and me from living our full potential.
How do I know this? I remember during those months when my schedule was occupied with Facebook, Real Housewives of OC, Chopped, Real Housewives of Atlanta, Twitter, Real Housewives of New York, Youtube, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Dancing with the Stars, Real Housewives of Potomac–I didn’t have time to think about my life, my purpose in life let alone my God. From Sunday through Wednesday from 7 P.M till 11 P.M you will not touch my remote control or call my cell phone. When you do the maths….that is at least 4 hours a day with a total of 16 hours a week feeding on debris week-in-week-out.
I always wanted to be a writer, and to grow in faith and to live a purposeful life yet I didn’t have time. I was cemented to this kind of barren activity. A total waste of resources, energy, and potential. The programs made me stupid. To this day, it continues to make millions dumb. My closest friends had a similar lifestyle. We worked during the day then we go home to binge-watch TV that way we have something to talk about the next day then we take the conversation on facebook until next week’s episodes. What kind of life is that?
Again, I met these women on TV in 2007 and we grew together–basically. Some of them got married on TV, others gave birth, others went to jail and came out, others became business moguls. All these things happened while I am sitting on the couch with a popcorn. Even their small children grew up right before my eyes. I watched them getting married and start their own lives. Meanwhile, I looked at my life, it hasn’t changed. It was dormant. It hasn’t gotten any better if anything it got worse. I was still a miserable person. I came to my senses in 2013. I started to feel a little bit off. I wasn’t enjoying the show as much. I was tired of the stuff and everything in general. Nothing would cut any longer. I couldn’t escape anymore.
There is hope for all hopeless people out there. There is good news. A time will come when your creator will intervene. He will shake things up in your life. You will start feeling a void. You’ll start looking for ways to fix what is needed to be fixed. That’s exactly what happened to me. It was like mid-life crisis. I started to read scriptures. I also found other programs of interest from Christian TV and that was the beginning of cutting ties with the housewives.
HOW DID I COMPLETELY CUT TIES WITH DESTRUCTIONS
I know many of you especially the unbelievers will disagree with my approach and that’s why I write it. I want to make you uncomfortable because if you are looking for comfort then maybe you wanna rethink your priorities. What I am displaying here is what I call the “Freedom from Destructions”.
When I was at the bottom of despair I saw the light. Sometimes the Lord allows us to go down to the pit so that He shows up in His Mighty ways. I write all this that way you don’t have to get down like that. Save yourself some future pains.
After many years of living in darkness, the light showed up. I started seeing everything on display. I saw dirty, and dust and bugs and mices–all living with me in darkness. They didn’t bother me because we were on the same team. We were all hiding places we couldn’t see each other. However, when the light came, it exposed all of us. I saw everything around me and that picture was ugly. The light helped me escape from darkness and when I did that I found time to do things I always wanted to do and that was the end of my association with the enemy called “The Real Housewives”.
I am going to admit that it wasn’t easy to let go of the drama. Like everything else in life, you have to make a choice and be willing to follow through. And most importantly you have to ask Christ for help. Despite the fact that I found new love, I missed the chaos and my environment was not transformed at once.
Leaving the Housewives addiction was an on-going process. My old friends whom I spent time with were still watching it. They would talk about it all day long. My faith was vulnerable. Every now and then I found myself easily dragged back and sucked into the show again for a period of time. But the Lord is faithful. He completely delivered me from it in the first few months of 2016. He gave me strength that enabled me to make a sensible decision to part ways for good.
My heart is at the right place today. Paul puts this way “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Corinthians 6:12) That is exactly how I see the Real Housewives show. I can watch it if I want to but it is not helpful. Also, it will not control my life the way it used to be in the past. Most importantly, I don’t need to watch it because I neither miss it nor do I want to watch it.
I used to have no time to do so many things I wanted to do but once I cleared my schedule from the thieves of my time, I regained all the time in the world.
What was destructing me may be different from what is destructing you. Perhaps for you it is a friend you can’t get rid of or a habit you have had for many years, maybe it’s emotions, or alcohol, pornography, drugs–It could be anything. Just ask yourself these questions: Who or what is keeping me captive? and Is Christ in my life? If not I invite you to surrender to Him and He will take you places you have never been before.