Today, on September 14, 1972, “The Waltons” premiered on TV and ran for 9 seasons. Who doesn’t recall the closing night scenes with John Walton, Sr. calling out from the bedroom, “Good night, John Boy“, and the familiar reply from John ‘John-Boy’ Walton Jr., “Good night, everyone.”
In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, USA, during the Great Depression, the Walton family makes its small income from its saw mill on Walton’s Mountain. The story is told through the eyes of John-Boy, who wants to be a novelist, goes to college, and eventually fulfills his dream. The saga follows the family through depression and war, and through growing up, school, courtship, marriage, employment, birth, aging, illness and death.
What grabbed most people’s attention was the fact that no matter how hard life got, and remember this was set during the Great Depression and WWII, there was always the family. Through thick and thin, sadness and joy, heartbreak and jubilation, the family was always there.
Love, devotion, and family values were displayed on that series and became an integral part of the life lessons many chose to make as a high priority in the raising of their own children.
The standards generally set for children today is worlds apart from those of just a generation ago, and it’s not hard to see why those who were, and are, being raised without benefit of a strong family ethic might see “The Waltons” as somewhat “simple” and overly sentimental. Thankfully, these people are still in the minority. Most people still “get it” and we are forever grateful to the people who were involved in any way with the production of this television show for giving all of us a standard to which we might aspire even as society in general continues to degrade and cheapen the concept of a nuclear family at every opportunity. Just consider what we see on TV today! The ‘standards’ have slipped to beyond ‘low’ (especially after 9pm!).
But “The Waltons” was just a TV show. In real life, “John-Boy Walton” was Richard Thomas. He divorced and remarried. The dad, “John Walton Sr.”, divorced twice and remarried a third time. Many on the set suffered divorce. It would seem some didn’t live out what was projected through the show. And to be fair, some , like Kami Cotler who played “Elizabeth Walton”, are still happily married.
Is this a judgement on my part… not at all. Just a note between the world of TV and the real world.
Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.
God’s children. God’s got a family?
… we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Wow! Brothers and Sisters of Jesus. Now THAT’s a family worth belonging to!