Mar 122014 4 Responses

Why We Don’t Have a Television in Our Bedroom

We don’t have a television in our bedroom because a counselor discouraged it.

I want one. I grew up with one. One of my favorite things about vacation is that most hotels or houses have one in the bedroom. But we don’t have one because a counselor said we shouldn’t.

The reasoning makes sense. Couples with a television in the bedroom have less communication, less sex, sleep less, and eat more. For many couples, especially couples with small children, the bedroom is the only space which belongs exclusively to them. When a television invades the space, attention is turned away from each other and toward the television. It’s bad for marriage. (See: Top 5 Sex Posts of 2013)

A television has no more business in a couple’s bedroom than it does a child’s bedroom.

Yet there is a bigger issue than having a television in the bedroom. Are you willing to submit to wisdom?

Consider two questions:

1. Who are you willing to listen to and follow their advice because they know more than you?

Not everything a counselor says is law. They can make mistakes like anyone else. Yet most marriage counselors know what they are talking about. They work with couples on a continual basis and rarely are problems unique to one couple. Marriage counselors often hear the same thing every day. (See: Who Has Your Ear?)

Because of this, a majority of the advice they give has been proven in multiple relationships. They aren’t smarter than you, they have simply had more experience with marriage and they know what works and what doesn’t. When a counselor says it is unwise to do something, it is probably unwise to do it.

We live in a dangerous space when there is no one in our lives who can tell us to start or stop a behavior. Left to ourselves, we will fail. Yet in the wisdom of community, we have a good chance at success. (See: Please Stop Me from Doing Stupid Things)

An interesting characteristic of relationships which fail—one or both partners is unwilling to do what a professional says. I’m yet to see the exception. In every marriage which fails, someone is not willing to do the work it takes to make the marriage works. No matter the state of one’s marriage, when both partners are willing to do the work to make the marriage work, the marriage works.

Yet this requires the humility to submit one’s own will and to do what someone else tells you to do. (See: The Most Important Marriage Advice I Could Ever Give)

2. What is something you do for your marriage simply because it is the wise thing to do?

If you are doing whatever you want, whenever you want, your marriage is suffering.

We all need restraint. Often times what we want in the moment is not what is best. The ability to choose the wise action over the desire of the moment is often the difference between failure and success.

The choice that we often don’t realize we are facing is what we want now versus what we want in the long term. In the short term it would be nice to go to sleep while watching television. In the long term, it would be better to have my wife in bed beside me for years to come. Which wins tonight—what I want in the moment or what is most likely to lead to me having what I want in the future.

If there is nothing you are doing simply for wisdom’s sake today then your marriage is probably in worse shape than you realize. The problem with ignoring wisdom is that its consequences aren’t normally noticed until much later.

I doubt newlyweds have less sex or communication because of a television in the bedroom. Yet I have no doubt that a couple who has been married for ten years and who has three small children has less sex and communication because of a television in the bedroom. But once a television is in the bedroom, it’s probably not coming out. Wisdom says never put one in the bedroom, even if you think it would be okay for now.

A good marriage doesn’t just happen. It takes hard work, good decisions, and a good amount of grace. Wise couples know they don’t know it all. They seek help, heed advice, and are willing to submit their desires for the greater good. (See: Top 5 Most Read Marriage Posts of 2013)

What’s one thing you would tell your younger self not to do in marriage?

4 Responses to Why We Don’t Have a Television in Our Bedroom
  1. Kerry Reply

    Only agree if there is no communication or if marriage is at a bumpy spot. Watching TV together in bed is special time with one another, and it’s a nice getaway if you are watching 2 different things. And having the memories of having one or both boys watch something with one or both of us are great memories. Just saying, 29 years of marriage, ups and downs, but TV watching time has been the least of our problems during rough times. Always listen to wisdom, and each other, but do what works in each of our own families.

  2. […] It happens often, especially in the winter. I will put my children to bed and think, “I feel sorry... kevinathompson.com/stay-wifes-bed
  3. […] turn off the television and have a meaningful conversation. […]... kevinathompson.com/wonder-dont-love
  4. […] Here are the two posts I reference about cell phones and televisions: Five Rules for Every Teenager ... kevinathompson.com/environment-control-can-control

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.