Get Rid of the Coffee Table!

Mike Charleston

In all my travels, I’ve been in many houses. Once inside, I like to do scientific observation. OK, so maybe it’s not scientific, but I do observe many things. You can tell a lot about a family just by looking around for a little while. You can usually guess what goes on in the house and what is important to the family just by observing. I like to look at the layout of the house, pictures on the wall, how nice or expensive things are, if the house is clean and well organized, etc. As I stand in the “living or family” room, I am amazed at how uncreative people are. For the most part, all the “living” rooms look alike. I realize that there are different color schemes, and some furniture differs. But, you can find a couch, love seat, end tables, recliners, lamps, pictures, stereos, televisions, and coffee tables. There is little difference between the believer and unbeliever’s houses.

There was a time in our home when we didn’t have many “things”. Our children would crawl all over the place, and my wife and I would play with them on the floor. Then, we started to accumulate “things” called furniture, and in came the coffee table. We were well on our way to being normal.

As you could have guessed, we stopped playing on the floor. We started to put knickknacks on the table and told our children to not touch the “nice” things. But, as children usually do, they began to climb on the table and play with the knickknacks. At first, we thought this would be a good training tool to teach the children “no”. It worked for the most part. They learned not to climb or play on the table. We were getting to be a nice normal family just like everyone else, with no joy.

That is what I have noticed in these houses, no joy. The children are not part of the home. They become a nuisance and just plain “in the way”. So, no longer are they in the “living” room, but they are relegated to their bedrooms. Off alone, up to their own devises, while their hearts are being turned away from their parents and toward television, video games, movies, sports, and living in a fantasy world. Now, we have never let our children play alone in their bedrooms because we wanted them to be a part of the family. So, we had to do something to keep their hearts turned toward us. That’s right, we got rid of the coffee table.

I’m not saying that the coffee table or all the other things in almost every “living” room are evil. But, for us the source of joy with our children was not “things” but the time we spent on the floor playing together. So, the logical thing for us to do was to get rid of the thing that was in the way of our fellowship. The coffee table stood right in the way, so out the door it went.

We didn’t want to push our children to the back bedroom to be entertained by the best this world has to offer. We wanted them to be a part of our lives, and the best way for us to do that was to clear the house of anything that would hinder our goal of raising men and women of God. My point in writing this article is not to pick on furniture or to say we all must have mats and lay on the floor. But, be willing to change and be different from what the world says is acceptable. Do you want your children to be just average young people? If so, then let your children’s hearts slowly move away from the “family” room and into their bedrooms where they can retreat to their own little worlds they have made for themselves.

Think about when you first had your children. They were the center of your attention. Then they started to crawl, and we got down with them and crawled with them. No television, no video games, no pushing them in the background. Then, they began to walk, and we were so excited to see them take their first steps. Running and talking came next, and the need to communicate was their life’s goal. We ran and talked with them and had fun just being and teaching all that we are and know. But, something happened along the way.

They began to want to help in the kitchen and to clean the bathroom, and they just made more of a mess. So, we pushed them away into their bedrooms. “Go watch T.V.”, or “go do something, but get out of my way”. They became a nuisance, and we no longer ran with them and got on the floor and crawled with them. But, the television, the video games, their fantasy world, and sports crawled with them. They ran and talked with your children until their hearts were turned not to you, but to the things of this world.

What was it like in your house before your children bored you? What was it like before your children stopped greeting you at the door with hugs and kisses? What was it like before your children started to serve strange gods in your sight? What was it like? Then get rid of those things that are keeping you from your wife (husband) and children.

The coffee table, if you haven’t figured out, is just a symbol. It’s not good or evil, but it can hinder. Find your “coffee table” in your house and destroy it, and do it today. I plead with you by the mercies of God to get it out of the house, for it is killing future generations. Turn your heart to your children!

Mike Charleston
Mike Charleston