I have a serious confession to make: As a teenager, I watched almost every episode of Little House on the Prairie. Iím not sure I ever admitted that at the time (1979-1983). In fact, I probably didnít. See, most of my friends thought Little House on the Prairie was not a manly enough show to publicly admit to watching.
But even at a very young age, when the television series first started back in 1974, I knew that Charles Ingalls, played by Michael Landon, was the kind of man I wanted to grow up to be. Not only did I already have the same black, out-of-control hair but I had a similar build and had never even tried to grow facial hair. I donít remember an episode where Charles even had five oíclock shadow. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that he always had a really good tan.
I donít know how many of todayís teens have seen at least one rerun of Little House on the Prarie. Iím sure most teens probably donít watch it on a regular basis, but it would be nice if they did, for the simple fact that Michael Landonís fictional character was one of the best role models to ever appear on television. Here was a man who prayed with his family before meals and bedtime. Here was a man who got along with his neighbors, worked the land, lovingly disciplined his children, and avoided heated arguments with his wife.
Yes, Charles Ingalls was a television character. But he represented what we know a husband should be like. He represented what a father should be like. And if all the writers involved with the series could create such a man, why couldnít other men learn from the lessons and attitude of a fictional character? Why couldnít women learn from watching Caroline Ingalls (played by Karen Grassle) treat her husband with respect and unconditional love? There was, and is, absolutely no reason why people canít see that life is better when integrity, civility, and respect are implemented in our daily lives.
Try and think of a mainstream (Iím not talking Sky Angel, here) television show airing today that contains the same core values that Little House on the Prairie brought into our living rooms. I doubt there is one that comes to mind. So, when flipping through the hundreds of satellite or cable channels, if you happen to come across a rerun starring a ďmanís manĒ and a great family living in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, give it a look-see. You just might learn a thing or two. I know I did.
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Dan, this is a good article. I have to confess, Mary and I still love to watch all the reruns of "Little House On The Prairie." It is a wholesome, Christian principled show. We can learn from those shows, but first some have to get past the labeling of "old fashioned and antique" they place on those good shows and movies. The morals displayed in that series are not out of date. God never changed, only the people He created did.