In Spurgeon's day and to his mind, the three great evils rotting the heart out of 19th Century England were card playing, dancing, and theatre going. Not that he thought there was anything inherently evil in these things in themselves, of course. His concern lay ahead of these "harmless" distractions in what they very often produced in the soul: a loose view of money, an overly familiar touch with the opposite sex, and an expectation of life governed by the quest for the next entertaining novelty. I was reminded of this observation today as I began re-reading Covey's famous 7 habits:

Television and movies are major influences in increasing people’s expectations. They graphically portray what other people have and can do in living the life of ease and “fun.” But while the glitter of pleasure-centered life-styles is graphically portrayed, the natural result of such life-styles—the impact on the inner person, on productivity, on relationships—is seldom accurately seen. Innocent pleasures in moderation can provide relaxation for the body and mind and can foster family and other relationships. But pleasure, per se, offers no deep, lasting satisfaction or sense of fulfillment. The pleasure-centered person, too soon bored with each succeeding level of “fun,” constantly cries for more and more. So the next new pleasure has to be bigger and better, more exciting, with a bigger “high.” A person in this state becomes almost entirely narcissistic, interpreting all of life in terms of the pleasure it provides to the self here and now. Too many vacations that last too long, too many movies, too much TV, too much video game playing—too much undisciplined leisure time in which a person continually takes the course of least resistance gradually wastes a life. It ensures that a person’s capacities stay dormant, that talents remain undeveloped, that the mind and spirit become lethargic and that the heart is unfulfilled.

Covey, Stephen R. (2009-12-02). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (pp. 114-115). RosettaBooks - A. Kindle Edition.
— Covey, Stephen R. (2009-12-02). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (pp. 114-115). RosettaBooks - A. Kindle Edition.

5 Questions to ponder as we make our way through the rest of today:

  1. What are reasonable limits to place on my children's appetite for entertainment?
  2. How can I encourage my children to live life with the end in mind: Soli Deo Gloria?
  3. How can I encourage them to develop habits of productivity?
  4. How can I teach my children to imbibe the Protestant Work Ethic?
  5. How can I encourage in my children a love of adventure?