Home > Uncategorized > Jon & Kate + 8…parenting backwards.

Jon & Kate + 8…parenting backwards.

Its not normally my deal to dabble in summer cable TV on this blog. However, I’ve got a hunch that several readers of this blog are familiar with the TV Show Jon and Kate plus 8. Like all good stuff, it didnt get really popular until hollywood could uncover the “dirt” and spin it into real drama. In fact, due to the family focus of it, I imagine a large number of christian couples who are parents watch the show. Courtney and I do. She sucked me in last year sometime when we were pregnant with our first. The family has attended church regularly during the show and though they have never been real vocal on this reality TV show, they’ve given every other indication that they are Christians.

Last night, the season opener centered around Jon & Kate’s marital issues and what they made hints at was an inevitable divorce. The only time the couple was together, you could have fit 3 nfl linemen between them on that loveseat. This is not out to talk smack on this couple by the way. As a fellow believer, I spent time praying for them last night. They both said something that I think resonates with a lot of parents that we must continue to correct for one another:

“I wake up for my kids, everything I do is for my kids.” “If they are happy & safe, everything else will be ok.” One of them went so far as to say your marital status isnt important as long as the kids are ok, you can still be there for them.

Here is what I know: that is an easy web to get tangled in. I love my son. I cannot imagine 7 more of him. I know Courtney and I have struggled more since he’s been born than ever before in our marriage because soooo much energy has gone to caring for him. I feel like its all about him. Its not. In reality, the best thing I can do for my son is to love his mother like Ephesians 5 tells me to do. That means the best thing I can do for him may be to leave him with someone for a couple of days while we get away together for vacation. That’s just one example of course. The point is, the best thing for Zeke is his dad loving his mom more than he loves him. Its for me to honor and cherish her and to teach him as often as possible why I do it.

It means, in light of the topic of this blog, it would mean guarding my MARRIAGE at all cost. Now, if this couple were to read this I’d be sure to ask where their church is during these hard times.

And so I will say to you instead. Have you asked your fellow believers in your local church how their marriage is lately? Have you asked them how they are doing single if that’s where they are? The point is: you need people in your life to tell YOU what you may have been screaming at the TV last night: “quit the show, save your marriage!” I wonder though what is going on in your life that is a year away from having devastating consequences? Today, go get somebody you trust IN YOUR LOCAL CHURCH, and give them permission to yell at you like that. Best thing you can do.

Oh, and now I feel ok not watching the show the rest of the season. I can say its because I want their ratings to go down so they will cancel and maybe get normalcy back. In actuality I have books to read.

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  1. Lauren Dyson
    May 26, 2009 at 6:33 am

    I watched about an hour of it and had to turn it off because it was stressing me out so much. I prayed for the family too and I hope they choose family over their tv show.

  2. Shannon
    May 26, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Brad O’Brien gave a wonderful sermon yesterday at the West Club campus reminding and encouraging us to be living life with one another in the same way you have encouraged toward the end of this email. It will probably be posted on the West Club blog sometime this week. http://www.summitwestclub.com

  3. Jeff Fisher
    May 26, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Hey Spence,

    Best blog yet! I am saddened by the scrutiny Jon & Kate are getting and the added pressure. I hope that they are still close to their pastor and church family and working throught it.

    After 25 years of being single, it was hard to get used to being married. Enjoyable, but hard! A large portion of my time now needed to be poured into my wife.

    Then bring in the kid factor – one, then two kids. Now I have to pour the other half of my life into my two kids. After 12 years of marriage, I am finally adjusting to being married. I’m STILL working on getting adjusted to being a father.

    We cannot hold on to self and serve our families. My struggles have really been with selfishness.

    I pray too that Jon and Kate will be able to weather through it with God, their church, and trusted counselors and friends. TV fame will fade, but if a marriage fades, who wins?

  4. May 26, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Dude…totally on board with this post.

  5. Shannon
    May 26, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Spence, I totally agree with you. I too was shouting at the tv last night. It makes me so sad that the publicity has broken up their marriage. I hope as well that their body of believers will rise up and support them.

  6. May 26, 2009 at 12:12 pm


    had the same thoughts when watching last night. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


    ps – yes, I’m admitting to watching that show

  7. May 26, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    One of the things I learned post-divorce is that it’s more important for a child to know their mom and dad love each other than to know they love him/her. A children need to know they are a part of something larger than themselves and they were brought into a world (family) in love and this loves doesn’t hinge on them.

    Just another affirmation for a parent-centered family as opposed to a child-centered family.

    Thanks for the post Spence!


  8. May 26, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Philo, Thanks for sharing from your perspective. Very valuable for readers of this blog.
    Z, dont worry, you are not alone.
    Jeff, Great thoughts and glad to hear from a guy with some years on his marriage.

    All: this post generated the most traffic in one day this blog has ever had. I guess my hunch was right! Thanks for interacting with this and lets hope for the best with JK8.

  9. Jeremy
    May 26, 2009 at 10:06 pm


    Great post…however I’m going to have to temporarily suspend your man card for one week for admitting to watching Jon and Kate plus 8.

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