Submitted for publication byJessica S.
I am a Christian woman who watches Jon and Kate Plus 8 with great interest and even more hope that wholesome family programming still exists in today's world of sex, drugs and shock value. I was delighted to find the Gosselin brood on TLC and was further encouraged to see episodes that expressed their wishes to raise their family with a "mission statement" of showing God's love to each other and to others. I appreciated the fact that discipline of their children was seen as an act of love and not punishment, that church attendance was just an automatic part of their weekly schedule, and that the blessings they have received were viewed with thankfulness to God. Psalm 127:3&5 says, "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Jon and Kate surely seemed to have a "full quiver" and certainly seemed to be blessed.
However, just as my faith is not a blind faith and I am called by Christ to question everything so that I may not be deceived (Luke 21:8), my faith in Jon and Kate is not a blind one either and I questioned some of the things that I saw portrayed on the show. A red flag was immediately raised when I learned that the Grandparents on either side were not "directly involved in the children's lives". The answer given by Jon and Kate did not seem very forthcoming and rather secretive for a family who, up until then, had given the viewers a pretty un-edited view of the good, bad and ugly occurrences in their home. Still, I was willing to pass this off as a personal family matter that Jon and Kate were not willing to go into detail about in order to spare possible hurt feelings. Families can be complicated. Been there, done that, had the T-shirt that my mother said made me look fat and my brother borrowed two years ago and has yet to return.
I also cringed at times when I listened to how Jon and Kate talked to each other. Not because it struck me as odd behavior, but because it often reflected my own dialog with my husband. To quote Kate, "Lordy Be!" if I allowed a camera to catch all my snarks and snips at my hubby - sometimes in front of a preschool audience. If anything, I was thankful that this show held a mirror up to my own bad behavior towards my husband and children and helped me curb my tongue. Still, enough red flags had been raised in my viewing that I began to search the internet to see if I was alone in my concerns. In searching the web sites and in reading the comments, I see that I am not alone in the red-flag-waving department.
However, I may be alone in what I suggest is the solution. PRAY FOR THE GOSSELIN FAMILY. Often this is seen as a "last resort" but is should be our first defense. The Gosselin family are Christians. Flawed as they may seem to be, they have still proclaimed Christ as their Lord and Savior and in doing so answer to a higher authority than any of us claim to be. Jon and Kate have already said that they ignore all the negative e-mail and comments that come their way. If we are to believe that statement as true, then all the ranting done by their critics, no matter how well-intentioned, will fail to bring about any change on their behalf. James 2:12-13 states that we are to "Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement!" I submit to you that we need to show mercy to this family. It is very easy to accuse and criticize, but we should do the better and more productive act of "encouraging and building each other up.."1 Thessalonians 5:11.
Pray for Jon and Kate's marriage to be strengthened, pray for the health and safety of the children, pray for reconciliation between Jon and Kate and their parents and outside family, pray that any psychological issues that exist for Kate or any of their children be recognized and dealt with effectively and privately, pray especially that they draw closer to each other and to the God that loves them and that they are able to live out their family mission statement. I believe that, through prayer, we are appealing to an authority that can do immeasurably more for this family than any production company, advertiser or cable network can. "Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:13-16.
To read more of Jessica's writing go to: http://www.funnyyoushouldmention.blogspot.com/