Our Lost Culture Needs a Moral GPS


I am terrible with directions.  When someone attempts to help by saying, “head south on . . . ” or “it will be on the east side of . . ..”  Um, what?  Thank God for GPS.  Remember when we had to look at an actual map?  I do kind of miss that and the sense of adventure.  I wouldn’t trade it for my Garmin though.  I literally don’t know where I’d be without Google Maps or my iPhone.

We have so many devices at our fingertips to help us get where we are going.  At any time, we can find North in about two seconds.  Given that, I find it ironic that our culture is so lost morally when it comes to family values.

Television is a big part of society and an important reflection of our culture.  I’ve seen some fall shows advertised recently that caused me concern.  Here is a sampling of titles:

  • A Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce (a Bravo show advertising the “fun” side to divorce)
  • Untying the Knot (a Bravo reality show that features a divorce attorney helping couples split up)
  • Mistresses (an ABC drama)
  • Prison Wives Club (a reality show on Lifetime in which women marry inmates)
  • Sister Wives (a reality show on TLC that follows a man and several of his “wives”)

Granted, there are some family-friendly programs airing as well.  The networks would not be airing these other shows, however, if there weren’t a sufficient following.  And people can certainly watch what they want.

I think it is interesting to stop and to consider, however, if this is really the direction we want to be heading morally.

These kinds of shows promote the devaluation of marriage and of the nuclear family.  Of course, the shows themselves are not the real problem.  We are creating a marketplace for them.  And real life happens.  Sometimes, people divorce for good reasons or against their will.  Every situation is different.  However, I don’t think we should glorify the breakdown of the family.  It definitely shouldn’t be a source of entertainment.

Marriage and the family unit are invaluable institutions within our society.  So how do we get back on track?  Here are a couple of suggested starting points:

  1. Allow faith back into the culture in a meaningful way.  We’ve tried to navigate without it in the last few decades, and it doesn’t seem to be working too well.
  2. Support family-friendly shows or movies when they come out.  We can make an affirmative effort with our time, money, and enthusiasm.

I don’t mean to imply that all shows should be like Leave It to Beaver.  Perhaps those days were too idyllic.  Maybe it is time to get back to the basics, however, and rediscover and encourage the things that matter.

Family values are getting lost, and we won’t be able to find them soon.  We really need to turn on our moral GPS.  Or, at least grab a Rand McNally.

What do you think about society’s moral compass today?  Do we need one?

10 Comments

Aimee Miller
Reply October 27, 2015

I very strongly agree with this topic, television today is so far "down the tube" The real housewives seriously?????

I feel that a lot of it is junk, drama, unrealistic, and downright negative. Which is why I turn to Netflix a lot now to choose a positive movie.

    Stephanie
    Reply October 28, 2015

    Hi Aimee! I used to watch more reality tv (and sometimes still get sucked in occassionally!), but realized that it has such negative effects. On the other hand, intentionally watching more positive material has a positive impact on me. I agree!

Callie Beukinga
Reply October 27, 2015

I haven't heard of several of these shows but the titles alone make me sad. Sad to see shows like the Duggers off air and instead shows that promote the breakdown of family and morals. I also think voicing our opinion against shows is important, even when it's uncomfortable. After 2 episodes of Orange is the New Black I made a decision to not watch due to sexual content. I shared this with a non-believing friend and she looked at me like I had 2 heads! Still important to be light in the darkness!

    Stephanie
    Reply October 28, 2015

    Hi Callie! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I totally understand - a lot of the most popular shows have more and more sexual content. We have to draw the line somewhere. Personally, I'm trying to be more intentional about what I spend time watching and am learning that the more positive and family-friendly a show or movie is, the more I enjoy it. Thanks for the encouragement in your choices!

Emilie
Reply October 27, 2015

And why I am grateful for MeTV ... where I can sit back and watch The Andy Griffith Show and find such comfort ... a comfort I'm afraid so many people will never even know. I'm not sure that society even has a moral compass these days. Now, if only we could clone your way of thinking into society ...

    Stephanie
    Reply October 28, 2015

    Hi, Emilie! Yes, thankfully, there are some good networks that still air those kinds of shows! I like how you describe it as "comfort" - positive, family friendly shows make us feel better! Another reason to embrace them. :-)

Mindy Nichols
Reply November 5, 2015

I agree with Emilie, thank goodness for re-runs of shows like Andy Griffith and Bewitched. My teenage daughters still like the Facts of Life, which is mostly good. I agree that family values are lost and feels as though we are swimming upstream. We do need to support the good things that are produced such as War Room. Our family went to see this movie and hope to return to see Woodlawn in theatres as well.

    Stephanie
    Reply November 6, 2015

    Hi Mindy! Growing up, I loved the Facts of Life. Inviting friends and family to see movies like War Room is a wonderful idea and is a great, positive way to take a stand. Thanks for reading!

Len Bowman
Reply December 10, 2015

May I recommend a positive ethic for our multicultural world? It does no good to pretend we're monocultural; fact is, we're multicultural, so it's best to find a moral gps that's adequate for that.

    Stephanie
    Reply December 14, 2015

    Hi Len - that's a good point. Could you elaborate a little bit? I'm curious what you would find helpful to be inclusive of various cultures.

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