Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WFMW: Amazing Race Life Lessons and Fun

It's that time of year again. Amazing Race #15 started Sunday Night and our family was ready for a season of life lessons, fun, and competition. This time around in addition to the fun of picking "a team to cheer," we are taking this as an opportunity to discuss our values.

Not everything we see on Amazing Race lines up with our values, but those moments that might have caused us to back off or get uncomfortable with are also times to share our family values with our kids using real examples, visible life lessons.

For Example...

As Christians, we don't believe in living together before marriage and desire for our children to live lives of purity before marriage.

I love how there is a Christian Dating Couple on the show and that we they already brought up the fact that they are saving themselves for marriage. What a great values lesson in simple terms for all ages.

Alternative Lifestyles are a struggle for us. We believe in one man and one woman for life.
When the brothers shared their stories about being "Christian and G.," it was a our opportunity to reinforce what we believe God says about marriage and love.

Telling the Truth is always best.
A number of the teams are being "deceptive" this year. Whether in what they say, they do for a living, or in their lifestyle, our kids caught on real quick to these tricks. All of them said they were going to be in trouble for these practices. They are right.

Being a Good Friend is Priceless

Making friends and keeping them is an ongoing lesson of youth and adulthood. I love to watch the relationships on Amazing Race especially among the lifelong friends. They accept each other for who they are, they forgive, they try hard to make the other look good, and they cheer them on in good and bad times. This season's compelling team are the friends were one of the young men has Asperger Syndrome and loves routine, but is giving it his all to run the race with his friend through all the constant change and stress. There are valuable lessons about compassion, sensitivity, and acceptance. Skills I see in my older kids and want to cultivate.

Marriage is hard work, but the rewards are so worth it.

As is normally the case a number of the teams are "dating couples" and some are on the fence about their relationships. Talking about how hard it is to be married and how having a relationship takes a commitment is critical as our kids enter those teen years. I want them to realize the gravity of decisions of the heart saving them from broken hearts and wasted time in dating relationships that can not or should not end in marriage.

Don't worry if you are not a jock, just try your best.

I love the Harlem Globetrotters team, They have character, athletic ability, and personality. They play up their status, but don't seem boastful just smart. Not everyone is going to be the star player in life. Staying fit and viewing sports as a way to advance your health, friendships, skills, and teamwork are what it's all about. I'm hoping that these "jocks" don't disappoint. Too few of the professional athletes are people I want my kids to emulate.

Professing to be a Christian means you are held to a higher standard
It's great to see that a couple of the teams profess to be Christians. But at the same time, I grimace thinking that they better be able to live up to the profession of faith because America is watching and waiting for them to crack and show their "true colors." TV loves to show the hypocritical Christian. It's like the fish on the back of the car, you better be sure you can live up to your testimony all the time.

No one is perfect, that's why we need a Savior

What a great way to show that everyone messes up, lies, deceives, curses, cheats, and fails in big and small ways. If we were perfect, we'd have no need for Jesus. Dad and I mess up, you guys mess up ,and we are not perfect. It's OK. There is grace.

While not every Christian believes in exactly the same values and not everyone adheres to what we call our family standards, that does not mean we don't love them the same. We can talk about our values and our hopes for our family, but we realize that we all sin and fall short all the time.

Maybe Amazing Race teaches our family that we are just like everyone else out there. We are taking each step on the journey and trying our best to come out ahead of the game. We are aiming for the prize, but also missing quite a few steps along the way and incurring a penalty, losing our way and not be willing to ask for directions. Finally, we continually are messing up and getting dirty in the process.

Now for the best lesson of all: It's Fun to Cheer on a Team
Our family for the past four seasons of Amazing Race have chosen teams to cheer on and matched our teams up with Restaurants. Each person gets two teams, two restaurants ,and two chances to win dinner out at one of their favorite restaurants.

In the past we've chosen the teams; A choosing the pink and purple "girly" teams, C the athletic teams, M the cute dressed or best looking teams and the parents whatever was leftover.

It's worked for us, but normally meant that the chances of winning were slightly skewed toward the kids.

This season we are mixing it up. A of course had already chosen her teams before the show started. However, we asked to only choose one and to draw her second team out of the hat. She agreed reluctantly. Everyone else drew two teams out of the hat and then decided our restaurants.

A: Maria and Tiffany (Japanese Restaurant)

Zev and Justin (Old Chicago)

M: Gary and Matt (Texas Roadhouse)

Brian and Ericka (Panda Express)

C: Herbert & Nathaniel (Mexican Restaurant)

Sam and Dan (Cracker Barrel)

Dad: Mika and Canaan (Authentic Mexican Restaurant-No English Spoken)

Meghan &" Cheyne (California Pizza Kitchen)

Mom: Lance and Keri (5 Guys)

Marcy and Ron (Authentic Bohemian Restaurant)

Can't wait to see where we are going out to dinner later this fall. Amazing Race watching works for our family; for more WFMW ideas check out We Are That Family


:) said...

We love the Amazing Race, too. It has open a lot of discussions with our 11 year old son on how we treat other people as well as a discussion on the places they visit.

Meghan said...

I came late to the Amazing Race (I've only watched a few seasons) but I love, Love, LOVE the show. I like learning about the different countries they visit and cheering on my favorite teams too.

I dream of being on the show myself one day, but I know I would never tryout. I wouldn't want to be followed with cameras all the time. But oh wouldn't it be fun to go to all those places?