What Do You Kneel Before?

"What do you kneel before?" by Abby Watts (CatholicMom.com)

Photo by Cherry Laithang (2017) via Unsplash, CC0 Public Domain

A few months ago my husband and I, along with our next door neighbors, applied to be on the TLC show “Trading Spaces.” We never heard back. I think it’s safe to assume that our application video showed that our interior design taste has zero room for improvement (why hasn’t someone invented a sarcasm font yet?).

Part of the video featured a little nook in our bedroom that would make an ideal spot for a comfy chair, a little table, and a bookshelf. Instead the spot currently has a jumbotron-sized TV looming overhead, and against the wall there’s a piece of furniture that surely made the “Trading Spaces” folks do a double-take:

A kneeler.

"What do you kneel before?" by Abby Watts (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2018 Abby Watts. All rights reserved.

The priest who celebrated our wedding Mass made a beautiful kneeler for us as a gift. It is a priceless and special reminder of the vows we took while kneeling before the presence of Christ and a special place we can stop and pray in our own room.  

But there’s a problem: The kneeler is loooooong. The only wall space where it fits is right below that jumbotron.  So in our application video I pointed to it and joked, “We don’t pray to the television!”

While that’s true, it is possible that I worship that TV.

I sometimes imagine an alien walking into my home. If it looked around, what would it think my family is most interested in? Hands down, it’s food and TV. We have a crucifix in every room, but those sure aren’t as big!

I’ll confess, I DO love TV. I have a degree in television, actually. I can get lost in it for hours and I’ve got three different series in my cue on Netflix. For real, I’m all booked up for at least a year. So I have to ask myself repeatedly: Is it an idol? Do I spend more time with it than God? Do the words in those shows influence me more than God’s Word? Do I let it affect my duties as a mom and wife? Sometime the answer to those questions is yes.

So I’m grateful that our long kneeler is right there. It reminds me that I have to keep myself in check and put the TV in the place it needs to be in my life.

How do we make sure our need to “veg” doesn’t end up becoming an addiction?

A few ideas:

  1. Keep a log. Sometimes just seeing it on paper can help us correct our behavior. What? I spent 16 hours watching Chopped! I could’ve read a whole book!
  2. Put other options within arm’s reach – your Bible or devotional, a book from one of the CatholicMom authors, a journal, or even a coloring book!
  3. Get rid of the TV. I can’t believe I just typed that. Somebody hand me a brown paper bag so I can breathe. But seriously, that might be the step that enhances your marriage or brings you to a new level of relationship with Jesus. You gotta do radical things to get radical results, my friend.

I’m still waiting on that call from TLC, but in the meantime, I might do some trading spaces of my own and give Christ the place he deserves. 

Copyright 2018 Abby Watts


About Author

Abby Brundage Watts is a mother of two little boys. Since January of 2008 she has hosted The Big, Big House Morning Show on Spirit FM 90.5, the radio ministry of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida. The show mixes inspiration, humor and family fun (and great music of course)! You can hear Abby every weekday 6-10am, EST and online at www.myspiritfm.com. She also is the co-creator of the podcast, Perhaps This Is the Moment. You can find it on all the podcast platforms.


  1. This is a good one! My husband recently had knee surgery which left him in a lot of pain and immobile. During that time we binge watched Person of Interest (all 5 seasons) for the 2 months he was laid up. Every night we were glued to that TV like addicts. Even the kids noticed that our normal routine of walks, talking, writing, reading, and playing music had been taken over by “the jumbotron.” 😉 Thankfully, my husband is back on his feet, the show is over, and we are now back to being productive. Oy – no more shows until Stranger Things 3 comes out. 😉 hehehee

    • Abby Watts on

      You know – I think you touched on an interesting point. There are so many interesting shows out. It’s hard turn the tv off, especially when other people are talking about a show. It’s scary that your kids noticed – my parents always said we became zombies when the tv came on.

  2. Great article! I’d say the same holds true for our family with the TV and the computer (social media, funny cat videos, etc) as well. Time to make some changes! I love the idea of keeping a log. I think I might give that a try.

    • Abby Watts on

      It’s so much easier to keep track of how long the kids are using technology vs how long we are. But maybe a note pad on the end table? Just the motion of writing it down would make a difference.

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