While in Nepal recently, I spoke with a pastor who was reflecting upon the state of marriages in the church. He said, “American media has done much to help our Christian marriages.” Such a statement may cause some of you to be aghast. How can that be? If anything, American media is out to undo the family and marriages. In great measure the roles played on television and in the movies is toward sinful living and risque behavior. How has it done much to help marriage?
The answer to this question comes in the core of marriage in a Hindu culture. When a man and a woman are married, the woman confesses that her husband is her god. She must serve him and worship him. This allows the husbands to trounce their wives. In Hindu lands wives become their husband’s slave. They cook. They clean. They carry the heavy loads. They care for the children. The man is out doing whatever he pleases. The curse of Genesis 3:16 is fully realized, “Your desire will be against your husband, and he shall rule over you” (ESV marginal reading).
But, in American media, the equality of the sexes come through. It is written into our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (and women) are created equal.” Now, we don’t always live that out (the racial tensions in our country are indicative of this). But, it’s what we say we believe. And, it is deeply rooted in American culture and deeply rooted in the Bible. Peter says that wives are “fellow heirs of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3:7). That’s not to eliminate role distinctions in marriage, which are clear in the Bible. But, it is to eliminate all demeaning of wives. Thus, when Christians in a Hindu culture see this, they begin to see how reasonable and helpful it is to elevate that status of a wife.
Yet, this same pastor told me that “American media has done much to bring sexual immorality into our country.” As American media carries its way into a culture, immorality increases. When you tie this with the fact that American has made abortion free in Nepal due to our president’s wishes, sex is free and without consequences (or so they think). In the end this will surely do much harm.
Such is the tale being told about American media that is exported to other countries.