As a kid I loved watching the Cosby show. It was once a week in the evening, after school and homework, that I could sink into the life of a family that I thought was the polar opposite from my own. I loved the introduction of the show the most. In fact, every season they had a different introduction, and each one was more grand, and exciting. I remember being in school and talking to my friends about how excited we all were to get home to watch the new seasons intro. It was like watching the Super Bowl. They would have different outfits, dancing, and even introduce new characters into the family, which was so exciting.
The Cosby Show was a phenomenon that transcended race and culture. Millions of people tuned in from all over the world to watch how this family related. The husband and wife relationship, the Mother and father relationship, the Son and Father, mother and daughter, sister and brother, grandparent and grandchild, grandparent and parent, neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, and so on.
The dream of what a family would look like, be like, act like, sound like. It gave problem solving skills, communication and conflict resolutions that normally ended in some kind of comedic satire and all would be well with the world again in 60 minutes or less. I remember thinking why can’t life really be that way. As I grew up, I realized that life isn’t like a T.V. show. Life takes a whole lot more hard work, and time to have effective relationships.
Another important component to the Cosby family relationships was the dynamic of the history and beginnings. We saw them take glimpses back in time on a few episodes, or share some things from the past, but we didn’t have a window into their childhoods to see just how the parents formed their opinions and ideas about life. What mistakes were made along the way and how they ended up being this “amazing” family that everyone wished they were apart of. The truth is, the Cosby show was a great get away for millions of people, but when the T.V. was turned off, real life happened and we melted back into our everyday norms. For me, I had no clue how to have a functional relationship, and I needed to learn the fundamentals of what makes a relationship work. Humor and Satire, though wonderful things that I love, didn’t give me the tools that are needed to build that reality.
Because of my broken beginnings, I needed to have a complete change of mind, and heart to even comprehend just how a man and woman are to relate. What was a union suppose to look like to a kid who came from a divorced family, and abuse? How would I come to know just how this thing called marriage worked? What were the principles that were supposed to govern and keep that relationship under the most harshest of times. How do you recover from hurt and pain, and forgive when let down. What were the boundaries to set for safeguards, and what were the barriers to having successful communication. How do you resolve conflict, and not hold grudges, and so much more that encompasses successful relationships.
Yea, the Cosby show was great to watch, and engulf yourself in for 30 min to an hour a week, but when push came to shove, it could not prepare you for your foundational issues that would arise in your life. It could not give me the tools needed to sustain a joy filled marriage, and a heart to continue pushing through when nothing was laughable, and the jokes didn’t land. Unfortunately, for many who held the image of the Cosby show in such high regard for what they desired as a family structure, was shattered at the recent years revelation of just how dysfunctional life really was for those who played those rolls on television. But I am so grateful that I eventually learned that I have better and stronger examples of relationship principles in GOD’s word. The story lines in scripture far exceed what the Cosby show could ever portray. Though my earthly parents may have fallen short, and my relationship examples were not ideal, I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father who provides me with more than enough examples in
scripture, and foundational principles that aid in helping me to do this thing called relationship well.
Perhaps next time we can talk about some of those foundational principles scattered throughout scripture, such as effective communication skills or conflict resolution, just to name a couple. Those themes are woven throughout scripture, as well as so much more to ensure a healthy relationship.